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Version: Current


We use Codeception for testing, especially testing the php code.

Useful commands and common pitfalls

Useful commands for testing and common pitfalls.

amOnPageChanges URL, loads page, waits for body visibleDo not use to assert being on a URL
amOnSubdomainChanges internal URL stateDoes not load a page
amOnUrlChanges internal URL stateDoes not load a page
clickFires JavaScript click eventDoes not wait for anything to happen afterwards
seeCurrentUrlEqualsChecks on which URL the browser is (e.g. after a redirect)
submitFormFills form details and submits it via click on the submit buttonDoes not wait for anything to happen afterwards
waitForElementWaits until a specific element is available in the DOM
waitForPageBodyWaits until the page body is visible (e.g. after click is expected to load a new page)

Running tests

Run the tests with:



./scripts/test Acceptance LoginCest


./scripts/test api SearchApiCest

or to run a specific test

./scripts/test api SearchApiCest:canOnlySearchWhenLoggedIn

To stop the Test containers run ./scripts/stop test.

So far, end to end testing is working nicely (called acceptance tests in codeception). They run with a headless Chrome and Selenium inside the Docker setup, they are run on CI build too.

We are working on restructing the code to enable unit testing.

The test contains stay around after running, and you can visit the test app in your browser, and it has it's own phpmyadmin.

If you want to run with debug mode turned on, then use: ./scripts/test --debug.

Writing unit tests

CodeCeption uses PHPUnitTests under the hood and therefore the PHPUnit test documentation can be helpful. is a very useful page, showing all the things can call on$I. Please read the command descriptions carefully.

How acceptance tests work

Tests are run through selenium on firefox. The interaction of the test with the browser is defined by commands. Keep in mind that this is on very high level. Selenium does at most points not know what the browser is doing!

It is especially hard to get waits right as the blocking/waiting behaviour of the commands may change with the test driver (PhantomJS, Firefox, Chromium, etc.).


uses WebDriver GET command and waits for the HTML body of the page to be loaded (JavaScript onload handler fired), but nothing else.


just fires a click event on the given element. It does not wait for anything afterwards! If you expect a page reload or any asynchronous requests happening, you need to wait for that before being able to assert any content.

Even just a javascript popup, like an alert, may not be visible immediately!


can be used to wait for the static page load to be done. It does also not wait for any javascript executed etc.


Acceptance tests using the HtmlAcceptanceTester class are run in PhpBrowser. Those tests run on a lower level then WebDriver. They can only test a page's HTML content. Therefore features like JavaScript are not available, but tests run faster.

From Codeception documentation:

see/seeElement checks if text is……present in the HTML source…actually visible to the user