Design Patterns for Database API Testing 2: Views 2 - Code

In Design Patterns for Database API Testing 3: Views - Design I presented a design pattern for unit testing views, using an example based on Oracle's HR demo schema, and here I list the code for the main unit test procedure and a couple of the utility procedures, with notes (all the code is included in a linked article).

First a structure diagram shows how the PL/SQL packages relate to each other, and two call structure tables are given for both the main unit test procedure for the view and for the previous web service saving procedure. The utility code has been substantially re-factored to improve output format and for other reasons. Sections of the code are listed with notes.

All the code and installation scripts are supplied in a linked article. With these scripts, anyone can run and experiment with the unit testing example, and can use it as a template for developing real unit testing code following the same design patterns.

Update, 26 June 2016: The code has been re-factored to improve formatting and remove the dependence on utPLSQL, TRAPIT - TRansactional API Testing in Oracle.
Update, 10 July 2016: I have added in scenario-level printing of all inputs.

Package Structure Diagram

Unit Testing-CSD-All

Call Structure Table - UT_Emp_WS.ut_AIP_Save_Emps

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Package
Init UT_Utils
Setup UT_Emp_WS
Increment_Time Timer_Set
Call_WS UT_Emp_WS
Do_Save UT_Emp_WS
Init_Time Timer_Set
AIP_Save_Emps UT_Emp_WS
Increment_Time Timer_Set
Get_Tab_Lis UT_Emp_WS
List_Delim Utils
Get_Arr_Lis UT_Emp_WS
List_Delim Utils
List_or_Empty UT_Utils
Check_UT_Results UT_Utils
Write_Other_Error Utils

Call Structure Table - UT_View_Drivers.ut_HR_Test_View_V

Level 1 Level 2 Package
Init UT_Utils
Setup UT_View_Drivers
Heading Utils
Col_Headers Utils
Increment_Time Timer_Set
Get_View UT_Utils
Check_UT_Results UT_Utils
Write_Other_Error Utils

UT_View_Drivers.ut_HR_Test_View_V - View Unit Test Procedure

Declare section


  c_view_name           CONSTANT VARCHAR2(61) := 'HR_Test_View_V';
  c_proc_name           CONSTANT VARCHAR2(61) := 'UT_View_Drivers.ut_' || c_view_name;
  c_dep_id_1            CONSTANT PLS_INTEGER := 10;
  c_dep_id_2            CONSTANT PLS_INTEGER := 20;
  c_dep_nm_1            CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'Administration';
  c_dep_nm_2            CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'Marketing';
  c_job_bad             CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'AD_ASST';
  c_job_good            CONSTANT VARCHAR2(100) := 'IT_PROG';
  c_base_sal            CONSTANT PLS_INTEGER := 1000;

  c_ln_pre              CONSTANT VARCHAR2(10) := DML_API_UT_HR.c_ln_pre;

  c_sel_lis             CONSTANT L1_chr_arr := L1_chr_arr ('last_name', 'department_name', 'manager', 'salary', 'sal_rat', 'sal_rat_g');
  c_where_lis           CONSTANT L1_chr_arr := L1_chr_arr (NULL, NULL, 'department_name=''Administration''', NULL);

  c_dataset_3lis        CONSTANT L3_chr_arr := L3_chr_arr (
                             L2_chr_arr (L1_chr_arr ('4 emps, 1 dep (10), emp-3 has no dep, emp-4 has bad job'),
--                                         dep           job          salary
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_good,  '1000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_good,  '2000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (NULL,         c_job_good,  '3000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_bad,   '4000')
                             L2_chr_arr (L1_chr_arr ('As dataset 1 but with extra emp-5, in second dep (20)'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_good,  '1000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_good,  '2000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (NULL,         c_job_good,  '3000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_bad,   '4000'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_2,   c_job_good,  '5000')
                             L2_chr_arr (L1_chr_arr ('As dataset 2 but with salaries * 0.1, total below reporting threshold of 1600'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_good,  '100'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_good,  '200'),
                               L1_chr_arr (NULL,         c_job_good,  '300'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_1,   c_job_bad,   '400'),
                               L1_chr_arr (c_dep_id_2,   c_job_good,  '500')

  c_exp_2lis            CONSTANT L2_chr_arr := L2_chr_arr (
                                               L1_chr_arr (
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '1',   c_dep_nm_1, NULL,            '1000', '.67',   '.4'),
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '2',   c_dep_nm_1, c_ln_pre || '1', '2000',  '1.33', '.8')
                                               L1_chr_arr (
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '1',   c_dep_nm_1, NULL,            '1000', '.67',  '.33'),
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '2',   c_dep_nm_1, c_ln_pre || '1', '2000',  '1.33', '.67'),
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '5',   c_dep_nm_2, c_ln_pre || '1', '5000',  '1',    '1.67')
                                               L1_chr_arr (
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '1',   c_dep_nm_1, NULL,            '1000', '.67',   '.33'),
                                       Utils.List_Delim (c_ln_pre || '2',   c_dep_nm_1, c_ln_pre || '1', '2000',  '1.33', '.67')

  c_scenario_ds_lis     CONSTANT L1_num_arr := L1_num_arr (1, 2, 2, 3);
  c_scenario_lis        CONSTANT L1_chr_arr := L1_chr_arr (
                               'DS-1, testing inner, outer joins, analytic over dep, and global ratios with 1 dep',
                               'DS-2, testing same as 1 but with extra emp in another dep',
                               'DS-2, passing ''WHERE dep=10''',
                               'DS-3, Salaries total 1500 (< threshold of 1600)');

  c_inp_group_lis       CONSTANT L1_chr_arr := L1_chr_arr ('Employee', 'Where');
  c_inp_field_2lis      CONSTANT L2_chr_arr := L2_chr_arr (
                                                        L1_chr_arr (
                                                                '*Employee Id',
                                                                'Last Name',
                                                                'Hire Date',
                                                                '*Manager Id',
                                                                '*department Id'),
                                                        L1_chr_arr (
  c_out_field_2lis      CONSTANT L2_chr_arr :=  L2_chr_arr ( L1_chr_arr (
                                '*Salary Ratio (dep)',
                                '*Salary Ratio (overall)'));

  l_act_2lis                      L2_chr_arr := L2_chr_arr();
  c_ms_limit            CONSTANT PLS_INTEGER := 1;
  l_timer_set                    PLS_INTEGER;
  l_inp_3lis                     L3_chr_arr := L3_chr_arr();

Notes on declare section

  • Data sets, scenarios, expected values etc. are stored in generic arrays, where:
    • L1_chr_arr is type of array of VARCHAR2(4000), same as standard type SYS.ODCIVarchar2List
    • L2_chr_arr is a type of array of L1_chr_arr
    • L3_chr_arr is a type of array of L2_chr_arr

Setup section

  PROCEDURE Setup (p_call_ind PLS_INTEGER, x_inp_lis OUT L1_chr_arr) IS -- scenario index

    l_emp_id            PLS_INTEGER;
    l_mgr_id            PLS_INTEGER;
    l_len_lis           L1_num_arr := L1_num_arr (1, -11, -13, -10, 10, -10);


    Utils.Heading ('Employees created in setup: DS-' || p_call_ind || ' - ' || c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(1)(1));
    Utils.Col_Headers (L1_chr_arr ('#', 'Employee id', 'Department id', 'Manager', 'Job id', 'Salary'), l_len_lis);
    x_inp_lis := L1_chr_arr();
    x_inp_lis.EXTEND (c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind).COUNT - 1);
    FOR i IN 2..c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind).COUNT LOOP

      l_emp_id := DML_API_UT_HR.Ins_Emp (
                            p_emp_ind  => i - 1,
                            p_dep_id   => c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(i)(1),
                            p_mgr_id   => l_mgr_id,
                            p_job_id   => c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(i)(2),
                            p_salary   => c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(i)(3),
                            x_rec      => x_inp_lis(i - 1));
      Utils.Pr_List_As_Line (L1_chr_arr ((i-1), l_emp_id, Nvl (c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(i)(1), ' '), Nvl (To_Char(l_mgr_id), ' '), c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(i)(2), c_dataset_3lis (p_call_ind)(i)(3)), l_len_lis);
      IF i = 2 THEN
        l_mgr_id := l_emp_id;
      END IF;


  END Setup;

Notes on setup section

  • c_dataset_3lis contains the data for all data sets indexed by (data set, record, field)
  • Setup is called for a single data set at a time in each scenario
  • Description of the data set is contained in the array and printed out
  • Data set is printed out in tabular format. In the most recent version of the utility code, this is not strictly necessary, because all the input data is printed out before the outputs

Main section


  l_timer_set := UT_Utils.Init (c_proc_name);
  l_act_2lis.EXTEND (c_exp_2lis.COUNT);
  l_inp_3lis.EXTEND (c_exp_2lis.COUNT);

  FOR i IN 1..c_exp_2lis.COUNT LOOP

    l_inp_3lis (i) := L2_chr_arr();
    l_inp_3lis (i).EXTEND(2);

    Setup (c_scenario_ds_lis (i), l_inp_3lis (i)(1));

    l_inp_3lis (i)(2) := L1_chr_arr (c_where_lis(i));
    Timer_Set.Increment_Time (l_timer_set, UT_Utils.c_setup_timer);
    l_act_2lis(i) := UT_Utils.Get_View (
                            p_view_name         => c_view_name,
                            p_sel_field_lis     => c_sel_lis,
                            p_where             => c_where_lis(i),
                            p_timer_set         => l_timer_set);


  UT_Utils.Check_UT_Results (c_proc_name, c_scenario_lis, l_inp_3lis, l_act_2lis, c_exp_2lis, l_timer_set, c_ms_limit,
                             c_inp_group_lis, c_inp_field_2lis, c_out_group_lis, c_out_field_2lis);



END ut_HR_Test_View_V;

Notes on main section

  • It's quite short isn't it 🙂
  • Main section loops over the scenarios
  • Setup is called to create the data set for the scenario
  • Get_View returns the results of the query on the view as 2-level array
  • Get_View rolls back after getting the results, so the inserted test records are removed from the database
  • Check_UT_Results is called to do all the assertions within nested loops, then print the results

UT_Utils - Unit Test Utility Procedures

Check_UT_Results - to check results from testing

PROCEDURE Check_UT_Results (p_proc_name                 VARCHAR2,      -- calling procedure
                            p_test_lis                  L1_chr_arr,    -- test descriptions
                            p_inp_3lis                  L3_chr_arr,    -- actual result strings
                            p_act_3lis                  L3_chr_arr,    -- actual result strings
                            p_exp_3lis                  L3_chr_arr,    -- expected result strings
                            p_timer_set                 PLS_INTEGER,   -- timer set index
                            p_ms_limit                  PLS_INTEGER,   -- call time limit in ms
                            p_inp_group_lis             L1_chr_arr,    -- input group names
                            p_inp_fields_2lis           L2_chr_arr,    -- input fields descriptions
                            p_out_group_lis             L1_chr_arr,    -- output group names
                            p_fields_2lis               L2_chr_arr) IS -- test fields descriptions

  l_num_fails_sce                L1_num_arr :=  L1_num_arr();
  l_num_tests_sce                L1_num_arr :=  L1_num_arr();
  l_tot_fails                    PLS_INTEGER := 0;
  l_tot_tests                    PLS_INTEGER := 0;

(private procedures - see gitHub project,, for full code listings)

  Detail_Section (l_num_fails_sce, l_num_tests_sce);
  Summary_Section (l_num_fails_sce, l_num_tests_sce, l_tot_fails, l_tot_tests);
  Set_Global_Summary (l_tot_fails, l_tot_tests + 1);

END Check_UT_Results;

Notes on Check_UT_Results

  • This is the base version of Check_UT_Results with 3-level arrays of expected and actuals
  • The view testing procedure has only one output group, and an overloaded version is called that passes 1 record in the middle index to the base version
  • The inner loop asserts actual values (which are records) against expected
  • The final assertion is against average call time
  • It is expected that all assertion within a unit test procedure will be via a single call to one of the versions of this procedure, making a big reduction in code compared with traditional unit testing approaches
  • After final assertion a call is made to write out all the results, by scenario, with all inputs printed first, followed by actuals (and expected, where they differ); this means that the unit test outputs now become precise and accurate documents of what the program does

Get_View - run a query dynamically on a view and return result set as array of strings

FUNCTION Get_View (p_view_name         VARCHAR2,               -- name of view
                   p_sel_field_lis     L1_chr_arr,             -- list of fields to select
                   p_where             VARCHAR2 DEFAULT NULL,  -- optional where clause
                   p_timer_set         PLS_INTEGER)            -- timer set handle
                   RETURN              L1_chr_arr IS           -- list of delimited result records

  l_cur            SYS_REFCURSOR;
  l_sql_txt        VARCHAR2(32767) := 'SELECT Utils.List_Delim (L1_chr_arr (';
  l_result_lis     L1_chr_arr;
  l_len            PLS_INTEGER;


  FOR i IN 1..p_sel_field_lis.COUNT LOOP

    l_sql_txt := l_sql_txt || p_sel_field_lis(i) || ',';


  l_sql_txt := RTrim (l_sql_txt, ',') || ')) FROM ' || p_view_name || ' WHERE ' || Nvl (p_where, '1=1 ') || 'ORDER BY 1';

  OPEN l_cur FOR l_sql_txt;

  FETCH l_cur BULK COLLECT -- ut, small result set, hence no need for limit clause
   INTO l_result_lis;

  CLOSE l_cur;

  Timer_Set.Increment_Time (p_timer_set, UT_Utils.c_call_timer);
  RETURN ut_Utils.List_or_Empty (l_result_lis);

END Get_View;

Notes on Get_View

  • A query string is constructed from the input list of fields and optional where clause
  • The fields are concatenated with delimiters and returned into an array of strings
  • A rollback occurs to remove any test data created, so as not to interfere with any subsequent call
  • If no data was returned from the query, we return a default 1-record listing containing the string 'EMPTY'

Package block section


  DBMS_Application_Info.Set_Client_Info (client_info => 'UT');
  Utils.c_session_id_if_UT := SYS_Context ('userenv', 'sessionid');

END UT_Utils;

Notes on package block section

  • client_info is set to 'UT', meaning the session operates in test mode
  • The session id is stored in a package variable
  • This id is referenced in the testing views and in insertion of test records with utid column

Installation Instructions

See Brendan's Database Unit Testing Framework for a link to the installation code for both the framework and the demo code on gitHub, and links to related articles.


  • A second design pattern has been presented, for testing views, with scenarios and output results given in Design Patterns for Database Unit Testing 3: Views - Design
  • The implementation, presented here, was against an Oracle database publicly available demonstration schema, and used Brendan's database unit testing framework


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