Daily Archives: 16th of August 2015

Database-Testing with PHPUnit and sqlite

Today I wanted to test a database-handling class using PHPUnits PHPUnit_Extensions_Database_TestCase and an sqlite in-memory database.

On running the tests I always got the following error-messages:

MyDatabaseTest::testDatabaseConnection with data set #0 ()
PHPUnit_Extensions_Database_Operation_Exception: COMPOSITE[TRUNCATE] operation failed on query:
                DELETE FROM "[tablename]"
             using args: Array
 [SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 1 no such table: [tablename]]


After some checking what might help I got different solutions:

  • Use MySQL as test-backend – No, I want to use an sqlite with in-memory storage as it’s fast and doesn’t require too much setup on a CI-Server
  • Use a pre-configured sqlite-file and therefore a file-based sqlite. That might have been possible, but I just wanted to use in-memory….

The solution was rather simple. It seems that PHPUnit deletes the content of the table in question before setting up the table to execute a test. That only works, if the table already exists. Therefore I’ve added a create table xyz statement right after setting up the in-memory-table. So the test-class now looks like that:

class MyDatabaseTest extends PHPUnit_Extensions_Database_TestCase
    protected $pdo = null;

     * @return PHPUnit_Extensions_Database_DB_IDatabaseConnection
    public function getConnection()
        if (null === $this->pdo) {
            $this->pdo = new PDO('sqlite::memory:');
            $this->pdo->exec('create table [tablename]([table-definition])');
        return $this->createDefaultDBConnection($this->pdo, ':memory:');

     * @return PHPUnit_Extensions_Database_DataSet_IDataSet
    public function getDataSet()
        return $this->createXMLDataSet('[path/to/xml-seed-file]');

    public function testDatabaseConnection()
        $pdo = $this->getConnection()->getConnection();
        // Do your database-tests here using the required pdo-object

Perhaps this can help someone to find a solution earlier 😉