Start Date Release Date Release Versions PR link Tracking Link Stage Teams
6/1/2020 5/2/2020
  • ember-source: v4.4.0
  • ember-cli: v4.3.0
  • Framework
  • CLI

Facilitate customization of setupTest* functions


Provide a default and convenient way for each project to customize the setupApplicationTest, setupRenderingTest, and setupTest functions from RFC #268 and RFC #232. The app and addon blueprints will be updated to create a file at tests/helpers/index.js where those functions will be wrapped and exported, creating a local place to edit for each type of test setup. Tests generated using ember generate will import the setup functions from that file.


Projects often need to customize setup for every test. For example, in acceptance tests, it is often necessary to override services, mock APIs, etc. in every test of that type.

A common use-case is ember-cli-mirage, which provides a setupMirage function to be called after setupApplicationTest. In a project using this, it can be necessary to remember to add that call to every test file.

If it is necessary to add new setup to every test (for example, when adding a service that must be replaced in test), every test file must be individually modified.

For these reasons, many projects create their own setup*Test functions in the test/helpers directory, either wrapping the addon-provided setup*Test functions or composing with them in each test file.

For example:

  import { module, test } from 'qunit';
  import { setupTest } from 'ember-qunit';

  module('Unit | Service | tomster', function(hooks) {

    test('this works', function(...

in a generated test where the setup functions have been wrapped in a helper must manually be changed to:

    import { module, test } from 'qunit';
    import { setupTest } from 'my-app/tests/helpers';

    module('Unit | Service | tomster', function(hooks) {

      test('this works', function(//...

or where the setup functions are to be composed, this must be added:

    import { module, test } from 'qunit';
    import { setupTest } from 'ember-qunit';
    import { setupMyTest } from 'my-app/tests/helpers';

    module('Unit | Service | tomster', function(hooks) {

      test('this works', function(//...

Developers of these projects must remember to change the imports or additionally call their custom setup in every test file. It is easy to forget to make these changes and waste time to debug test failures or weird test side effects.

Detailed design

When generating tests in an Ember project today, the setup functions in the generated test are imported from ember-qunit or ember-mocha. This RFC proposes adding a file at test/helpers/index.js that would look like:

import { setupApplicationTest as upstreamSetupApplicationTest } from 'ember-qunit';
export function setupApplicationTest(hooks, options) {
  upstreamSetupApplicationTest(hooks, options);
  // customize here
export { setupTest, setupRenderingTest } from 'ember-qunit';

The current imports in newly generated tests:

import { setupApplicationTest } from 'ember-qunit';
// OR
import { setupRenderingTest } from 'ember-qunit';
// OR
import { setupTest } from 'ember-qunit';

will change in the relevant generated tests to:

import { setupApplicationTest } from 'my-app-name/tests/helpers';
// OR
import { setupRenderingTest } from 'my-app-name/tests/helpers';
// OR
import { setupTest } from 'my-app-name/tests/helpers';

ember-qunit has been used for demonstrative purposes, but the blueprints for generated tests using ember-mocha are also maintained in ember-source and ember-data. Those blueprints will also be updated to use the local test helpers. The test/helpers/index.js file will import from the appropriate test framework.

We will provide a codemod to update existing tests. @rwjblue has created a proof-of-concept codemod.

An eslint-plugin-ember lint rule will be created to solely allow the imports of setup*Test directly from ember-qunit/ember-mocha in the test/helpers/index.js file.

How we teach this

The Ember.js guides extensively cover testing and use the setup*Test functions. Those guides will need to be updated to reflect the new imports that will be in generated tests. Because of this, the guides will need to explain the file at test/helpers/index.js as a place for customization.

The tutorial also covers testing, using the setup*Test functions. It will need to be updated, as other existing Ember apps will, likely by using the codemod.

This change will not substantially alter how a developer new to Ember would learn and use the framework.


Developers will need to trace imports through the local file before finding the the bulk of the setup methods come from ember-qunit or ember-mocha. Projects without a need to customize the behavior of these test setup functions may find that slightly inconvenient.


We could leave it to each project, as we do now, to create helpers to customize behavior as needed. The downsides of this current state would remain as discussed in Motivation.

Another alternative would be to create base classes from which test modules could extend, similar to how it is done within Ember.js. This would be a much larger change to how we write tests in Ember projects and would have many details to be discussed and hashed out. It may be worth exploring but the change proposed in this RFC would still provide value until that idea were realized.

Prior Art

A very similar proposal was discussed in a CLI Issue, over two years ago.

Unresolved questions

Optional, but suggested for first drafts. What parts of the design are still TBD?