Adventures with rails, cucumber, selenium, and a database

I have a rails 3.0 application with complicated logic and was finding
that
changes to fix a bug would introduce another bug elsewhere. I needed an
automatic regression test tool so I could quickly know if this happened.
I
am using cucumber for this. I know that I am not doing BDD or TDD, but
that is beside the point.

My initial set of scenarios was developed using capybara and seeding the
database with test fixtures. Although it mostly worked, there were
problems because it was not exercizing the javascript on my web page, so
I
switched to selenium. Now none of my scenarios worked. sqlite3 was
complaining about the database being locked because it can only handle
one
request at a time. I tried switching to a mysql test database, but then
the scenarios did not see the changes the application made to database.
After much googling, I found that both of these problems were because
selenium runs in a separate thread while capybara does not. The
suggested
solution for this was to change the database cleaner strategy from
transaction to truncate. After this change, most of the scenarios ran,
but
for those using the scenario outline, only the first case would pass.
The
following cases all found an empty database. Truncate was deleting all
the
database records after the first case and not restoring it. After more
googling I found I could set the database cleaner strategy to nil. Now
all
of my scenarios pass, but I have to be careful that no two scenarios use
the same database records because database changes are not cleared
between
scenarios. I also have been able to go back to using sqlite3.

Is there a better alternative?

I run the tests using:

$ bundle exec cucumber

It is my understanding that cucumber is built on top of rspec.

I am also using test/fixtures and not factory_girl. The reason is that
I
am rewriting a perl terminal interface tool as a web application. The
legacy database tables go back 10 years. The data for any scenario is
easily extracted from this database and converted into yaml. The
typical
scenario uses 50-100 rows from 10-30 tables. It would take forever to
write all this data as factory_girl ruby code.

It is very annoying that I had to resort to using the nil option for the
database cleaner, but as I explained, neither transaction nor truncate
works.

Without a single doubt, using factory_girl +database_cleaner gem. Are
you
using the test framework from rails? or Rspec?

here is a good episode http://railscasts.com/episodes/275-how-i-test
explaining how to integrate this. and probably ehre talks about database
cleaner https://gist.github.com/docwhat/1190475. try to look up yourself
some more information.

your tests should be as isolated as possible, so your next test shouldnt
depend on if the one before fails or passes and what does on the
database.

The issue with cucumber, selenium and database transactions is described
in:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7511520/database-cleaner-transaction-with-cucumber-rails
http://www.datatravels.com/technotes/2011/10/01/cucumber-capybara-with-selenium-and-truncated-fixt/

I also found suggested work-arounds at

http://pastie.org/1745020
http://blog.thefrontiergroup.com.au/2009/10/database-transactions-in-cucumber-breaking-selenium/

but these do not work for me.

So are you still using sqlite3 to run the tests? why didnt the tests see
the difference on the database when using MySQL?

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