Friday, December 18, 2009

Rails: seeds.rb and rake db:test:prepare

Rails has a new feature that allows you to put "seed" data into db/seeds.rb. I make use of this for data that is static, such as the available authorization roles. I also make use of Factory Girl for test data. I consider the two things to be very different. Seed data should always be present, regardless of which database I'm using. My Factory Girl data is only for tests.

I noticed that lib/tasks/cucumber.rake now requires db:test:prepare:
Cucumber::Rake::Task.new({:ok => 'db:test:prepare'}, 'Run features that should pass') do |t|
This broke many of my tests because it wiped out my seed data. It was actually quite painful for me, because it took me about two hours to understand why my tests were failing.

Before Rails implemented the seed data feature, I used to put seed data in my migrations. Yeah, I know--naughty. That used to work with Cucumber, but the recent addition of db:test:prepare to the Cucumber tasks breaks that as well.

I tried to hack the Cucumber tasks to also require db:seed, but I was met with another surprise. When it ran the seed file, the RAILS_ENV was set to development! I would have expected test or cucumber, but definitely not development.

I brought the issue up on the Cucumber mailing list, so hopefully they'll set me or the code straight. In my own code, I decided to update the Cucumber tasks to not use rake db:test:prepare.

rake db:test:prepare has always given me problems since schema.rb doesn't accurately represent everything I put in my migrations. For instance, sometimes I have to make use of custom MySQL features using custom SQL. By the way, I still like foreigner for foreign key constraints.

7 comments:

bleonard said...

make a file called local.rb in your /features/support directory

put this in it...

seed_file = File.join(Rails.root, "db", "seeds.rb")
load(seed_file)

This will let you keep the seed data in that one spot and still load it into cuke.

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Maybe Cucumber should do that by default now that Rails has this new seeds feature.

nEo.X said...

Had a similar situation. I came with two options:

Either drop the following code in any .rb file inside 'features/support/' directory

require "#{Rails.root}/db/seeds.rb"

(this will load seed data into test env)


OR


Create the following task in cucumber.rake (inside :cucumber namespace)


task :load_seed_data => :environment do
Rake::Task["db:seed"].invoke
end

and modify the existing tasks to include this task;
such as :

Cucumber::Rake::Task.new({:ok => 'db:test:prepare','cucumber:load_seed_data'}


Hope that helps someone.

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Thanks, nEo.X.

Nitram said...

I have been trying for some time now to get this to work. I tried all 3 "solutions" as indicated by bleonard and nEo.X and still no luck. Is the additional clarification?

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Are you using the newest version of Rails? What exactly is the problem? Does "rake db:seed" exist? Are you trying to get it to run before your tests or something?

Dennis Burton said...

thanks for this post. I was having trouble tracking this behavior down