Get efficient with seeding your database for tests in Laravel

2.0 2015-09-22 07:33 UTC

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Last update: 2024-05-11 14:51:51 UTC


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Integration tests in laravel are great, but the common way to maintain the database is a giant time sink of re-seeding and re-migrating for every single test.

This command and bootstrap file aims to remove the needless reseeding and migrating (since you're using transactions anyways, right?) for every test and instead gives your tests a "clean" migrated and seeded db.

Works with sqlite and any others supported by Eloquent.


Require this package in composer:

$ composer require socialengine/setup-test-db

After updating composer, add the ServiceProvider to the providers array in app/config/app.php.


Add a bootstrap/testing.php or copy from vendor/socialengine/setup-test-db/bootstrap/testing.php


// bootstrap/testing.php
$testEnv = (getenv('APP_ENV')) ? : 'testing';

passthru("php " . __DIR__ . "/../artisan db:seed-test --env={$testEnv}");

require __DIR__ . '/autoload.php';

Change your phpunit (or any other framework) bootstrap file from bootstrap/autoload.php to bootstrap/testing.php:

<phpunit backupGlobals="false"

Remove all the migration stuff from your TestCase.php

Finally, run your tests in 1/3 the time they used to.

You can also publish the config-file to change seeder class used and enable truncation.

$ php artisan config:publish socialengine/setup-test-db

Further reading and inspiration

Most of this is based on the work outlined by Chris Duell in his Speeding up PHP unit tests 15 times blog post:

An app I’m currently working on has less that 50% code coverage, and the tests took over 35 seconds to complete.

It was enough for me to no longer bother consistently running tests, which almost defeats the purpose of self testing code. Until I got fed up enough to spend the time on speeding up the tests, by fifteen times (and almost halving memory usage).