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ftw.builder 1.2.0

Builder pattern for creating Plone objects in tests

Latest Version: 1.11.1


Create Plone objects in tests with the Builder Pattern.

The builder pattern simplifies constructing objects. In tests we often need to create Plone objects, sometimes a single object, sometimes a whole graph of objects. Using the builder pattern allows us to do this in a DRY way, so that we do not repeat this over and over.

from ftw.builder import create
from ftw.builder import Builder

def test_foo(self):
    folder = create(Builder('folder')
                    .titled('My Folder')


Add ftw.builder as (test-) dependency to your package in

tests_require = [

      extras_require={'tests': tests_require})


Setup builder session in your testcase

class TestPerson(unittest2.TestCase):

    def setUp(self):
        session.current_session = session.factory()

    def tearDown(self):
        session.current_session = None

In plone projects you can use the BUILDER_LAYER which your testing layer should base on. So the the session management is handled by the BUILDER_LAYER:

from ftw.builder.testing import BUILDER_LAYER

class MyPackageLayer(PloneSandboxLayer):


Use the builder for creating objects in your tests:

from ftw.builder import Builder
from ftw.builder import create
from my.package.testing import MY_PACKAGE_INTEGRATION_TESTING
from unittest2 import TestCase

class TestMyFeature(TestCase)


    def test_folder_is_well_titled(self):
        folder = create(Builder('folder')
                        .titled('My Folder')

        self.assertEquals('My Folder', folder.Title())


The BuilderSession keeps configuration for multiple builders. It is set up and destroyed by the BUILDER_LAYER and can be configured or replaced by a custom session with set_builder_session_factory.

Auto commit

When having a functional testing layer ( and doing browser tests it is necessary that the new objects are committed in the ZODB. When using a IntegrationTesting on the other hand it is essential that nothing is comitted, since this would break test isolation.

The session provides the auto_commit option (dislabed by default), which commits to the ZODB after creating an object. Since it is disabled by default you need to enable it in functional test cases.

A default session factory functional_session_factory that enables the auto-commit feature is provided:

def functional_session_factory():
    sess = BuilderSession()
    sess.auto_commit = True
    return sess

You can use set_builder_session_factory to replace the default session factory in functional tests. Make sure to also base your fixture on the BUILDER_LAYER fixture:

from ftw.builder.session import BuilderSession
from ftw.builder.testing import BUILDER_LAYER
from ftw.builder.testing import functional_session_factory
from ftw.builder.testing import set_builder_session_factory
from import FunctionalTesting
from import IntegrationTesting
from import PLONE_FIXTURE
from import PloneSandboxLayer

class MyPackageLayer(PloneSandboxLayer):


    bases=(MY_PACKAGE_FIXTURE, ),


Plone object builders

For creating Plone objects (Archetypes or Dexterity) there are some methods for setting basic options:

  • within(container) - tell the builder where to create the object
  • titled(title) - name the object
  • having(field=value) - set the value of any field on the object
  • in_state(review_state) - set the object into any review state of the workflow configured for this type
  • providing(interface1, interface2, ...) - let the object provide interfaces

Default builders

The ftw.builder ships with some builders for some default Plone (Archetypes) content types, but the idea is that you can easily craft your own builders for your types or extend existing builders.

The built-in builders are:

  • folder - creates an Archetypes folder
  • page (or Document) - creates an Archetypes page (alias Document)
  • file - creates a File
Attaching files

The default Archetypes file builder let’s you attach a file or create the file with dummy content:

file1 = create(Builder('file')

file2 = create(Builder('file')
               .attach_file_containing('File content', name='filename.pdf')
Users builder

There is a “user” builder registered by default.

By default the user is named John Doe:

john = create(Builder('user'))
john.getId() == "john.doe"
john.getProperty('fullname') == "Doe John"
john.getProperty('email') == ""
john.getRoles() == ['Member', 'Authenticated']

Changing the name of the user changes also the userid and the email address. You can also configure all the other necessary things:

folder = create(Builder('folder'))
hugo = create(Builder('user')
              .named('Hugo', 'Boss')
              .with_roles('Editor', on=folder))

hugo.getId() == 'hugo.boss'
hugo.getProperty('fullname') == 'Boss Hugo'
hugo.getProperty('email') == ''
hugo.getRoles() == ['Contributor', 'Authenticated']
hugo.getRolesInContext(folder) == ['Contributor', 'Authenticated', 'Editor']
Groups builder

The “group” bilder helps you create groups:

user = create(Builder('user'))
group = create(Builder('group')
               .with_roles('Site Administrator')

Creating new builders

The idea is that you create your own builders for your application. This might be builders creating a single Plone object (Archetypes or Dexterity) or builders creating a set of objects using other builders.

Creating python builders

Define a simpe builder class for your python object and register them in the builder registry

class PersonBuilder(object):

    def __init__(self, session):
        self.session = session
        self.children_names = []
        self.arguments = {}

    def of_age(self):
        self.arguments['age'] = 18
        return self

    def with_children(self, children_names):
        self.children_names = children_names
        return self

    def having(self, **kwargs):
        return self

    def create(self, **kwargs):
        person = Person(

        for name in self.children_names:
                create(Builder('person').having(name=name, age=5))

        return person

builder_registry.register('person', PersonBuilder)
Creating Archetypes builders

Use the ArchetypesBuilder base class for creating new Archetypes builders. Set the portal_type and your own methods.

from ftw.builder.archetypes import ArchetypesBuilder
from ftw.builder import builder_registry

class NewsBuilder(ArchetypesBuilder):
    portal_type = 'News Item'

    def containing(self, text):
        self.arguments['text'] = text
        return self

builder_registry.register('news', NewsBuilder)
Creating Dexterity builders

Use the DexterityBuilder base class for creating new Dexterity builders. Set the portal_type and your own methods.

from ftw.builder.dexterity import DexterityBuilder
from ftw.builder import builder_registry

class DocumentBuilder(DexterityBuilder):
    portal_type = 'dexterity.document'

    def with_dummy_content(self):
        self.arguments["file"] = NamedBlobFile(data='Test data', filename='test.doc')
        return self

You can do things before and after creating the object:

class MyBuilder(ArchetypesBuilder):

    def before_create(self):
        super(NewsBuilder, self).before_create()

    def after_create(self):
        super(NewsBuilder, self).after_create()
Overriding existing builders

Sometimes it is necessary to override an existing builder. For re-registering an existing builder you can use the force flag:

builder_registry.register('file', CustomFileBuilder, force=True)

Development / Tests

$ git clone
$ cd ftw.builder
$ ln -s development.cfg buildout.cfg
$ python2.7
$ ./bin/buildout
$ ./bin/test


1.2.0 (2014-01-31)

  • Add providing() method to Plone builder, letting the object provide interfaces. [jone]
  • Don’t use IDNormalizer for Mail. It handles Umlauts weird. [tschanzt]

1.1.0 (2013-09-13)

  • Add groups builder. [jone]
  • Add users builder. [jone]
  • Added modification date setter for PloneObject Builders. [phgross]

1.0.0 (2013-08-12)

  • Added dexterity support. [phgross]
  • Initial implementation [jone]
File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size (md5) Source 2014-01-31 34KB