2. Annotations

An annotation is a special form of syntactic metadata that can be added to the source code of some programming languages. While PHP has no dedicated language feature for annotating source code, the usage of tags such as @annotation arguments in a documentation block has been established in the PHP community to annotate source code. In PHP documentation blocks are reflective: they can be accessed through the Reflection API’s getDocComment() method on the function, class, method, and attribute level. Applications such as PHPUnit use this information at runtime to configure their behaviour.

Note

A doc comment in PHP must start with /** and end with */. Annotations in any other style of comment will be ignored.

This appendix shows all the varieties of annotations supported by PHPUnit.

@author

The @author annotation is an alias for the @group annotation (see @group) and allows to filter tests based on their authors.

@after

The @after annotation can be used to specify methods that should be called after each test method in a test case class.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @after
     */
    public function tearDownSomeFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }

    /**
     * @after
     */
    public function tearDownSomeOtherFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

@afterClass

The @afterClass annotation can be used to specify static methods that should be called after all test methods in a test class have been run to clean up shared fixtures.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @afterClass
     */
    public static function tearDownSomeSharedFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }

    /**
     * @afterClass
     */
    public static function tearDownSomeOtherSharedFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

@backupGlobals

PHPUnit can optionally backup all global and super-global variables before each test and restore this backup after each test.

The @backupGlobals enabled annotation can be used on the class level to enable this operation for all tests of a test case class:

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

/**
 * @backupGlobals enabled
 */
class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    // ...
}

The @backupGlobals annotation can also be used on the test method level. This allows for a fine-grained configuration of the backup and restore operations:

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

/**
 * @backupGlobals enabled
 */
class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    public function testThatInteractsWithGlobalVariables()
    {
        // ...
    }

    /**
     * @backupGlobals disabled
     */
    public function testThatDoesNotInteractWithGlobalVariables()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

@backupStaticAttributes

PHPUnit can optionally backup all static attributes in all declared classes before each test and restore this backup after each test.

The @backupStaticAttributes enabled annotation can be used on the class level to enable this operation for all tests of a test case class:

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

/**
 * @backupStaticAttributes enabled
 */
class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    // ...
}

The @backupStaticAttributes annotation can also be used on the test method level. This allows for a fine-grained configuration of the backup and restore operations:

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

/**
 * @backupStaticAttributes enabled
 */
class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    public function testThatInteractsWithStaticAttributes()
    {
        // ...
    }

    /**
     * @backupStaticAttributes disabled
     */
    public function testThatDoesNotInteractWithStaticAttributes()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

Note

@backupStaticAttributes is limited by PHP internals and may cause unintended static values to persist and leak into subsequent tests in some circumstances.

See Global State for details.

@before

The @before annotation can be used to specify methods that should be called before each test method in a test case class.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @before
     */
    public function setupSomeFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }

    /**
     * @before
     */
    public function setupSomeOtherFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

@beforeClass

The @beforeClass annotation can be used to specify static methods that should be called before any test methods in a test class are run to set up shared fixtures.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @beforeClass
     */
    public static function setUpSomeSharedFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }

    /**
     * @beforeClass
     */
    public static function setUpSomeOtherSharedFixtures()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

@codeCoverageIgnore*

The @codeCoverageIgnore, @codeCoverageIgnoreStart and @codeCoverageIgnoreEnd annotations can be used to exclude lines of code from the coverage analysis.

For usage see Ignoring Code Blocks.

@covers

The @covers annotation can be used in the test code to specify which parts of the code it is supposed to test:

/**
 * @covers \BankAccount
 */
public function testBalanceIsInitiallyZero()
{
    $this->assertSame(0, $this->ba->getBalance());
}

If provided, this effectively filters the code coverage report to include executed code from the referenced code parts only. This will make sure that code is only marked as covered if there are dedicated tests for it, but not if it used indirectly by the tests for a different class, thus avoiding false positives for code coverage.

This annotation can be added to the docblock of the test class or the individual test methods. The recommended way is to add the annotation to the docblock of the test class, not to the docblock of the test methods.

When the forceCoversAnnotation configuration option in the configuration file is set to true, every test method needs to have an associated @covers annotation (either on the test class or the individual test method).

Table 2.2 shows the syntax of the @covers annotation. The section Specifying Covered Code Parts provides longer examples for using the annotation.

Pleae note that this annotation requires a fully-qualified class name (FQCN). To make this more obvious to the reader, it is recommended to use a leading backslash (even if this not required for the annotation to work correctly).

Table 2.2 Annotations for specifying which methods are covered by a test
Annotation Description
@covers ClassName::methodName (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers the specified method.
@covers ClassName (recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all methods of a given class.
@covers ClassName<extended> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all methods of a given class and its parent class(es).
@covers ClassName::<public> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all public methods of a given class.
@covers ClassName::<protected> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all protected methods of a given class.
@covers ClassName::<private> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all private methods of a given class.
@covers ClassName::<!public> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all methods of a given class that are not public.
@covers ClassName::<!protected> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all methods of a given class that are not protected.
@covers ClassName::<!private> (not recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers all methods of a given class that are not private.
@covers ::functionName (recommended) Specifies that the annotated test method covers the specified global function.

@coversDefaultClass

The @coversDefaultClass annotation can be used to specify a default namespace or class name. That way long names don’t need to be repeated for every @covers annotation. See Example 2.18.

Pleae note that this annotation requires a fully-qualified class name (FQCN). To make this more obvious to the reader, it is recommended to use a leading backslash (even if this not required for the annotation to work correctly).

Example 2.18 Using @coversDefaultClass to shorten annotations
<?php
use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

/**
 * @coversDefaultClass \Foo\CoveredClass
 */
class CoversDefaultClassTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @covers ::publicMethod
     */
    public function testSomething()
    {
        $o = new Foo\CoveredClass;
        $o->publicMethod();
    }
}

@coversNothing

The @coversNothing annotation can be used in the test code to specify that no code coverage information will be recorded for the annotated test case.

This can be used for integration testing. See A test that specifies that no method should be covered for an example.

The annotation can be used on the class and the method level and will override any @covers tags.

@dataProvider

A test method can accept arbitrary arguments. These arguments are to be provided by one or more data provider methods (provider() in Using a data provider that returns an array of arrays). The data provider method to be used is specified using the @dataProvider annotation.

See Data Providers for more details.

@depends

PHPUnit supports the declaration of explicit dependencies between test methods. Such dependencies do not define the order in which the test methods are to be executed but they allow the returning of an instance of the test fixture by a producer and passing it to the dependent consumers. Using the @depends annotation to express dependencies shows how to use the @depends annotation to express dependencies between test methods.

See Test Dependencies for more details.

@doesNotPerformAssertions

Prevents a test that performs no assertions from being considered risky.

@group

A test can be tagged as belonging to one or more groups using the @group annotation like this

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @group specification
     */
    public function testSomething()
    {
    }

    /**
     * @group regresssion
     * @group bug2204
     */
    public function testSomethingElse()
    {
    }
}

The @group annotation can also be provided for the test class. It is then “inherited” to all test methods of that test class.

Tests can be selected for execution based on groups using the --group and --exclude-group options of the command-line test runner or using the respective directives of the XML configuration file.

@large

The @large annotation is an alias for @group large.

If the PHP_Invoker package is installed and strict mode is enabled, a large test will fail if it takes longer than 60 seconds to execute. This timeout is configurable via the timeoutForLargeTests attribute in the XML configuration file.

@medium

The @medium annotation is an alias for @group medium. A medium test must not depend on a test marked as @large.

If the PHP_Invoker package is installed and strict mode is enabled, a medium test will fail if it takes longer than 10 seconds to execute. This timeout is configurable via the timeoutForMediumTests attribute in the XML configuration file.

@preserveGlobalState

When a test is run in a separate process, PHPUnit will attempt to preserve the global state from the parent process by serializing all globals in the parent process and unserializing them in the child process. This can cause problems if the parent process contains globals that are not serializable. To fix this, you can prevent PHPUnit from preserving global state with the @preserveGlobalState annotation.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @runInSeparateProcess
     * @preserveGlobalState disabled
     */
    public function testInSeparateProcess()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

@requires

The @requires annotation can be used to skip tests when common preconditions, like the PHP Version or installed extensions, are not met.

A complete list of possibilities and examples can be found at Possible @requires usages

@runTestsInSeparateProcesses

Indicates that all tests in a test class should be run in a separate PHP process.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

/**
 * @runTestsInSeparateProcesses
 */
class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    // ...
}

Note: By default, PHPUnit will attempt to preserve the global state from the parent process by serializing all globals in the parent process and unserializing them in the child process. This can cause problems if the parent process contains globals that are not serializable. See @preserveGlobalState for information on how to fix this.

@runInSeparateProcess

Indicates that a test should be run in a separate PHP process.

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class MyTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @runInSeparateProcess
     */
    public function testInSeparateProcess()
    {
        // ...
    }
}

Note: By default, PHPUnit will attempt to preserve the global state from the parent process by serializing all globals in the parent process and unserializing them in the child process. This can cause problems if the parent process contains globals that are not serializable. See @preserveGlobalState for information on how to fix this.

@small

The @small annotation is an alias for @group small. A small test must not depend on a test marked as @medium or @large.

If the PHP_Invoker package is installed and strict mode is enabled, a small test will fail if it takes longer than 1 second to execute. This timeout is configurable via the timeoutForSmallTests attribute in the XML configuration file.

Note

Tests need to be explicitly annotated by either @small, @medium, or @large to enable run time limits.

@test

As an alternative to prefixing your test method names with test, you can use the @test annotation in a method’s DocBlock to mark it as a test method.

/**
 * @test
 */
public function initialBalanceShouldBe0()
{
    $this->assertSame(0, $this->ba->getBalance());
}

@testdox

Specifies an alternative description used when generating the agile documentation sentences.

The @testdox annotation can be applied to both test classes and test methods.

/**
 * @testdox A bank account
 */
class BankAccountTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * @testdox has an initial balance of zero
     */
    public function balanceIsInitiallyZero()
    {
        $this->assertSame(0, $this->ba->getBalance());
    }
}

Note

Prior to PHPUnit 7.0 (due to a bug in the annotation parsing), using the @testdox annotation also activated the behaviour of the @test annotation.

When using the @testdox annotation at method level with a @dataProvider you may use the method parameters as placeholders in your alternative description.

/**
 * @dataProvider additionProvider
 * @testdox Adding $a to $b results in $expected
 */
public function testAdd($a, $b, $expected)
{
    $this->assertSame($expected, $a + $b);
}

public function additionProvider()
{
    return [
        [0, 0, 0],
        [0, 1, 1],
        [1, 0, 1],
        [1, 1, 3]
    ];
}

@testWith

Instead of implementing a method for use with @dataProvider, you can define a data set using the @testWith annotation.

A data set consists of one or many elements. To define a data set with multiple elements, define each element in a separate line. Each element of the data set must be an array defined in JSON.

See Data Providers to learn more about passing a set of data to a test.

/**
 * @param string    $input
 * @param int       $expectedLength
 *
 * @testWith        ["test", 4]
 *                  ["longer-string", 13]
 */
public function testStringLength(string $input, int $expectedLength)
{
    $this->assertSame($expectedLength, strlen($input));
}

An object representation in JSON will be converted into an associative array.

/**
 * @param array     $array
 * @param array     $keys
 *
 * @testWith        [{"day": "monday", "conditions": "sunny"}, ["day", "conditions"]]
 */
public function testArrayKeys($array, $keys)
{
    $this->assertSame($keys, array_keys($array));
}

@ticket

The @ticket annotation is an alias for the @group annotation (see @group) and allows to filter tests based on their ticket ID.

@uses

The @uses annotation specifies code which will be executed by a test, but is not intended to be covered by the test. A good example is a value object which is necessary for testing a unit of code.

/**
 * @covers \BankAccount
 * @uses   \Money
 */
public function testMoneyCanBeDepositedInAccount()
{
    // ...
}

Example 9.2 shows another example.

In addition to being helpful for persons reading the code, this annotation is useful in strict coverage mode where unintentionally covered code will cause a test to fail. See Unintentionally Covered Code for more information regarding strict coverage mode.

Pleae note that this annotation requires a fully-qualified class name (FQCN). To make this more obvious to the reader, it is recommended to use a leading backslash (even if this not required for the annotation to work correctly).