Toffee: Test Object Factory Fixtures

Toffee creates factories for your model fixtures:

from toffee import Fixture, Factory

product_factory = Factory(Product, id=Seq())

class MyFixture(Fixture):
    product_1 = product_factory(desc='cuddly toy')
    product_2 = product_factory(desc='toy tractor')
    user = Factory(User, username='fred')
    order = Factory(Order, user=user, products=[product_1, product_2])

def test_product_search():
    with MyFixture() as f:
      assert f.product_1 in search_products('toy')
      assert f.product_2 in search_products('toy')

Toffee is similar in scope to factory_boy. The differences that prompted me to write a new library are:

  • Toffee promotes working with on fixtures as groups of objects to be created and destroyed as a unit, rather than individual factories

  • Explicit support for setup/teardown of fixtures

Read the Toffee documentation to find out more, or visit the bitbucket repo.

Toffee is developed and maintained by Olly Cope.

Testing with Django

To create factory fixtures with Django’s ORM, import DjangoFactory, which knows how to create and delete Django model objects correctly.

from toffee import DjangoFactory as Factory
from myapp.models import Product

class MyFixture(Fixture):
    product_2 = Factory(Product, desc='toy tractor')

Creating Storm Fixtures

To use this with the Storm ORM, import StormFactory, which knows how to create and delete objects with Storm.

from toffee import StormFactory
from myapp.models import Product

from storm.database import create_database
from import Store

database = create_database('sqlite:')
Factory = StormFactory.configure(lamdba: Store(database))

class MyFixture(Fixture):
    product_2 = Factory(Product, desc='toy tractor')

Flushing and commiting

By default the StormFactory will call store.flush() at the end of setup, but will not commit. This ensures that database generated values are populated, (eg autoincrement ids) but the fixture data will not be persisted until you explicitly call store.commit().

To change this behavior, override factoryoptions in your fixture class.

class MyFixture(Fixture):
   factoryoptions = {'commit': True}

This will cause all instances of your fixture to commit their objects after construction.

If you want to vary factory options between test cases (eg if one test case requires the store to be commited, but you don’t want it to be the default) you can supply factory options as keyword arguments when calling Fixture.setup, eg:

self.f = MyFixture().setup(commit=True)

Or if you are using the context manager syntax you can supply factoryoptions in the fixture constructor, eg:

with MyFixture(factoryoptions={'commit': True}) as fixturedata:

Accessing Storm’s Store object

The store object is accessible via the factory’s mapper attribute. Use it to query existing objects in your fixtures:

F = StormFactory.configure(...)

class MyFixture(Fixture):
        product = F.mapper.find(Product).any()
        order = F(Order,, ...)

Note that mapper is a wrapper around the Store object that defers evaluation of any calls until the fixture objects are created. You cannot use mapper to access the store object outside of fixture definitions.

Creating SQLAlchemy Fixtures

SQLAlchemyFactory knows how to create and delete objects within SQLAlchemy.

To use SQLAlchemyFactory you need first to configure a Factory class:

Session = sessionmaker(...)
Factory = SQLAlchemyFactory.configure(Session)

After this you can use Factory to create fixture objects:

class fixture(Fixture):
    user = Factory(model.User, ...)

By default, SQLAlchemyFactory calls session.flush but not session.commit.

Change this behaviour by passing factory options to setup, eg:




Alternatively you can supply factory options in the fixture class:

class CommittingFixture(Fixture):
    factoryoptions = {'commit': True}

Accessing the SQLAlchemy session

The session object is accessible via the factory’s mapper attribute. Use it to query existing objects in your fixtures:

F = SQLAlchemyFactory.configure(...)

class MyFixture(Fixture):

        user = F.mapper.query(User).get(5)
        blog_post = F(BlogPost, author=user, ...)

Note that mapper is a wrapper that defers evaluation of any calls until the fixture objects are created. You cannot use mapper to access the session outside of fixture definitions.

Other ORMs

There is currently no support for other ORMs. Contributions are welcome!

Setup and teardown

Fixtures don’t create any objects until you explicitly set them up:

fixture = MyFixture()

Fixtures will destroy any objects they’ve created when you call teardown:


NB these methods are aliased to setUp and tearDown for consistency with python’s unittest library.

Call these from your test classes’ setup/teardown methods:

class UserFixture(Fixture):
    user = Factory(User, username='fred')
    profile = Factory(Profile, user=user, address='10 Downing Street')

class TestSuite:

    def setUp(self):
        self.fixtures = UserFixture()

    def tearDown(self):

    def test_wotsit(self):
        assert self.fixtures.user.username == 'fred'
        assert self.fixtures.user.get_profile().address == \
          '10 Downing Street'

You can also use fixtures as context managers, in which case setup and teardown will be called automatically when you enter/exit the block:

with UserFixture() as f:
    assert f.user.username == 'fred'
    assert f.profile.address == '10 Downing Street'

Using TestWithFixture

If you subclass toffee.TestWithFixture and declare a fixture or class_fixture attribute these will be automatically setup/torndown.

If you define fixture, it will be set up as part of the test class’s setUp method, and the resulting fixture instance will be available as self.f

If you define class_fixture, it will be set up as part of the test class’s setUp method, and the resulting fixture instance will be available as self.class_f and also self.f.

class TestFoo(toffee.TestWithFixture):

    class fixture(Fixture):
        user = Factory(User, username='fred')

    def test_it_has_the_expected_name(self):
        assert self.f.user.username == 'fred'

Defining factories

The simplest approach is to create a new Factory for every object required:

class MyFixture(Fixture):
    fred = Factory(User, username='fred', is_admin=False)
    albert = Factory(User, username='albert', is_admin=True)

You can avoid repeating code by predefine factories for commonly used model classes:

user_factory = Factory(User, is_admin=False, is_active=True)

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    ursula = user_factory(username='ursula')
    inigo = user_factory(username='inigo')
    albert = user_factory(username='albert', is_admin=True)

Factories can reference other factories to autocreate related objects:

company_factory = Factory(Company, name=Seq(‘megacorp-%d’)) employee_factory = Factory(Employee, id=Seq(int), company=company_factory)

If employee_factory is called without a company argument, it will generate a fresh one using company_factory.


Use lists to create large numbers of factory objects:

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    users = [Factory(User, username=Seq("user-%d")) for i in range(20)]

You can also use lists of factories as parameters to other factories:

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    pizza = Factory(Pizza, toppings=[Factory(Topping, name='tomato'),
                                     Factory(Topping, name='mozzarella')])

Managing relationships

Factories may refer to each other to create relationship graphs:

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    cheeses = Factory(CheeseBoard)
    cheddar = Factory(Cheese, name='cheddar', cheeseboard=cheeses)
    stilton = Factory(Cheese, name='stilton', cheeseboard=cheeses)


class MyFixture(Fixture):

    cheddar = Factory(Cheese, name='cheddar', cheeseboard=cheeses)
    stilton = Factory(Cheese, name='stilton', cheeseboard=cheeses)
    cheeses = Factory(CheeseBoard, cheeses=[cheddar, stilton])

Which of these alternatives you use depends on how you have declared the relationships in your ORM model classes,

Sometimes you need a circular relationship. Here’s one way to manage this:

class Cities(Fixture):

    france = Factory(Country, name='France')
    paris = Factory(City, name='paris', county=france) = paris

You can also override the fixture’s configure method to define complex relationships programmatically.

Partial factories

A partial factory is a factory that is not intended to generate an object. Instead it can be extended as a template for other factories:

class Cheeses(Fixture):

    france = Factory(Country, name='France')

    # Partial factories: no objects will be generated directly from these
    french_cheese = Factory(Cheese, origin='france', partial=True)
    swiss_cheese = Factory(Cheese, origin='switzerland', partial=True)

    # ...but they can be later reused to create more specific factories
    camembert = french_cheese()
    gruyere = swiss_cheese()


When creating multiple objects of the same type you can use the toffee.Seq class to avoid manually specifying unique values for fields:

product_factory = Factory(Product, sku=Seq('%04d', 0))

class MyFixture(Fixture):
    p1 = product_factory()
    p2 = product_factory()
    p3 = product_factory()

This would assign p1.sku = '0000', p2.sku = '0001' and so on.

The first argument to Seq can be a string (eg 'user-%d') or any callable (eg int or lambda n: 'badger' * n). The second argument is the starting value (default 0)

Sequences can take a second argument, scope, with a value of either fixture or session. This argument determines whether the counter is reset at the start of every fixture, or only once, at the start of the test run session.

# A sequence with scope='fixture'
product_factory = Factory(Product, sku=Seq('pr-%03d', 1, scope='fixture'))

# A sequence with scope='session'
user_factory = Factory(User, id=Seq(int, 1, scope='session'))

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    # `product_factory.sku` uses a fixture-scoped sequence, thus is reset
    # to zero every time the fixture is setup. Tests can rely on the value
    # of product1.sku always being 'pr-001' and product2.sku being 'pr-002'
    product1 = product_factory()
    product2 = product_factory()

    # The sequence for `` is session scoped, meaning that
    # every time the fixture is set up a new value is generated.
    # Sequence numbers will never conflict, even if you set up multiple
    # copies of the same fixture concurrently.
    user = user_factory()

Object relationships and foreign keys

Suppose you have a bug tracking application. You might have one model object called Bug and another called Product – bugs always belong to a product.

How to set up a fixture containing a product with multiple bugs?

The simplest way is to create all objects and link between them:

class BugFixture(Fixture):

    product = Factory(Product, name='my amazing software')
    bug1 = Factory(Bug, comment="it doesnt work", product=product)
    bug2 = Factory(Bug, comment="it still doesnt work", product=product)

Now when we setup the fixture, toffee will figure out the relationships we need to create the object graph - a single Product instance, linked to two bugs:

with BugFixture() as f:
    assert f.bug1.product is f.product
    assert f.bug1.product is f.bug2.product

Suppose we write a lot of tests, and we need a lot of fixtures. To avoid having to repeat a lot of code we can predefine the factories:

product_factory = Factory(Product, name=Seq('Product-%d'))
bug_factory = Factory(Bug, comment=Seq('Bug #%d'), product=product_factory)

Notice the product=product_factory bit. Using this bug_factory will call product_factory to generate a fresh product for us every time:

class BugsInSeparateProductsFixture(Fixture):

    bug1 = bug_factory()
    bug2 = bug_factory()

with BugsInSeparateProductsFixture() as f:
    assert == 'product-0'
    assert == 'product-1'

If we want both bugs to link to a single product, we can just tell the second bug to reuse the product from bug1:

class BugsInSameProductFixture(Fixture):

    bug1 = bug_factory()
    bug1 = bug_factory(product=bug1.product)

with BugsInSameProductFixture() as f:
    assert == 'product-0'
    assert == 'product-0'

Configuring subobjects

The double underscore syntax lets you specify attributes of child factories on the parent. Suppose you have an factories for two different model classes:

author_factory = Factory(Author, name=Seq('author-#%d'))
book_factory = Factory(Book, name=Seq('book-%d'), author=author_factory())

Now you can write a fixture like this:

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    player = book_factory(name='Animal Farm', author__name='Orwell')

Post-creation configuration

Override the configure method to add custom configuration of objects:

class MyFixture(Fixture):

    user = userfactory()

    def configure(self):
        add_user_to_group('admin', self.user)

Extending fixtures

Class inheritance is the preferred way to extend fixtures:

user_factory = Factory(User, username=Seq('user-%d'), is_admin=False)

class UserFixture(Fixture):
    fred = user_factory()

class UserWithAdministratorFixture(UserFixture):
    sheila = user_factory(is_admin=True)

But you can also extend fixtures in their constructor:

with UserFixture(sheila=user_factory(is_admin=True)) as f:
    assert f.sheila.is_admin
    assert not f.fred.is_admin