Continuous Integration -- Running tests with Jenkins

In the first installment, I showed how to get Jenkins set up and connected to your SVN server. In this entry, I'll demonstrate how to run your MXUnit tests in a Jenkins project.


I'm assuming you successfully completed the prior step and can run your tests from ANT, either within your IDE or at the command line. Don't bother proceeding until you've done so.

Configuring ANT within Jenkins

Jenkins needs to know where your ANT install lives. If you haven’t downloaded ANT, do so now, unzip it, and put it somewhere. Then, copy the path to that location.

From your main Jenkins screen, click on “Manage Jenkins”, then “Configure System”. More quickly, type “configure” into the search box and it’ll take you to the same place. Go down to the “ANT” section, click “Add”, and paste that path to your ANT install. Note, this is NOT the “bin” directory… just the ANT root. Give it a name, like “ANT 1.7” or whatever. Click Save

Jenkins will not treat this ANT location as the default location. You must (at least, I did) have to explicitly choose this ANT instance for every project setup. Just so you know. This tripped me up at first.

Configuring your project’s test runner step

Navigate to your project, then click “Configure”. More quickly, you can search for your project by name, then search for “configure”, and you’ll get to the same screen.

Find the "Build" section. click "Add build step". Select "Invoke ANT". Select the ANT instance from the dropdown list of installed ANTs. In the "target" field, type the name of the target in your ANT build file that you use to run tests. For example, "runTests"

This might be all you need. So you could save this and try to do a build now, and see what happens.

Test Runner Step Configuration, Part 2: Properties

Now’s a good time to talk about the weirdo nature of ColdFusion projects with respect to CI. Remember, you checked out your project from Subversion into Jenkins’s workspace, but that’s not the code you care about… your code already lives on a DEV server and is updated by some other means. However, there is one file that gets checked out that you do care about: Your ANT build file.

When Jenkins runs your ANT file, it’ll be running the one from its workspace. And then that build file will be executing its tests against the components you specify on your DEV server. Got it? Good. Confused? I know.

It’s possible that your build file’s runTests target might need some properties that are possibly set in a properties file that you don’t keep in SVN or which otherwise you need to override. For example, for MXUnit itself, our build file looks at a file named “” to get some configuration information such as server name, port, usernames/passwords, webroot location, and some other things. This is NOT kept in SVN b/c it’s unique for each MXUnit contributor. When MXUnit’s runTests is run, it tries to read that properties file and then set the server, port, and webroot properties. But since that file isn’t checked out from SVN, it’s not visible in Jenkins’s workspace and thus those properties never get set. It’s super easy to get around this though!

In your ANT step’s “Advanced” tab, you’ll see a “properties” box. In here, you can type in any properties in name=value format, linebreak-delimited, and poof, properties problem solved. For example, here’s what I put into the properties box for the MXUnit job:

server=localhost port=80 webroot=c:/inetpub/wwwroot

Configuring your project’s JUnit XML Output

In that sample ANT build file above, you saw how easy it was for MXUnit to spit out JUnit-compliant XML. Basically, no matter where your tests actually run (http://blah/whatever/HttpAntRunner.cfc), your JUnit XML files will go in a directory relative to the build file that is running. Got that? That means that, as discussed above, your JUnit xml files will go in your Jenkins workspace somewhere. This is perfect, because that’s where Jenkins wants them to be.

For example, with the MXUnit build, the build file is at mxunit/build.xml. It specifies a location for the JUnit xml output as something that evaluates to tests/testresults/tmp/. So in the Jenkins configuration for the MXUnit job, I specify the JUnit XML location as:


That’s it. So wherever your xml files go relative to your workspace root, simply go to the “Post Build Action” section of your job configuration, check the “Publish JUnit XML” checkbox, and enter in the path to your xml files, with *.xml, as I did above. Click save

Re-saving ant.bat

The following was true when I first set up Hudson with MXUnit, in two-thousand-aught-something. I have not had these problems since then but am keeping this information here in the event that it helps someone with the same problem

After I got the MXUnit project all set up, I ran the build; it executed the tests; Hudson read the JUnit XML (all tests passed). And then…. Failed. Failed?! WTF? WTF was failing? The Hudson console output (thank you, Hudson!) read: “The system cannot find the batch label specified”.

This wasn’t a Hudson problem. It wasn’t an MXUnit problem. Turns out, it was the ant.bat file giving me grief. That’s right… the ant.bat that ships with the eclipse ANT install. Perhaps had I been using a “proper” install, this wouldn’t have been the case. Nonetheless, I wasn’t. So, how to fix it? Simple

Open up ant.bat in Textpad. Notice that it’s in Unix format. Change the format to “PC”. Click Save.

Rerun the Hudson build. Oh Joy. Oh Rapture. A fully functioning test run with test results. Let the CI begin.

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