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Toffee – test object factories

Toffee helps create test fixtures for ORM model objects.


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():

    fixture = MyFixture()

    assert fixture.product_1 in search_products('toy')
    assert fixture.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

Use with Django

To use this 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')

Use with Storm

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:

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'

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.


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)

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'

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