Luiz Guilherme D'Abruzzo Pereira

Software developer


Lately I've been working more closely with backend applications written in Typescript using a Object-Oriented programming with Inversify for dependency injection and Jest for unit and integration test.

The dependencies of our classes are inject by Inversify in the constructor and while writing testings we can inject mocks to isolate the class being tested.

Jest is great for mocking using jest.fn(), jest.mock() and jest.spy(). With fn you can create a mock function which you can use to verify calls to that function checking arguments and number of calls also simulating the behaviour controlling the return or giving it an implementation. With mock you can mock an entire Javascript module changing its content completely. This is very useful when you are using third party libraries that you want verify calls against and change behavior. Lastly spy is useful if you want change a single function of an object. It will replace the function with a mocked function and then after you finish testing it will put the original function back into the object.

But having a Java background and loving to use mockito for creating mocks of classes and interfaces, I always missed the ability to give a type to a function and it gives me back a mock of that type. So I decided to try to do that using Typescript and Jest.

I did a little bit of research on how to solve that problem. Javascript does not have reflection capabilities that Java has because Typescript types does not exist during runtime. But there is one very simple class in Javascript that I could use to achieve something similar: Proxy.

Proxy is a class creates a wrapper around an object where you can capture various different accesses to that object. You could use to validate properties before setting them in target object and define properties dynamically.

For my solution, I will take advantage of the dynamically definition of properties. When I need to create a mock of a class or object I will simply return a Proxy to an empty object and whenever a property is read from the proxy I check if exists in the target object, if it doesn't I return a jest.fn() and save it on the target object.

export const mockOf = <T extends {}>(target: Partial<T> = {}, excludes = ['then']): Mocked<T> =>
  new Proxy(target, {
    get: (target, property, ...rest) => {
      const targetValue = Reflect.get(target, property, ...rest)
      if (targetValue !== undefined || excludes.find(excluded => excluded === property)) {
        return targetValue
      const newMock = jest.fn()
      Reflect.set(target, property, newMock)
      return newMock
  }) as Mocked<T>

You probably noticed that second argument in the function: excludes. This is necessary because there are some situations that we don't want our mock object to return a mock function for specific properties. An example of this is when the mock object is returned by a promise callback or awaited in a async/await function. The promise will check if that object is a "thenable" by looking for the then function in the mock object which will always be defined by our proxy. That's why we need to somehow tell the proxy to ignore some attributes just returning undefined.

As for the types, I am casting the proxy to a Mocked type that takes advantage of Typescript Conditional Types to say that every function type in the mocked object also has the signature of a jest.fn().

export type Mocked<T> = T & {
  [K in keyof T]: T[K] extends (...args: any[]) => any
    ? jest.Mock<ReturnType<T[K]>, Parameters<T[K]>> & T[K]
    : T[K];

Typescript here will also guard that only attributes in the type will be accessible in the mock object.

Now I can use this function like this:

interface Calculator {
  sum(a: number, b: number): number;
  subtract(a: number, b: number): number;

const calculatorMock = mockOf<Calculator>()
expect(calculatorMock.sum(2, 4)).toBe(10);

This facilitated a lot how I write my tests because I can trust the types of the mocked object without having to unsafely type cast them and without the need to define a mock object with every method defined by the interface.