[rspec-users] testing 404 redirects in the controller with rspec beta 19

Phillip Koebbe phillipkoebbe at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 06:40:04 EDT 2010

  On 2010-08-09 1:29 AM, christofferklang wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm new to rails and I'm trying to wrap my heads around how to spec 
> controllers using RSpec (using rails 3rc1 and rspec 2.0.0.beta.19).
> The problem I've run into is when I want to test that my controllers 
> respond with a 404 for unfound records. Whenever I run the spec, the 
> ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound exception is not caught by rails, causing 
> the spec example to fail since the exception propagates out of the 
> controller into the spec.
> >From googling around I get that rails only handles the exceptions and 
> does a 404 response when it's run in production mode, and that you 
> need to call |rescue_action_in_public!| in your example if you want 
> this behavior for test mode. However, this does not seem to trigger 
> rails into handling this with a redirect to 404 even though the 
> @request.remote_addr gets set to
> Do I need to set something up for rails to trigger 404 redirecting of 
> RecordNotFound? Or is this not at all the correct way to test missing 
> records?
> My full example: (using factory_girl, rspec mocks and devise)
> it "respons with 404 when trying to edit non-existing reads" do
>     rescue_action_in_public!
>     sign_in(@user)
>     Read.should_receive(:find_by_id_and_user_id!).with(2, @user.id).and_raise(ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound)
>     get :edit, :id =>  2
>     response.status.should eql 404
>   end
> and the exception:
> 1) ReadsController resources respons with 404 for non existing reads for GET /reads/2/edit
>      Failure/Error: get :edit, :id =>  2
>      *ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound*
> Thanks, /Christoffer

This isn't RSpec 2 / Rails 3 specific, but here's how I've come to 
handle this situation:

I wrote a small controller plugin (I call it IdSecurity) that looks for 
an id parameter on all requests and queries the database looking for the 
matching record. If one is found, it sets an instance variable using 
either the class name or a custom name passed in during configuration. 
If it is not found, it redirects to the target of your choice, mine 
being an error handling route to which I pass the specific error number 
I want it to use (in this case, 404). For testing, all I have to do is 
stub the Model.find_by_id call returning nil and check that the response 
redirects to my error route with the error number argument. It looks 
something like:


acts_as_id_security '/error/404' # I haven't managed to get it to use 
route helpers here :(

def edit
     # @person will be set by IdSecurity automatically

controller spec:

context 'record not found' do
     it 'should redirect to error path with 404' do
         get :edit, :id => '1'
         response.should redirect_to(error_path(404))

This allows me to test that the plugin works, use it it controllers, and 
forget it. I just have to remember that in every action that an id is 
expected, there will already be an instance variable set, but isn't a 
big deal to me.


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