Some helpers for CFWheels DBMigrate Plugin

Here is a handy controller that I use with my CFWheels application deployments & for debugging my database migrations with Troy Murray’s invaluable CFWheels DBMigrate Plugin.

I use a git branching strategy that utilises feature branches, which can sometimes lead to database migration files being out of sequence based on their creation date.. So I needed a way to test that all current migration are in the correct order… Enter the magical DBMigrate.cfc controller.

To get this up and running, You’ll need to install the CFWheels DBMigrate Plugin, the /models/DBMigrateVersion.cfc model file and the /controllers/DBMigrate.cfc controller from

Once these files are in place, you can call the following URLs and see the JSON they return:


db: "okay"


totalMigrationCount: 4,
isOrdered: true,
latest: "20160205201245",
versions: [
version: 20140527111730,
cfc: "20140527111730_create_tables",
migrated: true,
details: "create tables"
version: 20160205201146,
cfc: "20160205201146_insert_lookup_rows",
migrated: false,
details: "insert lookup rows"
version: 20160205201233,
cfc: "20160205201233_add_plain_text_password_field_to_users_table",
migrated: false,
details: "add plain text password field to users table"
version: 20160205201245,
cfc: "20160205201245_create_credit_card_number_columns",
migrated: false,
details: "create credit card number columns"
current: 20140527111730,
migratedCount: 1,
notMigratedCount: 3,
isMigrated: false


current: 20140527111730


latest: 20160205201245


ismigrated: false

The main one I use for my automated tests is the big sexy action=migrations packet. If any of the migrations are not in the correct sequence, the isordered node in the JSON will have a value of false Here is the RocketUnit test that I run to check if all migration are in the right order (and can be run automatically).

public void function test_db_checks_awaiting_migration_files_should_be_in_order()
    loc.args.action = "migrations";
    loc.response = getResponse(argumentCollection=loc.args);
    loc.substring = '"isordered":true'
    assert('loc.response contains loc.substring');

Disclaimer: Please be careful leaving this controller lying around in your production environment.. It doesn’t perform any database changes, but can give some basic information about your database migrations to anyone who may stumble upon your URL..

If you use the DBMigrate plugin, you may like this blog post… If you don’t use the plugin.. You really should.


Ensuring Full Unit Test Coverage In Your CFWheels App

Ensuring that you have unit tested all (or most) of your code in your CFWheels app is an important part of any test suite. As you hopefully know by now, the CFWheels framework features an in-built unit test framework.

The code below is a test itself, that will scan your controllers, models and views folders and make sure that you have a corresponding “test” cfc for each. If it discovers that a test is missing, it will fail.. so your app will not pass unless it has full test coverage.

To get it working, just copy the code below and save it into a file in /tests/TestsExist.cfc (or anywhere under the tests folder actually). You can retro-fit it to any app, though you may need to re-organise your test files somewhat.

There are some conventions that you need to follow to have it work properly, but I consider this being well organised (and you should be used to conventions by now). Your folder structure under /myapp/tests/ should look like this... Say you have a Login.cfc controller, your controller test cfcs themselves should be named like this TestLogin.cfc.. but you could also have multiple test files for your Login.cfc, just as long as the file BEGINS with “TestLogin”, eg: TestLoginRedirects.cfc, TestLoginBusinessLogic.cfc.. you get the idea.

The same goes for models and views. There is much one could do to improve/re-factor/customise this code, but it will hopefully catch anything you may have forgotten to test. Feel free to contribute to this project on GitHub.

So to summarise:

  • Re-organise your folders as per the example above
  • Re-name your test cfc files using Test{YourControllerName}.cfc
  • Copy the code into a TestsExist.cfc file under the /tests/ folder
  • Run your unit tests
<cfcomponent extends="wheelsMapping.Test">
	<cffunction name="setup">
		<cfset testsPath = ExpandPath("tests")>
		<cfset controllersPath = ExpandPath("controllers")>
		<cfset modelsPath = ExpandPath("models")>
	<cffunction name="test_00_setup_and_teardown">
		<cfset assert("true")>

	<cffunction name="test_01_all_controller_tests_exist">
		<cfdirectory action="list" directory="#controllersPath#" filter="*.cfc" name="controllers" />
		<cfdirectory action="list" directory="#testsPath & '/' & 'controllers'#" filter="*.cfc" name="controllerTests" />
		<cfset assert("controllerTests.recordCount gt 0")>
		<cfloop query="controllers">
			<cfif ListFindNoCase("Controller.cfc,Wheels.cfc", eq 0>
				<cfset abbrev = ListFirst(, ".")>
				<cfset isTestFileFound = false>
				<cfloop query="controllerTests">
					<cfif FindNoCase("Test" & abbrev, gt 0>
						<cfset isTestFileFound = true>
				<cfset assert("isTestFileFound", "")>
	<cffunction name="test_02_all_model_tests_exist">
		<cfdirectory action="list" directory="#modelsPath#" filter="*.cfc" name="models" />
		<cfdirectory action="list" directory="#testsPath & '/' & 'models'#" filter="*.cfc" name="modelTests" />
		<cfset assert("modelTests.recordCount gt 0")>
		<cfloop query="models">
			<cfif ListFindNoCase("Model.cfc,Wheels.cfc", eq 0>
				<cfset abbrev = ListFirst(, ".")>
				<cfset isTestFileFound = false>
				<cfloop query="modelTests">
					<cfif FindNoCase("Test" & abbrev, gt 0>
						<cfset isTestFileFound = true>
				<cfset assert("isTestFileFound", "")>

	<cffunction name="test_03_all_view_tests_exist">
		<cfdirectory action="list" directory="#controllersPath#" filter="*.cfc" name="controllers" />
		<cfdirectory action="list" directory="#testsPath & '/' & 'views'#" filter="*.cfm" name="viewTests" />
		<cfset assert("viewTests.recordCount gt 0")>
		<cfloop query="controllers">
			<cfif ListFindNoCase("Controller.cfc,Wheels.cfc", eq 0>
				<cfset abbrev = ListFirst(, ".")>
				<cfset isTestFileFound = false>
				<cfloop query="viewTests">
					<cfif FindNoCase("Test" & abbrev, gt 0>
						<cfset isTestFileFound = true>
				<cfset assert("isTestFileFound", "")>

	<cffunction name="teardown">


Automated Testing with CFWheels, Jenkins & Ant Tutorial

Automated Testing / Continuous Integration sounds complex and intimidating, but its like brain surgery.. its not that hard once you know the concepts and how the different elements fit together. Well maybe brain surgery wasn’t such a good example.. but you get the idea. Just think of a CI server as a fancy scheduled task manager.. with a few extra bits & pieces bolted on.

One of my pet projects this year has been to completely automate the testing and build of a CFWheels application. This guide is a bare-bones, no-frills installation to get you up and running. Assuming you already have written your unit tests, you should be able to get this up and running in under an hour.

There are many ways to skin this cat, but for this example I have used Jenkins as the CI server, Git as the version control system and Ant to do the builds. All elements are open source, so you can get up and running for zero dollars. I’m sure there are arguments for or against these choices and it’s quite possible to substitute any of them with your preferred method. There are an extensive array of plugins available for different source control flavours and build ‘tools’ (Ant, Maven, Command Line). My installation is on a 64bit version of Windows 7 using default installation paths.

Ideally, you would have a dedicated CI server which has its own application server (ColdFusion/Railo) and database. This is not essential.. in fact, my working example was installed on my laptop.. the only drawback with having the installation on your development machine, it that you will have to deploy your app to your webroot using a different foldername. Eg: “{webroot}/wheelsapp” source code will have to be deployed to “{webroot}/wheelsorama” so it can be tested without affecting your source code.

If you wanted to make your configuration even simpler, you could remove the Git repository configuration, and just run the unit tests directly on your source code.. but this is not ideal. * Be VERY careful with taking this approach as the example build script deletes the destination app folder before each deployment.. and that would be bad mmkay.

The example below will enable you to test your application, your plugins, the core wheels framework or a combination of the three (see the build.xml file).

Software Installation

As a general rule, I have install all software in their default locations, as you will see in the Jenkins configuration steps.

1. Install Java JDK
2. Install Ant (I recommend Winant if you’re on Windows)
3. Install Git
4. Install Jenkins

Windows users may need to re-boot (surprise surprise!) if the Jenkins service is not running (Check your Windows Services to confirm), if the service still fails to start, you may need to execute this from a command prompt (Run as administrator) An inconvenient workaround!

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Jenkins
java -jar jenkins.war --ajp13Port=8010

5 .Visit your Jenkins server at http://localhost:8080 (or port 8010 if you had to start Jenkins via the command prompt)

You should have a brand-spanking new Jenkins server with which to unleash your automated wrath!

Configure Jenkins

1. Click “Manage Jenkins” > “Manage Plugins” > “Available” Tab
2. Find the Git Plugin and install it
3. Click the “Installed” tab and ensure you have the Git and Ant plugins. (Ant plugin should be bundled with the Jenkins install)

4. Return to the Jenkins dashboard and click “Manage Jenkins” > “Configure System”
5. In the JDK section, uncheck the “Install automatically” option and enter a name and the path to your JDK folder.

6. In the Git section, uncheck the “Install automatically” option and enter the path to your git executable

7. In the Ant section, click the “Add Ant” button, uncheck the “Install automatically” option and enter a name and the path to your Ant folder (or WinAnt if installed).

Create your Job

1. Return to the Jenkins dashboard and click “New Job”
2. Enter a job name and select “Build a free-style software project”

3. Under the “Source Code Management” section, check the “Git” option
4. Specify your app’s Git repository. If you are unfamiliar with this, it’s time to click here. This can be a local path, a network path or an ssh address.

5. Under the “Build Triggers” section, choose your preferred build interval. I like to have Jenkins poll my SCM (Git repository)  for changes every few minutes and build automatically if it finds any commits since the last build. */5 * * * * means every 5 minutes.. Click on the help icon for more info about intervals.

6. Under the build section, click the “Add Build Step” button and select the “Invoke Ant” option. Select the “Default Ant” configuration you added earlier. Since we will be using the default Ant convention (using build.xml), this is all that’s required.. but more about that shortly.

7. In the Post-build action section, click the “Add post-build action” button and select the “Publish JUnit test result report” option. Specify where your unit test result xml files will be written to. In this case build-report/test_result_*.xml, a folder called build-report with the files being called test_result_{something}.xml. Don’t worry too much about any warning messages here.. as the folders don’t exist yet.

Prepare your Wheels app 
There are a few steps here..

  • Initialise your wheels app as a Git repository
  • Download the JUnify Wheels plugin (the most dangerous plugin in the galaxy) which will return your unit tests in JUnit format (Ties in very nicely with Jenkins)
  • (Optional) Download the DBMigrate plugin for making automated database changes during the build
  • Now we need to tell Ant what to do to build and test your app. We will do this by creating 2 files in your app’s root folder. The 2 files are and build.xml. is for setting variables for use in build.xml. build.xml tells Ant what to do. * You will most likely need to modify the file to suit your environment

# for running start/stop bat files
# cf_bin=C:/ColdFusion9/bin
# your webroot.. where jenkins will deploy your code (Apache/IIS)
# web_root_dir=C:/inetpub/wwwroot
# where jenkins will git pull your code.. then deploy from
jenkins_workspace_dir=C:/Program Files (x86)/Jenkins/jobs/Wheels-O-Rama Deploy/workspace
# where jenkins will deploy to
# where unit test results will be written to
# your app's url
# the unit test base url


<project default="initialize">

	<!-- this is the default target (function) -->
	<target name="initialize">

		<!-- import properties -->
		<property file="" />

		<!-- stop railo service.. not always needed! -->
		<!-- <exec dir="${railo_bin}" executable="cmd" os="Windows NT">
			<arg line="shutdown.bat"/>
		</exec> -->

		<!-- once jenkins has pulled the code into its workspace, i want to delete the previous deployment, but keeping root folder -->
		<mkdir dir="${destination_app_dir}" />
		<delete includeemptydirs="true">
			<fileset dir="${destination_app_dir}" includes="**/*" />

		<!-- then get a fresh copy of the latest code into the webroot for testing -->
		<copy todir="${destination_app_dir}">
	    	<fileset dir="${jenkins_workspace_dir}"/>
	    	<!-- exclude any files you don't want/need -->
	    	<!-- <exclude name="**/.gitignore"/> -->
	    	<!-- <exclude name="**/*.php"/> -->
	    	<!-- <exclude name="**/*.asp"/> -->

		<!-- make a folder in the workspace to keep my build reports -->
		<mkdir dir="${build_report_dir}" />

		<!-- start railo service -->
		<!-- <exec dir="${railo_bin}" executable="cmd" os="Windows NT">
			<arg line="startup.bat"/>
		</exec> -->

		<!-- migrate database using a call to the dbmigrate plugin url -->
		<!-- <get src="${app_root_url}?controller=wheels&amp;action=wheels&amp;view=plugins&amp;name=dbmigrate&amp;password=yourpassword&amp;migrateToVersion=999999999" dest="${build_report_dir}\dbmigrate_result.html" /> -->

		<!-- make a get request to your unit test url, writing the result to a file. Jenkins will use it to determine the success of your build
			== possible type param values ==
			# type=app		: runs the tests in /myapp/tests
			# type={myplugin}	: runs the tests in /myapp/plugins/{myplugin}/tests
			# type=core		: runs the tests in /myapp/wheels/tests
		<get src="${unit_test_url}type=app" dest="${build_report_dir}\test_result_app.xml" />
		<!-- <get src="${unit_test_url}type=myplugin" dest="${build_report_dir}\test_result_myplugin.xml" /> -->
		<!-- <get src="${unit_test_url}type=core" dest="${build_report_dir}\test_result_core.xml" /> -->



Unit Tests

This is the final piece of the puzzle. The Wheels team have done a great job documenting unit testing your app using the Wheels test framework, and there is a post by someone about unit testing your plugins.. So get on it.

Build your app

Now that you are all configured and unit tests written.. its time to build! Click on the “Wheels-O-Rama Deploy” job then in the left menu click “Build Now”. You should see a progress bar appear under the menu.. it should either return a blue (good) or red (bad) icon. If you mouseover the build link and click the “Console Output” link you will see the output that was produced by Jenkins & Ant. You can watch the console output in real time by clicking the link whilst the build is in progress. If the build fails, this is where you will find the clues to its resolution.

Umm.. so WTF is actually happening?

I’m glad you asked..

  • Jenkins polls your Git repository looking for commits
  • When a commit it found, it will pull your source code into its workspace
  • Jenkins will use Ant to run your build.xml file which will…
    • Delete the previous code deployment from your webroot
    • Copy the latest source code from Jenkins workspace into your webroot
    • Call your unit tests via a URL and write the results to the Jenkins workspace
  • Jenkins will analyse the unit test results
  • Jenkins will report whether the build passed or failed

Where to from here?

This post is really just a minimal working example of automated testing. Here are a few ideas to play around with:

  • Setup a post build action to alert you of build failures
  • Break the existing job into separate “Deploy” and “Test” jobs (using a “Post Build Action” to kick off the Test job)
  • Build and test with different CFML engines, CFWheels framework versions and database engines for wide compatibility
  • Use the dbmigrate plugin to automatically make database changes upon building (See build.xml example)
  • Create another job that uses Ant to FTP your successful build to your production server
  • Use Selenium to do automated functional browser testing
  • Push your successful build to GitHub
  • Extending Jenkins further with the smorgasbord of plugins. The Chuck Norris plugin is a favourite of mine!

Feel free to comment regarding your experiences using this guide.. Thanks for reading!

JUnify Plugin for CFWheels

Make the CFWheels test framework return jUnit XML

JUnify will run your CFWheels unit tests, then return the results in jUnit formatted XML. Use it for automated testing with your Continuous Integration server.

Following the road to jUnit Glory

  • Download and install the JUnify plugin from CFWheels or GitHub
  • Create a JUnifyController.cfc controller that calls the JUnify() function*
  • Write some unit tests for your app or plugin
  • Make a call to your JUnify url

* Controller filename and action names are unimportant


<cfcomponent extends="Controller">
	<cffunction name="index">
		<cfset JUnify(params)>

Your JUnify URL

Pay particular attention to the type parameter.
– type=app will run tests for your application
– type=myplugin will run tests for your plugin
– type=core will run tests for the CFWheels framework itself

Props to Rocketboots for their RocketUnit test framework

CFWheels Plugins and My Unit Testing Adventures!

Seeing as unit testing your CFWheels plugins has yet to be thoroughly documented, I thought I would share my experiences with writing a unit test suite for my jQuack plugin. Here is my take on writing well organised unit tests, I am by no means an expert. In fact before embarking on this project, I was a total unit test noob, but I learned valuable lessons from trial, error and much advice from Tony Petruzzi.

Unit tests are a set of repeatable tests that determine if your code meets its requirements. In a way, they also document your plugin’s behaviour as the tests themselves describe its requirements. Unit tests encourage you to write re-useable, modular code and are invaluable for checking that your plugin still function as designed when:

  • A new version of CFWheels is released
  • Testing across CFML engines
  • Expanding or refactoring your plugin

For more information on developing plugins for CFWheels, go here.. I will use my jQuack plugin as the basis for my examples, your plugins will of course need different types of tests.. but that’s why you get paid the big bucks!

But enough jibber jabber.. Let’s get testing fool!

1. Create a folder called “tests” in your plugin’s folder (eg /plugins/jquack/tests).
This is where your tests code, and any assets required for the tests will reside. This assets folder can (and should) mimic your application folder structure, but only create the folders you use in your tests (see the next step for how to use them). For jQuack, I needed an isolated bunch of assets (files, folders & variables) that I could butcher with my tests without affecting my actual application.

2. Create a Base.cfc in the tests folder and be sure to extend the wheels Test component.
This is not required, but I would consider it good practice and will make your test suite scalable. This cfc will contain tasks that are common to all of your tests, primarily for setup and teardown, but it may also contain helper functions that are used by your tests. This particular implementation of the setup and teardown methods are VERY important. At the start of each test, the setup method will be called, which will copy the existing application scope and massage it for this test. The test will then run and the teardown method will revert the application scope back to its original state. NOTE: The setup and teardown happens before and after EVERY test.. not just before and after the request. This isolated assets environment was probably the single most important concept for me, once I got this working, writing the actual tests was a breeze!

<cfcomponent extends="wheelsMapping.Test">

	<cffunction name="setup">
		<!--- save the orginal environment --->
		<cfset loc.orgApp = Duplicate(application) />
		<!--- path to our plugins assets folder where we will store our components and files --->
		<cfset loc.assetsPath = "plugins/JQuack/tests/assets" />
		<!--- repoint the lookup paths wheels uses to our assets directories --->
		<cfset application.wheels.controllerPath = "#loc.assetsPath#/controllers" />
		<cfset application.wheels.pluginPath = "#loc.assetsPath#/plugins">
		<cfset application.wheels.javascriptPath = "#loc.assetsPath#/javascripts" />
		<!--- we're always going to need a controller for our test so we'll just create one --->
		<cfset params = {controller="foo", action="bar"} />
		<cfset JQuackController = controller("jquack", params) />
	<cffunction name="teardown">
		<!--- recopy the original environment back after each test --->
		<cfset application = loc.orgApp />

3. Create your unit tests cfc
Be sure to prefix the file with “Test” or it will be skipped. Also make sure to extend your Base.cfc AND call super.setup() and super.teardown() in this cfc. I like to number my tests so they run in the order specified. I also like to give my tests descriptive names. Don’t be afraid to break your tests up into separate packages. I have split mine up into TestData.cfc, TestMarkup.cfc and TestScaffold.cfc. I like to test simple variable names against each other (a eq b) rather than have my assert() methods all messy… see tests 04 and 05.


<cfcomponent extends="Base">

	<!--- call the setup & teardown from Base.cfc --->
	<cffunction name="setup">
		<cfset super.setup()>
	<cffunction name="teardown">
		<cfset super.teardown()>
	<!--- make sure setup & teardown work --->
	<cffunction name="test_00_setup_and_teardown">
		<cfset assert('true') />

	<!--- no need for me to comment what this does.. the function name says it all --->
	<cffunction name="test_01_$renderMarkup_returns_js_markup">
		<cfset file = "test_01.js" />
		<cfset a = JQuackController.$renderMarkup(file) />
		<cfset b = $JSTag(file) />
		<cfset assert('a eq b') />

	<!--- same here --->
	<cffunction name="test_02_$renderMarkup_prevents_duplicate_rendering">
		<cfset a = JQuackController.$renderMarkup("test_03.js") />
		<cfset b = JQuackController.$renderMarkup("test_03.js") />
		<cfset assert('Len(b) eq 0', 'b') />

	<!--- and here --->
	<cffunction name="test_03_core_method_default_returns_correct_markup">
		<cfset a = JQuackController.JQuackCore() />
		<cfset b = $JSTag("#JQuackController.$JQueryDirectoryURL()##loc.config.coreFileName#") />
		<cfset assert('a eq b') />
	<!--- messy --->
	<cffunction name="test_04_messy_example">
		<cfset assert('JQuackController.JQuackCore() eq $JSTag("#JQuackController.$JQueryDirectoryURL()##loc.config.coreFileName#")') />
	<!--- sexy --->
	<cffunction name="test_05_sexy_example">
		<cfset a = JQuackController.JQuackCore() />
		<cfset b = $JSTag("#JQuackController.$JQueryDirectoryURL()##loc.config.coreFileName#") />
		<cfset assert('a eq b') />

	<!--- more tests go here --->

	<!--- private helper functions keep things DRY --->	
	<cffunction name="$JSTag" access="private">
		<cfargument name="file" type="string" required="true" />
		<cfreturn '<script type="text/javascript" src="#arguments.file#"></script>' />


The above is a snippet only for demo purposes.. the full test suite is available using the links below.
Once you have written your tests, you should run them using the ‘Run Tests’ link next to the name of your plugin in the CFWheels debug area.

4. Gotchas
In order to test any private methods in your plugin, they will need to be made public.. I prefix my “private” (but public) methods with a $ as per the CFWheels framework convention.

<cffunction name="$CRLF" returntype="string" access="public">
	<cfreturn Chr(13) & Chr(10) />

This plugin uses the mixin=“controller” attribute, I’ve not yet built a plugin with any other value.

These 2 settings are pretty handy..

<!--- In config/design/settings.cfm --->
<cfset set(overwritePlugins=false)>
<cfset set(deletePluginDirectories=false)>

The JQuack plugin and its test suite is available for browsing or download from GitHub or from the CFWheels plugins directory.

Some handy links :
CFWheels Testing Framework
Writing Great Unit Tests
Creating CFWheels Plugins

Please comment if there are any parts that are unclear and I will try to clarify.