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Developer Resources
Writing Tests


Fides loves tests! There are a few important reasons to write tests:

  • Make sure your code works

    Tests ensure that your code does the thing you intend it to do.

    If you have a function that adds two numbers, you'll want to test that it does, in fact, return their sum. If behavior depends on a configuration setting, ensure that changing that setting changes the behavior. In short, if you wrote a line of code, you should test that line works as expected.

  • Make sure your code doesn't not work

    It may seem silly, but another important reason to write tests is to ensure that your code behaves as expected even when it's broken.

    This is especially important for a project like Fides, which is focused on helping engineers when something unexpected happens to their code. For example, you could write tests about what you expect to happen if your function is called with incorrect (or no) arguments, or to ensure that any errors are properly trapped and handled.

  • Tests are documentation

    Ultimately, your tests are the best documentation for your code.

    Another developer should be able to look at your tests and understand what your code does, how to invoke it, and what edge cases it contains. Therefore, try to write short, self-explanatory tests with descriptive titles.

  • Help future developers

    As Fides grows, your code will be reused in more and more places, by developers who may not be familiar with the details of your implementation. Therefore, your tests are an opportunity to ensure that your code is used correctly in the future.

    For example, if your code needs to be used in a certain way, or expects a certain configuration, or is always expected to return a certain output, or has any other details that might impact its ability to be used in the framework, write a test for it! At minimum, you'll help a future developer understand that you consciously chose to design your code a certain way.

Writing tests

Fides' tests are stored in the tests directory.

Tests should have descriptive names that make it clear what you're testing. If necessary, add a docstring or comment to explain why you're testing this specific thing.

# Good test name
def test_dry_evaluate_system_fail(server_url, resources_dict):
# Bad test name
def test_dry_evaluate():

Fides has a few pytest fixtures (opens in a new tab) available for testing; see for details.

Integration tests vs. mocked tests

Generally, tests that include mocking are discouraged. Mocking can create a false sense of security and obfuscate possible errors in the code that only present themselves when integration tested.

Running tests

Fides uses pytest for unit testing. To run tests, invoke pytest from the /fides/ctl/ directory:

cd ctl

Running specific tests

To run a subset of tests, provide a filename or directory; to match a specific test name, use the -k flag:

# run all tests in the tests/integration directory that contain the word "api" in their title
pytest tests/integration/ -k api

The --sw flag will exit pytest the first time it encounters an error; subsequent runs with the same flag will skip any tests that succeeded and run the failed test first.

For more information on available Pytest invocation options, see the documentation here (opens in a new tab).

Excluding external tests

Integration tests also test integration with external services like Snowflake which require internet access and authentication. It is possible to skip these tests by excluding the external mark.

# run all tests except external ones
pytest -m "not external"

CI Workflows

CI will run automatically against any PR you open. Please run your tests locally first to avoid "debugging in CI", as this takes up resources that could be used by other contributors and is generally an inefficient usage of your time!