Testing JavaScript code using Jasmine (Kickstart)

Jasmine is one of the JavaScript unit testing frameworks. It has a nice advantage that its syntax is readable and a very human friendly. In this post, I will give you a kickstart to help you start working with Jasmine.

First of all, Let’s create a simple JavaScript object that we need to perform some unit testing on it:

/* Basics.js file */
function Basics() {

Basics.prototype.add = function(x, y) {
	return x + y;

As shown in the Basics.js file, Basics is a simple JavaScript object that contains one method that adds the x and y parameters and finally returns the result to the caller.

To start working with the Jasmine framework, download the framework from http://pivotal.github.com/jasmine/download.html. Make sure that you have the following folder structure after extracting the downloaded zip file:
jasmine structure

You are having three folders and one html file.
1. lib folder: contains the source files of the Jasmine framework.
2. src folder: contains the source JavaScript files that will be tested.
3. spec folder: contains the testing JavaScript files.
4. SpecRunner.html file: is used for running the JavaScript test suites.

Place the Basics.js in the src folder after making sure that you remove all the old contents of the src and the spec folders.

Now, Let’s write the test suite in the BasicsSpec.js file.

describe("Basics", function() {
  var basics = new Basics();  

  it("should be able to make correct addition", function() {
    expect(basics.add(3, 2)).toEqual(5);


As we see here, the testing syntax is very human friendly, it means “describe Basics object which should be able to make correct addition”. The describe keyword represents a test suite that can contain one or more specs. Every spec is represented by the it keyword.

Inside the spec, there is an expectation that expects the basics.add(3, 2) is equal to 5. In Jasmine, the expectation is represented by the expect keyword and the equality checking is represented by a matcher called toEquals.

In Jasmine, there are many other built-in matchers; you can find all of them here: https://github.com/pivotal/jasmine/wiki/Matchers.

Finally, do not forget to remove the old source and spec JS includes from the SpecRunner.html and to add the new includes instead:

  <!-- include source files here... -->
  <script type="text/javascript" src="src/Basics.js"></script>  
  <!-- include spec files here... -->
  <script type="text/javascript" src="spec/BasicsSpec.js"></script>

After running the SpecRunner.html file, you will find the following screenshot telling you that the test spec runs successfully.


I wish this kickstart can be useful for you. For your reference, download the kickstart example from here.

Generating Test Reports using JsTestDriver

JsTestDriver is one of the most powerful JavaScript unit testing tools. I wrote an article in developerWorks about efficient JavaScript unit testing using JsTestDriver, please read first it before reading this post.

In this post, I will show you how to generate test coverage reports using the JsTestDriver. First of all, Let’s understand what is meant by “Test Coverage”. “Test Coverage” is one of the measures of software testing. It describes how much the source code of the program is tested.

The coverage criteria can be on the function level (Function coverage), on the statement level (Statement coverage), and on the code branch level (Branch coverage).

JsTestDriver has a plugin that can generate code coverage for the JavaScript code. To configure this plugin, you should:

  • Download the “coverage.jar” from http://code.google.com/p/js-test-driver/downloads/list
  • Add the coverage plugin declaration to the configuration file (jsTestDriver.conf file) as follows:

    - name: "coverage" 
      jar: "plugins/coverage.jar" 
      module: "com.google.jstestdriver.coverage.CoverageModule"
  • Specify the --testOutput [output_folder] flag in the test running command. This will get the test coverage files in the output_folder you specified.

Currently, The JsTestDriver generates the test coverage files in LCOV format. Unfortunately, JsTestDriver does not generate HTML reports directly as shown in the figure below.
Genarated LCOV files

To generate the HTML reports from the LCOV files, you can use the LCOV visualizer, check it here: http://ltp.sourceforge.net/coverage/lcov.php.

The LCOV visualizer tool is working on Linux Redhat environment. To generate the report from the tool, execute this command on the jsTestDriver.conf-coverage.dat file:

genhtml jsTestDriver.conf-coverage.dat

For more information about how to install the LCOV visualizer on Linux Redhat environment, and converting the LCOV files to HTML reports:

Finally for your reference, You can download the project from here, and the LCOV test coverage files from here.

I wish that this tip can be useful.