Code runs in development but not in test

I have some model code that runs fine in development environment but
fails in the test environment.

In test, the code always fails at the same point with:

Mysql::Error: Duplicate entry ‘5-17’ for key ‘PRIMARY’: INSERT INTO
accessibilities_namespaces (accessibility_id, namespace_id)
VALUES (17, 5) [0m

accessibilities_namespaces is a join table for HABTM relationships.

My logging suggests that ActiveRecord tries to insert the same record
twice when run in test (but only in test!) which would explain the
above error. I am sure that the code does not try to create the same
record twice and in any case it runs fine in development mode.

I have tried running the code using ‘script/console test’ and it fails
here also. Though it does not fail when run in ‘script/console

I suspect the problem does not lie with MySQL or ActiveRecord, but
something to do with the differences between running in development vs

Any thoughts appreciated. I’m baffled by this.

Is it failing while running one of your tests (possibly an error in the
test) or while preparing for the test (possibly a problem with your


2009/5/8 Lee [email protected]

Lee -

On 8-May-09, at 9:53 AM, Colin L. wrote:

Is it failing while running one of your tests (possibly an error in
the test) or while preparing for the test (possibly a problem with
your fixtures)?


to build on Colin’s comment about your fixtures, if you’re relying on
the testing framework to wrap your tests in transactions, the database
must support them - mysql myisam database tables do not -

ie. if you’re using myisam, your tables will not be cleaned out after
every test - and you’d see this behavior


Lee is using InnoDB.


Initially it was failing when running the code from within a Cucumber
step definition. In this step definition, I am implementing a Given
step (in part) by calling a method of a model. This method is throwing
the error. In summary, the step definition is as follows:

Given … do
user = User.create!(…)
member=Member.add_member_for_user(user) <----! error thrown by this


Having experienced the error within Cucumber, I then entered the same
code into ‘script/console test’ i.e.

member=Member.add_member_for_user etc…

The code raised an error again.

If however I run the code in development or by using the development
console or as a standalone Ruby program which makes use of
ActiveRecord and my models, it runs fine.

The actual error that I receive when run in ‘console test’ is a
‘Duplicate key’ error when trying to insert into one of the join
(HABTM) tables. I stress this error is not raised when run in ‘console
development’ so I know that my code is not trying to insert duplicate
rows in this table.

The underlying MySQL table for this join table has a composite PRIMARY
KEY defined for the two foreign keys that make up the HABTM

If I remove the PRIMARY KEY from the table definition, the code runs
fine in ‘console test’.

What does ‘console test’ do differently to ‘console development’ to
cause this problem?

When I remove the primary key from the join table the code runs
without error using console test but does create two records for each
pair of keys in the join table. The same code does not however create
pairs of records when run using console development. So something
strange is happening in the Rails test environment!

My googling suggests it’s a bad idea to have composite primary keys on
join tables.

The error would suggest there is already a record with that composite
key in
the database. Have you tried looking at the db just before the error
(or after it for that matter) to see if there is already such a record?

2009/5/9 Lee [email protected]