Flask-SQLAlchemy and PostgreSQL Unit Testing with Transaction Savepoints

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PostgreSQL provides us two very powerful features which are helpful with unit testing: transactional DDL and transaction savepoints. In this article I will show you how to use those with Flask-SQLAlchemy unit tests.

Transactional DDL means you can create tables inside a transaction, run tests against them, and roll back your changes after you are done. The database will be left in the same state as it was when you started. If you started with an empty database, nothing will be left in the database afterwards.

Savepoints allow you to roll back a part of a transaction without affecting what has happened before that savepoint was created. You can run a single test inside a savepoint and roll back just the changes that single test made without affecting the changes your set-up code has done before the savepoint.

That means you can create a large number of tables and other database objects in the beginning of your test suite and then run individual tests inside nested transaction using savepoints. There is no need to drop and re-create the whole database schema for each test. Continue reading Flask-SQLAlchemy and PostgreSQL Unit Testing with Transaction Savepoints