Jetty as a test-suite decorator

9 Jul, 2004

Marty Andrews and I have been working on a small project together. It's primarily intended as a demo of continuous integration, but has also given us the opportunity to play with some new technologies/ideas.

One of the coolest tricks we picked up (from Cactus) was to start/stop a web-server as part of running the tests, rather than depending on having one running already.

(In the past I've typically written Ant scripts that dump a WAR-file in a magic directory, and wait "a bit" for the server to auto-deploy it, before running my HTTP-based acceptance-tests. This is way nicer.)

The key is a test decorator that starts Jetty to serve our web-app:

package com.thoughtworks.todolist;

import junit.extensions.TestSetup;
import junit.framework.Test;
import org.mortbay.jetty.Server;
import org.mortbay.util.InetAddrPort;

public class JettyTestSetup extends TestSetup {

    private Server _server;

    public JettyTestSetup(Test test) {

    protected void setUp() throws Exception {
        _server = new Server();
        _server.addListener(new InetAddrPort(9999));
            "/todolist", "build/todolist.war"

    protected void tearDown() throws Exception {
        _server = null;


As you can see, it's not hard to get a Jetty server going. Jetty is nice and lightweight, too: it's small (less than 600k), and starts up fast (less than a second here).

Now, it's a simple matter to decorate our test-suite with JettyTestSetup:

public class AllAcceptanceTests {

    public static Test suite() throws Exception {
        TestSuite suite = new TestSuite();
        // ... etc ...
        return new JettyTestSetup(suite);


That's it. The server gets started at the beginning of the suite, and stopped afterward.