Testing 3rd-party code

This article explains one way to add automatic testing to UI plugins.


  • Mocha - the fun, simple, flexible JS testing framework
  • Sinon.JS - Standalone test spies, stubs and mocks for JavaScript.
  • Karma Runner - test runner
  • Chai.js - Assertion framework

using karma-ox-ui

The shared grunt configuration ships with most of the parts pre-configured. Still, a little setup is needed to enable automatic testing for an external app. Since we use many standard libraries, this approach can be extended as you wish.


Make sure, karma executable is installed:

 npm install -g karma-cli

Install a few more testing libraries locally:

 npm install --save-dev karma-mocha karma-chai karma-sinon karma-ox-ui karma-phantomjs-launcher

After that, in your plugin directory generate a new karma.conf.js:

 jb@wiggum ~/code/appsuite/ox_pgp_mail (git)-[ding] % karma init
 Which testing framework do you want to use ?
 Press tab to list possible options. Enter to move to the next question.
 > mocha                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 Do you want to use Require.js ?
 This will add Require.js plugin.
 Press tab to list possible options. Enter to move to the next question.
 > no                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 Do you want to capture any browsers automatically ?
 Press tab to list possible options. Enter empty string to move to the next question.
 > PhantomJS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
 What is the location of your source and test files ?
 You can use glob patterns, eg. "js/*.js" or "test/**/*Spec.js".
 Enter empty string to move to the next question.
 Should any of the files included by the previous patterns be excluded ?
 You can use glob patterns, eg. "**/*.swp".
 Enter empty string to move to the next question.
 Do you want Karma to watch all the files and run the tests on change ?
 Press tab to list possible options.
 > no                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 Config file generated at "/home/jb/code/appsuite/ox_pgp_mail/karma.conf.js".

Edit the generated file and adjust the following configuration variables:

basePath: 'build/',
frameworks: ['ox-ui', 'sinon', 'mocha', 'chai'],
files: [
    {pattern: 'apps/**/*.js', included: false},
    {pattern: 'spec/**/*_spec.js', included: false}

Generate a main loader script to start the test after App Suite Core UI has been booted. The file should be put in `spec/test-main.js`:

var allTestFiles = [];
var TEST_REGEXP = /_spec\.js$/i;

var pathToModule = function(path) {
  return path;
//   return path.replace(/^\/base\//, '').replace(/\.js$/, '');

Object.keys(window.__karma__.files).forEach(function(file) {
  if (TEST_REGEXP.test(file)) {
    // Normalize paths to RequireJS module names.

require(['io.ox/core/extPatterns/stage'], function (Stage) {

    'use strict';


        new Stage('io.ox/core/stages', {
            id: 'run_tests',
            index: 99999,
            run: function (baton) {
                    // Karma serves files from '/base/apps'
                    baseUrl: '/base/apps',

                    // ask Require.js to load these files (all our tests)
                    deps: allTestFiles,

                    // start test run, once Require.js is done
                    callback: window.__karma__.start

Dealing with JSHINT

JSHINT is notoriously picky. And rightly so. But we still need to teach it to ignore our test frameworks' peculiarities. Extend the global part of your .jshintrc by these switches:

  "globals": {
       "assert": false,
       "describe": false,
       "it": false,
       "beforeEach": false,
       "afterEach": false,
       "expect": false,
       "waitsFor": false,
       "runs": false,
       "chai": false,
       "sinon": false,
       "spyOn": false,
       "xit": false,
       "xdescribe": false,
       "jasmine": false

Running the tests

There are multiple targets provided in shared grunt configuration.

The grunt/local.conf.json needs to be configured and point to an existing build of the core UI (coreDir setting). When testing on a machine with the core UI installed from distribution packages, also the German translations need to be installed to run the tests. After that, coreDir can be set to /opt/open-xchange/appsuite/.

The recommended way to start testing is to run:

 grunt dev

This will start a connect server, the karma test server and a watcher for changes. Optionally, it is possible to connect multiple browsers to the host running the karma server (port 9876). Tests will run in those browsers, too. You can trigger a test run manually by running:

 grunt testrun

in another terminal. This will be done automatically by the grunt watch task, after any source file of your project has been changed.