Death to all bugs! Arquillian testing platform reaches first stable release

Red Hat, Inc. and the JBoss Community today announced the 1.0.0.Final release of Arquillian, its award-winning testing platform built to run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Arquillian substantially reduces the effort required to write and execute Java middleware integration and functional tests. It even enables test engineers to address scenarios previously considered untestable or too expensive to test.

The Arquillian project is led by Aslak Knutsen and has received contributions from over 100 contributors and community members (between Arquillian and ShrinkWrap combined). At the JavaOne 2011 conference, Arquillian received the Duke’s Choice Award for innovation in integration testing.

The 1.0.0.Final release of Arquillian Drone, a key add-on to the platform, is included in this release. Final versions of select container adapters will be released later in the week. ShrinkWrap, a central component of Arquillian, announced its 1.0.0.Final release last week.

Mission and History

Arquillian adheres to three core principles:

  • Tests should be portable to any supported container
  • Tests should be executable from the IDE to eliminate the need for an explicit build step and to simplify debugging
  • The platform should unify the Java testing ecosystem by extending or integrating with existing test frameworks

By focusing on these principles, Arquillian makes integration and functional tests as simple to write and execute as unit tests.

Arquillian originated from the test harness developed for the CDI 1.0 (JSR-299) specification in 2009. It spun off as an independent project and has evolved into an extensible testing platform. Coming full circle, the test suite in CDI 1.1 (JSR-346), the next iteration of the CDI specification, has migrated to Arquillian. Other specifications are expected to follow. Arquillian is also used by numerous open source projects, including Hibernate, JBoss AS 7, Drools, RHQ, JClouds and Apache DeltaSpike.


Arquillian brings test execution to the target runtime, alleviating the burden on the developer of managing the runtime from within the test or project build. To invert this control, Arquillian wraps a lifecycle around test execution that does the following:

  • Manages the lifecycle of one or more containers
  • Bundles the test case, dependent classes and resources as ShrinkWrap archives
  • Deploys the archives to the containers
  • Enriches the test case with dependency injection and other declarative services
  • Executes the tests inside (or against) the containers
  • Returns the results to the test runner for reporting

Arquillian runs with Java 1.5 and above, integrates seamlessly with familiar testing frameworks such as JUnit and TestNG and allows tests to be launched using existing IDE, Ant and Maven test plugins.

Loving quotes about Arquillian

…using Arquillian, we were able to cut the setup needed to run a plugin in-container by 90% and we were able to introduce a number of convenience annotations from which you can get a variety of data injected into your tests.”

— Lukáš Krejčí, RHQ core developer

Arquillian is a really great integration testing tool full of potential. It’s just great that the JBoss guys are aiming to provide support for almost all widely used application servers and web containers. If you are writing an application for the Java EE 6 stack, not using Arquillian is a serious mistake!”

— Bartosz Majsak, Cambridge Technology Partners

[Arquillian] reminds me of the old Cactus project back in the day, but done much, much better.”

— Laird Nelson

Newest features

Arquillian can manage more than a dozen container vendors, including JBoss AS, GlassFish and Tomcat, and supports running tests in cloud services. The container support allows developers to target a variety of technology platforms, including Java EE 5 and 6, Servlet environments, OSGi, Embedded EJB and standalone CDI.

Additional new features include:

  • Orchestration of multiple deployments across multiple containers in a single test
  • Support for multiple protocol contexts within a single deployment
  • Descriptor deployment
  • Assertions for deployment exceptions
  • A new configuration schema that supports multiple configurations per container
  • EL-like evaluation in properties and configuration overrides via Java properties
  • Explicit ordering of test methods
  • Control over when the container is started and stopped

Arquillian’s extensibility is reflected in its growing ecosystem of extensions. The most mature extension, Arquillian Drone, is included in today’s release. Drone is an abstraction over browser controllers such as Selenium and WebDriver that enables the developer to write browser-based tests without having to fuss with the typical setup and plumbing. Other extensions under active development include an Android test controller, DBUnit integration, a SeamTest replacement for testing Seam 2, BDD runners (Spock and JBehave), performance metrics, code coverage (Jacoco) and Arquillian Graphene (a type-safe Selenium API). Expect more extensions to emerge now that the platform has reached a stable release.


The Arquillian platform and extensions are available in the Maven Central and JBoss Community artifact repositories. The Arquillian libraries are typically added to the test suite of a project using a dependency management tool such as Apache Maven or Apache Ivy. Instructions for setting up Arquillian in your project and writing Arquillian tests are covered in the newly-minted Arquillian Guides.

Arquillian is released under the Apache License, v2.0, an OSI-approved open source software license.

For more information and updates about the Arquilian project, follow the Arquillian project blog and circle the Arquillian project on Google+.

Testing Java EE the JBoss way

Recently, we’ve been working hard on a solution to improve the testability of Java EE, and particularly JBoss AS. I’m pleased to say that a critical piece of puzzle, Arqullian, is now available. Congratulations to Aslak and the Arquillian team for releasing the first alpha of Arquillian! You can read more about Arquillian’s mission, and our plans for Java EE testing below; alternatively, there are some quick links at the bottom if you want to dive right in.

The mission of the Arquillian project is to provide a simple test harness that developers can use to produce a broad range of integration tests for their Java applications (most likely enterprise applications). A test case may be executed within the container, deployed alongside the code under test, or by coordinating with the container, acting as a client to the deployed code.

Arquillian defines two styles of container, remote and embedded. A remote container resides in a separate JVM from the test runner. Its lifecycle may be managed by Arquillian, or Arquillian may bind to a container that is already started. An embedded container resides in the same JVM and is mostly likely managed by Arquillian. Containers can be further classified by their capabilities. Examples include a fully compliant Java EE application server (e.g., GlassFish, JBoss AS, Embedded GlassFish), a Servlet container (e.g., Tomcat, Jetty) and a bean container (e.g., Weld SE). Arquillian ensures that the container used for testing is pluggable, so the developer is not locked into a proprietary testing environment.

Arquillian seeks to minimize the burden on the developer to carry out integration testing by handling all aspects of test execution, including:

  • managing the lifecycle of the container (start/stop),
  • bundling the test class with dependent classes and resources into a deployable archive,
  • enhancing the test class (e.g., resolving @Inject, @EJB and @Resource injections),
  • deploying the archive to test (deploy/undeploy) and
  • capturing results and failures.

To avoid introducing unnecessary complexity into the developer’s build environment, Arquillian integrates transparently with familiar testing frameworks (e.g., JUnit 4, TestNG 5), allowing tests to be launched using existing IDE, Ant and Maven test plugins without any add-ons.

The Arquillian Mission Statement

The first alpha release of Arquillian gives us support for JBoss AS (remote deployments), GlassFish (embedded deployments), Weld SE (embedded deployments) and OpenEJB (embedded deployments). You can also inject beans and component (using @Resource or @Inject) into test cases.

We’ll be adding supported containers in future releases – if you want to see your favorite container on the list, join our community and we can show you how to add support for it. We also plan to add more convention over configuration, meaning you’ll only need to specify a single deployment and reuse it in all your test cases. Aslak has written more about future ideas in a follow-up blog entry announcing the 1.0.0 Alpha 1 release. In that entry he also provides some examples of how to use Arquillian.

We’re strong believers in writing tests, and writing tests which actually test your business logic in the environment it will finally run in, rather than introducing mocked out objects (which may behave differently). While unit testing is important to ensure the correctness of your logic, it does not ensure the correctness of two objects which interact with each other.

With the help of the ShrinkWrap project, Arquillian gives you the ability to create micro-deployments around your tests. Micro-deployments are contained sub-sections of your application logic. This gives you the ability to do lower level integration testing on a lower level then normal integration. It is up to you at what level you want to test!

We also know you need a convenient way to run your test quickly, and that is why we are getting JBoss Embedded AS in shape. Embedded AS offers the potential to bootstrap JBoss AS inside the same JVM when you run your test, making it super easy to debug the test. Unfortunately, Embedded AS support didn’t make this release (we made a decision to release what we have now, rather than delay), but we will push this out to you as soon as it’s ready.

Testing your components and services gets you a long way, but you’ll nearly always want to test your presentation tier as well. And that’s where frameworks like JSFUnit and Selenium come in – they allow you to exercise the work flows your user will use. Support for both these frameworks is planned, as well as for Mock JSF Objects.

If you like what you’ve heard so far, but are worried that Arquillian requires build script wizardry to use, let us surprise you again! Being able to run any of these tests from within the IDE is a key goal of Arquillian — and the key to a rapid development cycle. Arquillian requires no build wizardry! So check out the documentation and give it a try today!

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