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Web2py Testing

Web2py Testing

Web2py is an open-source, full-stack Python framework. It focuses on the rapid development of web applications that need to be scalable, fast, and secure. Web2py follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern and includes a web server, a SQL database, an administrative interface, and a powerful API for data manipulation. It supports multiple database backends including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MongoDB. Web2py allows developers to quickly prototype, develop, and deploy web applications with minimal code and configuration.

Applications built using Web2py can be tested in the following ways:

Unit Testing

Testing parts of the code like individual functions and their outputs is unit testing. This helps ensure that at a granular level, each function is behaving as expected. When writing unit tests, you'd want to mock parts involving interactions with other functions, components, and APIs to keep your tests lightweight and independent of dependencies. Let's take a look at some tools that can be used to write tests for Web2py applications.

Using Doctest

Doctest is a testing framework in Python that tests code snippets in the documentation strings (docstrings) of a module, function or method. It is built into the Python standard library and is useful for testing small examples of usage in a module's documentation. The idea behind Doctest is that documentation should always be correct, and Doctests provide a way to test that the examples given in the documentation actually work as expected. Doctests are written inside triple quotes ('''...''' or """...""") in the docstring of the function, and are executed automatically by the Doctest module when it is run or the Python command is used.

Here is an example of a test where Doctest tests the index() controller function in a Web2py application. The test sets the name variable in the request.vars object to 'Max' and then calls the index() function. The test then asserts that the returned dictionary has a key-value pair with 'name': 'Max'.
def index():

This is a docstring. The following 3 lines are a doctest:
>>> request.vars.name='Max'
>>> index()
{'name': 'Max'}
return dict(name=request.vars.name)

Using Unittest

Unittest is the standard library offered by Python for testing Python code. It provides a set of tools and conventions for writing and running unit tests in Python, including support for test discovery, test fixtures, and a rich set of assertion methods. You can use it to test your Web2py application. Here is an example of a unit test meant to verify that the function correctly returns an empty list when there are no active games in the database.
import unittest
from gluon.globals import Request

 execfile("applications/api/controllers/10.py", globals())

 db(db.game.id>0).delete()  # Clear the database

 class TestListActiveGames(unittest.TestCase):
  def setUp(self):
    request = Request()  # Use a clean Request object

  def testListActiveGames(self):
    # Set variables for the test function
    request.post_vars["game_id"] = 1
    request.post_vars["username"] = "spiffytech"  
    resp = list_active_games()
    self.assertEquals(0, len(resp["games"]))

 suite = unittest.TestSuite()
Here is another example of a unit test for a contact() function in the default.py controller of a web2py application. The setUp() method sets up the necessary environment for the test, such as creating a request object and executing the default.py controller in a separate environment. The testContactWithInvalidEmail() method tests the contact() function with a POST request and an invalid email address. It then checks if the form validation resulted in an error related to the email field, and if the error message is 'invalid email!'. The test uses the assertTrue() and assertEqual() methods from the unittest module to check if the expected conditions are met.
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

import sys
import os

web2py_path = '../../..'

import unittest
from gluon.globals import Request, Response, Session
from gluon.shell import exec_environment
from gluon.storage import Storage

class TestDefaultController(unittest.TestCase):

  def setUp(self):
    self.request = Request()
    self.controller = exec_environment('applications/myapp/controllers/default.py', request=self.request)
    self.controller.response.view = 'unittest.html' # must specify a view. can be specified in the test method.

  def testContactWithInvalidEmail(self):
    self.request.env.request_method = 'POST'
    self.request.vars = Storage(email='bad_address')
    form = self.controller.response._vars['form']
    self.assertTrue(form.errors) # do we have any errors?
    self.assertTrue(form.errors.has_key('email'))  # does email have an error?
    self.assertEqual(form.errors['email'], 'invalid email!') # do we have an invalid email error?

if __name__ == '__main__':

Using gluon.globals.Request object

It is a global object that provides access to the current request object in a web application. By importing gluon.globals.Request in a controller or module, you can access the current request object without having to pass it around as a function argument. The Request object contains information such as the request method (GET, POST, etc.), headers, parameters, and session data.

Using Pytest

Pytest is a popular third-party testing framework in Python that supports writing and running test cases. Not just that, it is easy to learn and provides many features for testing, including fixtures, parameterization, and test discovery. Here is an example of a test that checks whether the people index page exists by making a request to the index() function of the people controller using a simulated web2py environment. The test then renders the corresponding view and checks that the resulting HTML string contains a specific text string.
def test_index_exists(web2py):

Test that the people index page exists.

# Run the people controller's index() function with a web2py instance
# as input, and retrieve the result dictionary.
result = web2py.run('people', 'index', web2py)

# Render the people/index.html view with the result dictionary,
# and retrieve the HTML string.
html = web2py.response.render('people/index.html', result)

# Assert that the HTML string contains a specific text string.
assert "Hi. I'm the people index" in html

Using Nose

Nose is a test runner for Python that extends the unittest module, allowing for more automation and simplicity when writing and running tests. It can be used for testing web2py applications, as it is able to discover and execute tests written using Unittest, Doctest, and other testing frameworks. Nose can be easily installed via pip and integrated into a web2py project's testing workflow. However, it is worth noting that the latest version of Nose which was released in 2014 is no longer actively maintained, so you may want to consider using a more recent and actively maintained testing framework such as Pytest or Unittest in your web2py projects.

Integration Testing

With integration testing, you can check instances where different components are meant to depend on each other to give an output. This could involve integrations between different functions, helpers, APIs, controllers, UI components, network systems or databases. These kinds of tests are lighter than end-to-end tests and should be executable without having to boot up the entire system.

Like unit testing, you can utilize different tools like Unittest, Pytest, Doctest, and Nose to write integration tests. All that changes here is the focus of testing, that is, to check integrations rather than solo functions. Along with these, you can use some other tools like.

Using TestClient

The TestClient class is a web2py-specific class that allows you to simulate requests to your web application. You can use TestClient to write tests that verify the behavior of your web application.

The below test case checks whether a user can successfully sign up, log in, and access a protected page. The test creates a new instance of the application, initializes an SQLite database, and sets up authentication using the Auth tool provided by web2py. It then uses the TestClient helper class to simulate a user signing up, logging in, and accessing a protected page. Finally, it checks that the response status from the protected page is 200 OK, indicating that the user was successfully authenticated and authorized to access the page.
from gluon import *
from gluon.globals import Request, Response, Session
from gluon.tools import Auth
from gluon.contrib.test_helpers import TestClient

def test_signup():

    app = request.env.app
    db = DAL('sqlite:memory')
    auth = Auth(globals(), db)
    client = TestClient(app)

    # Create a user
    auth.register(username='testuser', password='password')
    # Login as the user
    client.post('/user/login', data=dict(username='testuser', password='password'))
    # Make a request to a protected page
    response = client.get('/protected')
    # Check that the user is authorized to access the page
    assert response.status == '200 OK'

Using WebTest

WebTest is a library that allows you to simulate HTTP requests and responses, which makes it a good choice for testing web applications. You can import it into your Web2py project and use it to write tests.

End-to-End Testing

End-to-end testing focuses on testing the system from the end user's perspective. This includes workflows that are likely to be executed by users like placing an order for a product through an e-commerce website. These types of tests exercise the entire system, thus testing multiple modules at once. Let's take a look at tools that can help you do this.

  • TestClient or WebTest
  • PyAutoGUI
  • Selenium
  • testRigor

Using TestClient or WebTest

You can use the TestClient and WebTest libraries as well to write end-to-end test cases. You need to import the necessary libraries first, set up a TestClient or WebTest instance and then write the test case to simulate user behavior.

Using PyAutoGUI

PyAutoGUI is a cross-platform GUI automation Python module. It can programmatically control the mouse and keyboard on a computer and can take screenshots, manipulate images, and automate repetitive tasks. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It can be used for various purposes including end-to-end testing, but it is not limited to it. Here is a simple example of a test case for interacting with an e-commerce website using PyAutoGUI.
import pyautogui
import time

# Launch the browser and navigate to the e-commerce website

# Wait for the website to load and check if the title is correct
assert pyautogui.locateOnScreen('example_title.png') is not None

# Search for a product and add it to the cart

# Check if the product is added to the cart
assert pyautogui.locateOnScreen('cart_item.png') is not None

# Proceed to checkout

# Check if the order is successful
assert pyautogui.locateOnScreen('order_success.png') is not None

Using Selenium

Selenium is a popular testing tool for web applications that allows you to automate browser interactions. You can use Selenium with Web2py to write end-to-end tests that simulate user behavior and verify that your web application is functioning correctly.

In the below example, we're using Selenium's Python bindings to automate the browser and test the functionality of an e-commerce website built with Web2py. The setUp() method is called before each test and it sets up the WebDriver to use the Chrome browser. The test_search_and_add_to_cart() method navigates to the website, searches for a product, clicks on the first product, adds it to the cart, and then checks if the product was added to the cart by checking the text of the cart link. Finally, the tearDown() method is called after each test and it quits the WebDriver to close the browser.
from selenium import webdriver
import unittest

class TestEcommerceSite(unittest.TestCase):

  def setUp(self):
    self.driver = webdriver.Chrome()
  def test_search_and_add_to_cart(self):

    # Navigate to the e-commerce website
    # Search for a product
    search_bar = self.driver.find_element_by_id("search_bar")
    # Click on the first product
    product_link = self.driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".product_list li:first-child a")
    # Add the product to cart
    add_to_cart_button = self.driver.find_element_by_id("add_to_cart_button")
    # Check if the product was added to cart
    cart_link = self.driver.find_element_by_css_selector("#header .cart_link")
    self.assertIn("1", cart_link.text)
  def tearDown(self):
if __name__ == '__main__':

Using testRigor

So far we have seen tools that rely heavily on the tester's ability to write code, and some of them aren't entirely from an end user's point of view. How about a tool that can let you write end-to-end test cases in plain English? With testRigor this is possible. This no-code, AI-based tool offers a powerful platform for testers to write and execute test cases. Since the test cases are written in plain English, it is easy to understand and promotes collaboration among different team members like developers, testers and business analysts.

With testRigor, you can write test cases for mobile, web and desktop applications. It allows for easy identification of UI elements using relative locations as opposed to having to mention XPaths. You can also perform visual testing, API testing, and audio testing. You can also test workflows that involve interacting with emails, SMS and text messages easily using their powerful commands. You can take a look at how easy it is to test emails over here. Being a cloud-based platform, you can easily scale your testing.

Below mentioned is an example of a testRigor test case. You can see how easy it is to write your test cases using this tool for any web application.
enter "Red monsoon boots" in "Search" 
enter enter
check that page contains "Red monsoon boots" below "Here are your results"
click by image from stored value "Red monsoon boots" with less than "10" % discrepancy
compare screen to stored value "Required boots"
scroll down until page contains "Add to Cart"
click "Add to Cart" to the right of "Add to Wishlist"
compare screen to stored value "Success message"
click "Cart" at the top of the page
click on "clear" to the right of "Red monsoon boots"
With testRigor, you can also do testing of table content with ease. Here is an example.
open url "https://testrigor.com/samples/table1/"
click on table "table table table-striped table-hover table-bordered tr-styled-table" at row containing "spk2" and column "Actions"
enter "John" into first table at row containing "Spock" and column "Additional Data"
You can also create data using regex like so:
generate from template "%$$$$$$$$$$", then enter into "User Name" and save as "username"

Feel free to take a peek into documentation to see what features testRigor supports.


Web2py provides several testing options to ensure the quality of your code. The above-mentioned testing options can help you catch errors early in the development process and make sure your web application is functioning correctly. By implementing a comprehensive testing strategy, you can ensure the quality and reliability of your web2py application.

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