Laravel extension for Behat

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1.0.1 2016-04-11 13:01 UTC

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Last update: 2024-06-04 21:25:26 UTC


This package exists only to add the ability to set a custom path to the Laravel bootstrap file.

Please note, this is just a temporary package that will last till the custom path will be implemented into the original one.

All credits go to Jeffrey Way (author) and Kyle Ferguson (who implemented the custom path)

This extension offers an incredibly simple (and fast) way to begin testing and driving your Laravel applications with Behat. Some benefits include:

  • Fast: It doesn't depend on anything like Goutte, so it offers a super-fast way to test your UI. You don't even need to setup a host to run your tests.
  • Refresh: Laravel is automatically rebooted after each scenario (so nothing like user sessions will be persisted).
  • Environments: Specifying custom environment files (like the .env one) for different app environments is a little tricky in Laravel 5. This extension handles that for you automatically. By default, it'll look for a .env.behat file in your project root.
  • Access Laravel: You instantly have access to Laravel (things like facades and such) from your FeatureContext file.
  • Workflow: A number of useful traits are available, which will speed up your workflow.

To get started, you only need to follow a few steps:

Prefer a video walk-through? See this lesson from Laracasts.

1. Install Dependencies

As always, we need to pull in some dependencies through Composer.

composer require behat/behat behat/mink behat/mink-extension laracasts/behat-laravel-extension --dev

This will give us access to Behat, Mink, and, of course, the Laravel extension.

2. Create the Behat.yml Configuration File

Next, within your project root, create a behat.yml file, and add:

            # env_path: .env.behat
            # bootstrap_path: bootstrap/app.php
            default_session: laravel
            laravel: ~

Here, is where we reference the Laravel extension, and tell Behat to use it as our default session. You may pass an optional parameter, env_path (currently commented out above) to specify the name of the environment file that should be referenced from your tests. By default, it'll look for a .env.behat file.

This file should, like the standard .env file in your project root, contain any special environment variables for your tests (such as a special acceptance test-specific database).

You may also specify a custom path to Laravel's bootstrap_path if it's not in the default location.

3. Write Some Features


You're all set to go! Start writing some features. If you want a quick dummy example to get you started, refer to this project.

Note: if you want to leverage some of the Mink helpers in your FeatureContext file, then be sure to extend Behat\MinkExtension\Context\MinkContext.

Feature Context Traits

As a convenience, this package also includes a number of traits to streamline common tasks, such as migrating your database, or using database transactions, or even testing mail.


Often, you'll find yourself in situations where you want to migrate your test database before a scenario. Easy! Just pull in the Laracasts\Behat\Context\Migrator trait into your FeatureContext, like so:

// ...

use Laracasts\Behat\Context\Migrator;

class FeatureContext extends MinkContext implements Context, SnippetAcceptingContext
    use Migrator;


That's it! The trait will do the rest. Before each scenario runs, if your database needs to be migrated, it will be!

Database Transactions

On the other hand, you might prefer to run all of your tests through database transactions. You'll get a nice speed boost out of the deal, as your data will never actually be saved to the database. To take advantage of this, once again, pull in the Laracasts\Behat\Context\DatabaseTransactions trait, like so:

// ...

use Laracasts\Behat\Context\DatabaseTransactions;

class FeatureContext extends MinkContext implements Context, SnippetAcceptingContext
    use DatabaseTransactions;


Once you pull in this trait, before each scenario runs, it'll begin a new transaction. And when the scenario completes, we'll roll it back for you.

Service: MailTrap

Especially when functional testing, it can be beneficial to test your mail against a real test server (rather than mocking it out, and hoping that things were formatted correctly). If you're a fan of MailTrap (highly recommended), this extension can help you!

If you haven't already, create a quick account (free) and inbox at MailTrap.io. Next, update either your config/mail.php to use the settings that MailTrap provides you, or modify your .env.behat variables to reference them. Once you've configured your app to use MailTrap, the only other thing we need is your MailTrap API key, and the default inbox id that we should use. Makes these available in config/services.php. Here's an example:

'mailtrap' => [
    'secret' => 'YOUR API KEY',
    'default_inbox' => 'ID OF THE MAILTRAP INBOX YOU CREATED'

That should do it! Now, just pull in the trait, and you're ready to go! Let me show you:


// ...

use Laracasts\Behat\Context\Services\MailTrap;
use PHPUnit_Framework_Assert as PHPUnit;

class DmcaContext extends MinkContext implements SnippetAcceptingContext
    use MailTrap;

     * @Then an email should be sent to YouTube
    public function anEmailShouldBeSentToYoutube()
        $lastEmail = $this->fetchInbox()[0];
        $stub = file_get_contents(__DIR__ . '/../stubs/dmca-complete.txt');

        PHPUnit::assertEquals('DMCA Notice', $lastEmail['subject']);
        PHPUnit::assertContains($stub, $lastEmail['text_body']);


Notice that call to fetchInbox()? That will send an API request to MailTrap, which will return to you an array of all the messages/emails in your inbox. As such, if you want to write some assertions against the most recently received email in your MailTrap inbox, you can do:

$lastEmail = $this->fetchInbox()[0];

If working along, you can dump that variable to see all of the various fields that you may write assertions against. In the example above, we're ensuring that the subject was set correctly, and the body of the email matches a stub that we've created.

Even better, after each scenario completes, we'll go ahead and empty out your MailTrap inbox for convenience.