One of the more exciting announcements from this year’s WWDC was the introduction of a native Swift testing framework. It is built entirely in Swift, will be able to integrate into a variety of IDEs, not just Xcode, and comes with a suite of powerful testing tools.

We are excited to announce that our popular SnapshotTesting library has been updated (version 1.17.0) to support the new Swift Testing framework, as well as our MacroTesting library, and we’ve even introduced a few new features along the way.

Beta preview for Swift Testing support

Note

Currently our support of the Swift Testing framework is considered “beta” because Swift’s own testing framework has not even officially been released yet. Once it is officially released, probably sometime in September, we will have an official release of our libraries with support.

The Apple ecosystem currently has two primary testing frameworks, and unfortunately they are not compatible with each other. There is the XCTest framework, which has been around for decades and is a private framework provided by Apple and heavily integrated into Xcode. And now there is Swift Testing, an open source testing framework built in Swift that is capable of integrating into a variety of environments.

These two frameworks are not compatible in the sense that an assertion made in one framework from a test in the other framework will not trigger a test failure. So, if you are writing a test with the new @Test macro style, and you use a test helper that ultimately calls XCTFail under the hood, that will not bubble up to an actual test failure when tests are run. And similarly, if you have a test case inheriting from XCTestCase that ultimiately invokes the new style #expect macro, that too will not actually trigger a test failure.

However, these details have all been hidden away in our SnapshotTesting library. You can simply use assertSnapshot in either an XCTestCase subclass or @Test, and it will dynamically detect what context it is running in and trigger the correct test failure:

class FeatureTests: XCTestCase {
  func testFeature() {
    assertSnapshot(of: MyView(), as: .image)  // ✅
  }
}

@Test 
func feature() {
  assertSnapshot(of: MyView(), as: .image)  // ✅
}

For the most part, asserting on snapshots works the same whether you are using XCTest or Swift Testing. There is one major difference, and that is how snapshot configuration works. There are two major ways snapshots can be configured: diffTool and record.

The diffTool property allows you to customize how a command is printed to the test failure message that allows you to quickly open a diff of two files, such as Kaleidoscope. The record property allows you to change the mode of assertion so that new snapshots are generated and saved to disk.

These properties can be overridden for a scope of an operation using the withSnapshotTesting function. In an XCTest context the simplest way to do this is to override the invokeTest method on XCTestCase and wrap it in withSnapshotTesting:

class FeatureTests: XCTestCase {
  override func invokeTest() {
    withSnapshotTesting(
      record: .missing,
      diffTool: .ksdiff 
    ) {
      super.invokeTest()
    }
  }
}

This will override the diffTool and record properties for each test function.

Swift’s new testing framework does not currently have a public API for this kind of customization. There is an experimental feature, called CustomExecutionTrait, that does gives us this ability, and the library provides such a trait called .snapshots(diffTool:record:). It can be attached to any @Test or @Suite to configure snapshot testing:

@_spi(Experimental) import SnapshotTesting

@Suite(.snapshots(record: .all, diffTool: .ksdiff))
struct FeatureTests {
  …
}
Important

As evident by the usage of @_spi(Experimental) this API is subject to change. As soon as the Swift Testing library finalizes its API for CustomExecutionTrait we will update the library accordingly and remove the @_spi annotation.

Now all tests run in the suite will be recorded in the .all record mode and test failures will be printed with the ksdiff command line tool.

New features in SnapshotTesting

Alongside support for Swift Testing we have also introduced a few new features. Currently there are two global variables in the library for customizing snapshot testing:

  • isRecording determines whether new snapshots are generated and saved to disk when the test runs.

  • diffTool determines the command line tool that is used to inspect the diff of two files on disk.

These customization options have a few downsides currently.

  • First, because they are globals they can easily bleed over from test to test in unexpected ways. And further, Swift’s new testing library runs parallel tests in the same process, which is in stark contrast to XCTest, which runs parallel tests in separate processes. This means there are even more chances for these globals to bleed from one test to another.

  • And second, these options aren’t as granular as some of our users wanted. When isRecording is true snapshots are generated and written to disk, and when it is false snapshots are not generated, unless a file is not present on disk. Then a snapshot is generated. Some of our users wanted an option between these two extremes, where snapshots would not be generated if the file does not exist on disk or if the test passes already.

    And the diffTool variable allows one to specify a command line tool to use for visualizing diffs of files, but only works when the command line tool accepts a very narrow set of arguments, _e.g.:

    ksdiff /path/to/file1.png /path/to/file2.png
    

Because of these reasons, the globals isRecording and diffTool are now deprecated, and we have introduced a new tool that greatly improves upon all of these problems. There is now a function called withSnapshotTesting for customizing snapshots. It allows you to customize how the assertSnapshot tool behaves for a well-defined scope.

Rather than overriding isRecording or diffTool directly in your tests, you can wrap your test in withSnapshotTesting:

// Before
func testFeature() {
  isRecording = true 
  diffTool = "ksdiff"
  assertSnapshot(…)
}

// After
func testFeature() {
  withSnapshotTesting(record: .all, diffTool: .ksdiff) {
    assertSnapshot(…)
  }
}

If you want to override the options for an entire test class, you can override the invokeTest method of XCTestCase:

// Before
class FeatureTests: XCTestCase {
  override func invokeTest() {
    isRecording = true 
    diffTool = "ksdiff"
    defer { 
      isRecording = false
      diffTool = nil
    }
    super.invokeTest()
  }
}

// After
class FeatureTests: XCTestCase {
  override func invokeTest() {
    withSnapshotTesting(record: .all, diffTool: .ksdiff) {
      super.invokeTest()
    }
  }
}

And if you want to override these settings for all tests, then you can implement a base XCTestCase subclass and have your tests inherit from it.

Further, the diffTool and record arguments have extra customization capabilities:

  • diffTool is now a function (String, String) -> String that is handed the current snapshot file and the failed snapshot file. It can return the command that one can run to display a diff. For example, to use ImageMagick’s compare command and open the result in Preview.app:

    extension SnapshotTestingConfiguration.DiffTool {
      static let compare = Self { 
        "compare \"\($0)\" \"\($1)\" png: | open -f -a Preview.app" 
      }
    }
    
  • record is now a type with 4 choices: all, missing, never, failed:

    • all: All snapshots will be generated and saved to disk.

    • missing: only the snapshots that are missing from the disk will be generated and saved.

    • never: No snapshots will be generated, even if they are missing. This option is appropriate when running tests on CI so that re-tries of tests do not surprisingly pass after snapshots are unexpectedly generated.

    • failed: Snapshots only for failing tests will be generated. This can be useful for tests that use precision thresholds so that passing tests do not re-record snapshots that are subtly different but still within the threshold.

MacroTesting updates

And SnapshotTesting is not the only library getting updates for Swift Testing. Our macro testing library, aptly named MacroTesting, has also been updated to support the new testing framework. You can now use the assertMacro helper in both XCTest and Swift Testing contexts in order to assert how your macros expand and emit diagnostics:

@Test
func expansionWithMalformedURLEmitsError() {
  assertMacro {
    """
    let invalid = #URL("https://not a url.com")
    """
  } diagnostics: {
    """
    let invalid = #URL("https://not a url.com")
                  ┬────────────────────────────
                  ╰─ 🛑 malformed url: "https://not a url.com"
    """
  }
}

Get started today

Upgrade to version 1.17.0 of SnapshotTesting and version 0.5.0 of MacroTesting today to start writing your tests in the brand new, shiny Swift Testing framework. And if you encounter any issues please open a discussion on one of the GitHub repos.

Get started with our free plan

Our free plan includes 1 subscriber-only episode of your choice, access to 62 free episodes with transcripts and code samples, and weekly updates from our newsletter.

View plans and pricing