I'm writing some Objective-C apps (for OS X/iOS) and I'm currently implementing a service to be shared across them. The service is intended to be fairly self-contained.
For the current functionality I'm envisioning there will be only one method that clients will call to do a fairly complicated series of steps both using private methods on the class, and passing data through a bunch of "data mangling classes" to arrive at an end result.
The gist of the code is to fetch a log of changes, stored in a service-internal data store, that has occurred since a particular time, simplify the log to only include the last applicable change for each object, attach the serialized values for the affected objects and return this all to the client.
My question then is, how do I unit-test this entry point method? Obviously, each class would have thorough unit tests to ensure that their functionality works as expected, but the entry point seems harder to "disconnect" from the rest of the world. I would rather not send in each of these internal classes IoC-style, because they're small and are only made classes to satisfy the single-responsibility principle.
I see a couple possibilities:
- Create a "private" interface header for the tests with methods that call the internal classes and test each of these methods separately. Then, to test the entry point, make a partial mock of the service class with these private methods mocked out and just test that the methods are called with the right arguments.
- Write a series of fatter tests for the entry point without mocking out anything, testing the entire functionality in one go. This looks, to me, more like "integration testing" and seems brittle, but it does satisfy the "only test via the public interface" principle.
- Write a factory that returns these internal services and take that in the initializer, then write a factory that returns mocked versions of them to use in tests. This has the downside of making the construction of the service annoying, and leaks internal details to the client.
- Write a "private" initializer that take these services as extra parameters, use that to provide mocked services, and have the public initializer back-end to this one. This would ensure that the client code still sees the easy/pretty initializer and no internals are leaked.
I'm sure there's more ways to solve this problem that I haven't thought of yet, but my question is: what's the most appropriate approach according to unit testing best practices? Especially considering I would prefer to write this test-first, meaning I should preferably only create these services as the code indicates a need for them.