How to test the config function of an Angular module?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I’m defining some setup code in the config function of an Angular module that I want to unit test. It is unclear to me how I should do this. Below is a simplified testcase that shows how I’m getting stuck:

'use strict';

angular.module('myModule', []).config(['$http', '$log', function($http, $log) {
    $http.get('/api/getkey').then(function success(response) {
        $log.log(response.data);
    });
}]);

describe('myModule', function() {
    it('logs a key obtained from XHR', inject(function($httpBackend) {
        $httpBackend.expectGET('/api/getkey').respond(200, '12345');
        angular.module('myModule');
        $httpBackend.flush();
    }));
});

This is clearly not the right way because I get the following error:

Error: No pending request to flush !

A complete, ready-to-run Angular project with the above testing code can be found on GitHub. If you know what to do with this scenario, please answer here on Stack Overflow. Bonus points if you also submit a pull request to the GitHub repo.

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

Use run instead of config if your initialization requires services to be injected. The config function can only receive providers and constants as parameters, not instantiated services like $http (relevant docs).

angular.module('myModule', []).run(['$http', '$log', function($http, $log) {
    ...
}]);

Initialize your module for testing

beforeEach(module('myModule'));

it('logs a key obtained from XHR', inject(function($httpBackend) {
    $httpBackend.expectGET('/api/getkey').respond(200, '12345');
    $httpBackend.flush();
}));

So the full working version looks like

'use strict';

angular.module('myModule', []).run(['$http', '$log', function($http, $log) {
    $http.get('/api/getkey').then(function success(response) {
        $log.log(response.data);
    });
}]);

describe('myModule', function() {
    beforeEach(module('myModule'));

    it('logs a key obtained from XHR', inject(function($httpBackend) {
        $httpBackend.expectGET('/api/getkey').respond(200, '12345');
        $httpBackend.flush();
    }));
});

Also, here’s an example of testing the config block to check that a method on a provider was called: https://medium.com/@a_eife/testing-config-and-run-blocks-in-angularjs-1809bd52977e#71e0

Method 2

mzulch is right to point out that services cannot be injected in an angular.module(...).config block. He also provides the right solution for the scenario where you actually need to use services in module initialization code: use the .run block instead of the .config block. His answer works perfectly for this scenario.

The question of how to write a unit test for the .config block remains. Let’s adapt the naieve code from my question to a scenario where .config is actually warranted. The following snippet injects a provider dependency instead of a service dependency:

angular.module('myModule', []).config(['$httpProvider', function($httpProvider) {
    $httpProvider.useApplyAsync(true);
}]);

describe('myModule', function() {
    it('configures the $http service to combine response processing via $applyAsync', inject(function($httpProvider) {
        angular.module('myModule');
        expect($httpProvider.useApplyAsync()).toBeTruthy();
    }));
});

This time, the implementation of 'myModule' is correct. The unit test however, which is analogous to the attempt in my question, is still incorrect. Now Karma gives me the following error:

Error: [$injector:unpr] Unknown provider: $httpProviderProvider <- $httpProvider

This cryptical error is coming from the inject which is passed as the second argument to the it. Note how Provider is being stuttered. This is caused by the fact that inject is looking for the provider for $httpProvider. A “meta provider”, as we may call it. Such things don’t exist in the Angular framework, but inject is trying it anyway because it expects you to only ask for service dependencies. Services do have providers, for example, $http has $httpProvider.

So inject (full name: angular.mock.inject, here available globally) is not the right way to get hold of $httpProvider in the testcase. The right way is to define an anonymous module configuration function using module (angular.mock.module) which closes over a variable in which we can capture the provider. This works because providers can be injected at configuration time (see the link at the bottom of mzulch’s answer as well as my own answer to my other question for details on configuration time vs run time). It looks like this:

var $httpProvider;

beforeEach(function() {
    module(function(_$httpProvider_) {
        // this is a .config function
        $httpProvider = _$httpProvider_;
    });
    // after this I can use inject() to make the magic happen
});

Another mistake in my naieve testcase is that I’m trying to execute 'myModule's configuration steps by calling angular.module('myModule'). For testcase purposes, I should be using the global module (angular.mock.module) instead, and the wisest place to do so is in the beforeEach fixture. In conclusion, the following code does the job:

describe('myModule', function() {
    var $httpProvider;

    beforeEach(function() {
        module(function(_$httpProvider_) {
            $httpProvider = _$httpProvider_;
        });
        module('myModule');
    });

    it('configures the $http service to combine response processing via $applyAsync', function() {
        inject();  // enforces all the module config steps
        expect($httpProvider.useApplyAsync()).toBeTruthy();
    });
});

I opted to put the inject() at the start of my testcase, but I could also put it at the end of the beforeEach. The advantage of the latter approach would be that I can write the call to inject in one place and not need to repeat it in every testcase. The advantage of the approach actually taken here is that more modules can be added to the injector in later beforeEaches or even in individual testcases.

I pushed this alternative solution to a new branch on GitHub.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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