Spring Batch Testing & Mocking Revisited with Spring Boot

Jonny Hackett Java, Spring, Spring Batch, Spring Boot, Technology Snapshot, Testing Leave a Comment

Several years ago, 2012 to be precise, I wrote an article on an approach to unit testing Spring Batch Jobs. My editors tell me that I still get new readers of the post every day, so it is time to revisit and update the approach to a more modern standard.

The approach used in the original post was purely testing the individual pieces containing any business logic. Back then, we didn’t have some of the mocking capabilities that we have today, so I went with an approach that made sense at the time.

However, there have been a few improvements in the past several years. One of those improvements has been the ability to Mock beans within a Spring Context. That’s where the @MockBean annotation comes to the rescue.

Using Apache POI With Protected Excel Files

Jonny Hackett Java, Problem Solving, Spring Batch, Technology Snapshot 1 Comment

While working on a recent project at a client, we had the opportunity to refactor some data extracts that were using a commercial Excel writing library, which we then converted to using the Apache POI Library for Excel. These data extracts were reports that included some calculated values, and depending on the client, were required to be password protected. When completed, the reports would be emailed to the recipients configured for each client.

In this post, we discuss the challenge of delivering protected Microsoft documents via email. We introduce a Java code solution for emailing password-protected Excel files when using the Apache POI Library.

Some of the required calculations we chose to implement using Excel formulas. Implementing formulas wasn’t a hard task and worked for what was needed.

Reading and Writing from Excel in Spring Batch

Rik Scarborough Java, Spring, Spring Batch, Technology Snapshot, Tutorial Leave a Comment

We have discussed many different ways to read and write data in Spring Batch. The framework comes with quite an assortment of Readers and Writers that can be used directly or reused in some manner. Most of the time, the requirements consist of reading the data from some type of text file or database.

So what happens when the business we are supporting asks for something out of the ordinary, such as reading an Excel file and outputting the data to another Excel file? Typically the off-the-cuff response would be, “can you convert it to a CSV or other delimited text file?” Or “You know, Excel will read a CSV file just fine.” Sometimes that works, and sometimes the business requirements do not allow that type of flexibility.

Consider this scenario; in these days of Cloud and other online computing, the input file is likely created by a server that the company has no direct access to as far as programming. The file it creates is in one format, Excel. The output of your process has to go before several executives or other business clients and needs to be formatted in a professional looking manner. Adding a manual process to import a CSV and format it diminishes the value of using Spring Batch.

For the sake of the honor of the coding profession, you agree to the requirement to read and write from an Excel file directly. Now, how do you do that?…

Cucumber Testing in Spring Batch

Dallas Monson Spring, Spring Batch, Technology Snapshot, Testing Leave a Comment

With the evolution of microservices and the scalable nature of modern distributed architectures, batch processing seems to be falling out of favor. In fact, the term batch processing itself seems to be unfavorably associated with monolithic mainframe applications and thus does not seem to have much appeal.

Unless, of course, you are working on a project that is being designed to replace or modernize one of those mainframe applications. If that is the case, then likely some sort of batch process has come up with a non-functional requirement that needs to be dealt with in the new system.

For this specific concern, a very powerful framework has been provided: Spring Batch. It has many of the same features of a mainframe batch process like restart/recovery, chunk processing, and error handling along with exit codes. This framework allows developers to create powerful batch processing applications in the Spring Framework and enjoy the rich backplane of capabilities that this provides.

Continuing with the modernization thread, you will likely be tasked with providing some assurances to the business that the new, modernized process will produce the same outcome as the one that is being replaced. Here is where testing comes in, and where Cucumber specifically shines.

Cucumber provides behavioral testing support in the Spring universe. This allows developers and business users to collaborate through a common set of conventions and verbiage to validate that the app is behaving how the business intended as well as how the developer coded it.

In this post we will cover the following:
Why use Cucumber with Spring Batch
An overview of Cucumber and an example Cucumber Test
How to start with Cucumber and Spring Batch…

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Pseudo-Static Row Mappers, a Healthy Alternative to Static Row Mapping

Ryan McCullough Java, Spring Leave a Comment

If you know Spring, chances are pretty good that you’ve also worked with RowMappers and everyone’s #1 favorite BeanPropertyRowMapper. Okay, maybe not EVERYONE. But EVERYONE will acknowledge BPRM’s power potential and how wonderfully easy it is to use!

While BeanPropertyRowMapper may be the smartest and most beautiful on the RowMapper block, many in the industry refuse to give it the time of day, and for perfectly justified reasons.

Sometimes, when we can’t have beauty and wisdom, we’re forced to settle for loud and predictable. Yes, I’m talking about hardcoded, unchanging, tell-it-like-it-is, static RowMapper. Hate on them all you like, Static RowMappers are fast, easy to understand, and they seem to replicate like tribbles.

But, as many of you know, an application can grow into a swamp of one-off RowMappers. ESPECIALLY if you are working with a lot of high-throughput batch operations that need to run strictly optimized queries for performance as to avoid any unnecessary marshaling of data.

Recently, I’ve tried a mildly clever alternative to RowMapping I like to call Pseudo-Static Row Mappers. In this post, I introduce the basics of Pseudo-Static Row Mappers. We show how they give the tough rigid optimization and control of hard-coded naming and data typing while retaining BeanPropertyRowMapper’s spirit of freedom.