Test your Controller's ModelAttribute methods.

Injecting a ModelAttribute to the controller's method in Unit tests using Spring and jUnit.

Thu, 20 Jan 2011

I was about to write some unit tests around my Spring’s controller classes and also i wanted to write the test using MockHttpRequest and MockHttpResponse.

My controller had a method to which i was using ModelAttribute as one of the parameter. I just want to simulate the same scenario in my Unit Tests.

Unfortunately i could not see any methods in MockHttpRequest to help me with this. So i had to take a simple different approach as an workaround for this.

My Controller code looks similar to this:

@Controller @RequestMapping(value = “/register”) public class MyController { @RequestMapping(value = “/save”, method = RequestMethod.POST) public ModelAndView save(@ModelAttribute User user) { //Code to save the User object return new ModelAndView(); } }

My Unit Tests:

public class MyControllerTest { MockHttpServletResponse response; MockHttpServletRequest request; AnnotationMethodHandlerAdapter handler;

public final void init() {
    response = new MockHttpServletResponse();
    request = new MockHttpServletRequest();
    handler = new AnnotationMethodHandlerAdapter();

public void shouldTestSaveUser() {
    final User mockUser = new UserTestBuilder().withName("John").build();

    MyController myController = new MyController() {
        public User mockModel() {
            return user;
    ModelAndView model = handler.handle(request, response, myController);



Whenever a method in a controller is annotated with @ModelAttribute , it will be invoked for every request made to that controller. So while creating the mycontroller object i am overriding a sample method which has this annotation and returns a User object as a ModelAttribute.


Prasanna is a full stack web developer, loves to build user interfaces with Javascript. Considers himself as a geek, quick learner and a team player 😃

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