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Mocking in PHP a comparison

If one is committed to TDD, one needs a fast test suite. And a fast test suite is only reachable through a lot of mocking. When testing a given class, ideally only it’s core behaviour is being tested and all the rest is mocked. In PHP there’s many ways of mocking. I’ll present in this post the one’s I’m used to and in which situations each one of them excels.

Anonymous classes

Anonymous classes API offer a clean way of mocking. I find them useful mainly when I don’t have to implement behaviour and the dependency signature is really simple.

Another trait of anonymous classes is that the implementation is forcibly in your face. With libs of mocking one sometimes see the implementation being searched and override before testing. Which can decrease readability.

    private function getTransmitterMock()
        return new class () {
            public function transmit($nfe)



The mockery is a good for spying, on simple cases.

        $uploadMock = \Mockery::mock('Core\Service\Upload\UploadInterface');
            ->andReturn((new \Core\Service\Upload\File))

One can define how it’s called as well. Ideal to test interaction with third party libs.

        $mockResponse = Mockery::mock();
                    'cep' => '89700-000',
                    'localidade' => 'Concórdia',
                    'uf' => 'SC',
                    'bairro' => '',
                    'complemento' => '',

I tend to see Mockery as an simpler mocking lib than PHP unit’s one, but it sometimes lacks it’s power as well.

And a last good aspect of Mockery is that it’s independent of test frameworks. For those who cannot rely on phpunit this might be a great choice.

PHPUnits Mocks Feature

The phpunit’s API is good to work together with concrete implementations, overriding only parts of a concrete class.

The impression I’ve got it’s that it’s API is more verbose, nevertheless more powerful as well.

    $mock = $this->getMockBuilder('\Finance\Service\Category\GatewayInterface')
        ->setMethods(['saveCategory', 'getCategoryByName'])


Another good use for phpunit’s mocks features is to test if an given object is called with the right arguments when these given arguments needs some sort of processing.

    $mock = $this->getMockBuilder('PaymentService')

        ->with($this->callback(function ($arg) {
            return (
                $arg->getPhoneEntity()->getNumber() == '35242189'
                && $arg->getPhoneEntity()->getAreaCode() == '47'


This post is not supposed to dictate which option is better for mocking. It seems to me that each of those methods shines better in specific contexts. And this is the posture I stand for when mocking, I use the libs interchangeably, depending on the context.

If you have a different opinion about these libs, or some advice about other libs please let me know :).