Creating TestContainers from Dockerfile and DSL

#testing #programming #java #docker

Containers make the job of writing integration test cases quite easy which rely on a tool like a database or cloud infrastructure or any other tool for that matter. Test containers take it a step further but letting us create containers from the code itself.

There is another neat trick in TestContainers that let’s us create the containers on the fly. From Dockerfile or directly by declaring the container spec with Java using a DSL. Let’s see how to do this.

Dockerfile to create containers for TestContainers

The below code snippet create a container from the Dockerfile present in the classpath. The advantages are quite obvious where we don’t need the tool out of the box but some configurations are applied on the top of it.

public GenericContainer dslContainer = new GenericContainer(
    new ImageFromDockerfile()
            .withFileFromClasspath("Dockerfile", "test-containers/Dockerfile"))

For example, while the JDBCContainer provides the initScript method to load the initial data, but it would be much better to use a container directly which has the data set up already. This should speed up the creation process since the layers will be cached by Docker and containers will be created much faster.

We can even experiment and test with such containers independently.

Using DSL to build containers

If a Dockerfile is not sufficient, and we still need more dynamic way of creating containers. Or say we want to test a feature against various database implementations or perhaps we want to test our ffmpeg against various operating systems. We can create containers dynamically using the DSL that TestContainers provide. See this code snippet below:

var images = new String[] {"ubuntu", "alpine"};
for (image in images) {
    new GenericContainer(
        new ImageFromDockerfile()
                    .withDockerfileFromBuilder(builder ->
                                 .from(image + ":latest")
                                 .run("sudo apt install --update ffmpeg")
 // run some tests here

So while TestContainers make it easy to test against tools like Databases, Cloud Services and many other out of the box support of tools. It now let’s us create any container that’s possible using a Dockerfile and not just that; we can even create these containers dynamically.

Of course, when the DSL gets complex enough, another option is to use the Dockerfile with some velocity template and generate these Dockerfiles dynamically. They can also be fed to TestContainers!

This is my 8th of 100 post in #100daysToOffload.