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Multi User Test Runner

JUnit (4.12+) test runner for integration testing web-app authorization with multiple users

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Multi User Test Runner

This custom JUnit test runner is for testing Java applications with multiple roles, users and their combinations. The library makes it easy to test many authorization scenarios with minimal configuration. It is easy to verify that your system denies and permits the access for correct users even in more complex scenarios where the authorization depends on multiple users and their roles.

Originally the library was created to test the security of Spring service-layer methods. Now the core library also with any plain Java classes and has been successfully used with REST-assured based API testing. From 0.5.0 onwards multi-user-test-runner-spring dependency is deprecated. Spring support is achieved by using JUnit rules.

Requirements for version 1.0 and newer

Optional Requirements

multi-user-test-runner-spring module (MUTR 0.4 and earlier)

The library may work with other versions but has not been tested with versions other than the ones mentioned above.





dependencies {
    test 'fi.vincit:multi-user-test-runner:1.0.0-beta1'


Usage is simple:

Configuring the Test Class (The New Way)

Configure the test class:

  1. Create a configuration class that implements MultiUserConfig<USER, ROLE> interface (where USER and ROLE are your user and role types)
  2. Configure the test runner by adding @RunWith(MultiUserTestRunner.class) for the test class
  3. Configure users to run with by adding @RunWithUsers(producers = {"role:ROLE_ADMIN"}, consumers = "role:ROLE_ADMIN") for the test class
  4. Create your test class and add an AuthroizationRule and your config class to your test class: ```java @MultiUserConfigClass private MultiUserConfig<User, User.Role> multiUserConfig = new MyMultiUserConfig();

@Rule public AuthorizationRule authorizationRule = new AuthorizationRule();

Write the tests:

1. Write the test methods
1. Add an assertion. For example, `authenticationRule.expect(toFail(ifAnyOf("user:user")));` before the method under test
   to define which roles/users are expected to fail

### Additional Configuration for Spring

To make the test work with Spring two more rules are needed: `SpringClassRule` and `SpringMethodRule`.
By adding these rules the bean under test and the config annotated by `@MultiUserConfigClass` can be autowired.
The `MultiUserConfig` will also be able to use Spring's dependency injection. The test class configuration
will look like the following:
private MultiUserConfig<User, User.Role> multiUserConfig;

public AuthorizationRule authorizationRule = new AuthorizationRule();

public static final SpringClassRule SPRING_CLASS_RULE = new SpringClassRule();

public final SpringMethodRule springMethodRule = new SpringMethodRule();

Configuring the Test Class (The Old Way)

Configure the base test class:

  1. Create a configured abstract class by extending AbstractUserRoleIT class and implement methods. This will be the base class for your tests.
  2. Configure the runner and set the default exception to expect on failure with the annotation @MultiUserTestConfig

Write the tests:

  1. Create a test class which is extended from your configured class.
  2. Add @RunWithUsers annotation for your test class and define roles/users to use in the tests
  3. Write the test methods
  4. Add an assertion. For example, authentication().expect(toFail(ifAnyOf("user:user"))); before the method under test to define which roles/users are expected to fail

Assertion Error Messages

If the method under test fails when not expected:

java.lang.AssertionError: Not expected to fail with user role role:ROLE_ADMIN
<stack trace...>
Caused by: Permission denied
<stack trace...>

If a method under test doesn’t fail when expected:

java.lang.AssertionError: Expected to fail with user role role:ROLE_USER
<stack trace...>

Test Configuration

Test Class Runners

The default runner is the BlockMultiUserTestClassRunner. When using with Spring service-layer methods SpringMultiUserTestClassRunner from multi-user-test-runner-spring module should be used. The Spring runner loads the Spring context before the tests. This mean you can use Spring’s dependency injection, @ContextConfiguration etc. with your test classes. The test class runner can be configured using @MultiUserTestConfig annotation’s runner parameter.

Default Exception

By default IllegalStateException is expected as the exception that is thrown on failure. Other exceptions are ignored by the runner and will be handled normally by the test method. This behaviour can be changed:

  1. Using expecations by asserting with authorizationRule#expect(Expectation expectation)method. See section Assertions for more information.
  2. Adding @MultiUserTestConfig annotation to change the default exception for a test class. The annotation is inherited so it can be added to a configured base class to reduce boilerplate code.
  3. Do it in @Before method or in the test method itself by calling authorizationRule#setExpectedException() method. The exception is reset to default exception before each test method.

Creating Custom Users

In order to use custom users with @RunWithUsers annotation it is possible to create users in JUnit’s @Before methods. Another way to achieve this is to use a library like DBUnit to create the users to database before the test method.

Defining Users

Producer and consumer

There are two types of users: producer and consumer. Producer user is meant for creating resources (project, task, users in the system etc.) that the consumer then uses. Operations done with the producer user should always succeed. The assertions should be done with the consumer. If there is need to test if creating a resource succeeds with a specific user or role it should be done with the consumer (not producer user). Otherwise the tests end up testing too many things at once. This library already adds a little bit of complexity to the test methods so the tests should be kept as simple as possible.


@RunWithUsers annotation defines which users are used to run the tests. Users can be defined by role (role), by existing user (user), use the producer (RunWithUsers.PRODUCER) user, use a consumer with the same role as the producer (RunWithUsers.WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE) or not log in at all (RunWithUsers.ANONYMOUS). All these definition types can be mixed. The possible definitions are shown in the table below.

Type Format Example Description
user user:<user name> @RunWithUsers(producers="user:admin-user", consumers="user:test-user") Use existing user
role role:<role name> @RunWithUsers(producers="role:ROLE_ADMIN", consumers="role:ROLE_USER") Create new user with given role
producer RunWithUsers.PRODUCER @RunWithUsers(producers="role:ROLE_ADMIN", consumers={RunWithUsers.producer, "user:test-user"}) Use the producer as the user
new consumer with producer role RunWithUsers.WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE @RunWithUsers(producers="role:ROLE_ADMIN", consumers={RunWithUsers.WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE, "user:test-user"}) Create new consumer, uses same role as the producer has
anonymous RunWithUsers.ANONYMOUS @RunWithUsers(producers="role:ROLE_ADMIN", consumers={RunWithUsers.ANONYMOUS, "user:test-user"}) Don’t log in/clear log in details. loginWithUser(User) is called with null user

Each role definition and WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE definition will create new users for each test method separately. They are created by calling AbstractUserRoleIT#createUser(String, String, String, ROLE, LoginRole) method. RunWithUsers.PRODUCER and existing user definitions will not create new users.

Changing the User During Test

By default the producer user is logged in by using the implemented loginWithUser(USER user) method. The consumer is logged in automatically just before the method under test is called. After successful call of the method under test, producer is logged back in.

To change the test to use the consumer (i.e. current user definition) the logInAs(LoginRole role) method can be called at any point of the test method. This method takes LoginRole.PRODUCER or LoginRole.CONSUMER as parameter. The basic way to write a test method is:

public void fetchProduct() {
    String productId = productService.createProduct("Ice cream");

    authorization.given(() -> productService.fetchProduct(productId))
                .whenCalledWithAnyOf(roles("ROLE_ADMIN", "ROLE_SYSTEM_ADMIN"))

The Special Roles

RunWithUsers.PRODUCER can be used to use the current producer user as the user. A new consumer is not created but the same producer user is fetched with AbstractUserRoleIT#getUserByUsername(String) method. This can’t be used as a producer user definition.

RunWithUsers.WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE can be used to create a new consumer user with the same role as the current producer user has. This definition can’t be used as a producer definitions or if the producer roles have one or more producers defined with existing user definition.

RunWithUsers.ANONYMOUS means that user should not be logged in and previous log in should be cleared if necessary. AbstractUserRoleIT#loginWithUser(USER) will be called with null value by default. This behaviour can be changed by overriding AbstractUserRoleIT#loginAnonymous() method.

Role Aliasing

The role definitions don’t have to use the exact same role as the role enum has. By implementing the AbstractUserRoleIT#stringToRole(String) method appropriately the role definitions can have any value which is then mapped to the real role.

Role aliasing feature can be used to implement a simple support for multiple roles per user. Mapping the role definitions to multiple roles can be done for example in AbstractUserRoleIT#createUser(String, String, String, ROLE, LoginRole) method.

Multi Role Support

From version 0.5 onwards it is possible to define multiple roles for a role identifier. The syntax is role:ADMIN:USER. This requires the configuration class to be extended from AbstractMultiUserAndRoleConfig.

Ignoring a Test Method for Specific User Definitions

It is possible to run certain test methods with only specific user definitions by adding @RunWithUsers or @IgnoreForUsers annotation to the test method.

@RunWithUsers(producers = {"role:ROLE_ADMIN", "role:ROLE_USER"},
        consumers = {RunWithUsers.PRODUCER, "role:ROLE_ADMIN", "role:ROLE_USER", "user:existing-user-name"})
public class ServiceIT extends AbstractConfiguredUserIT {
    @RunWithUsers(producers = {"role:ROLE_ADMIN"}, users = {"role:ROLE_USER", "user:existing-user-name"})
    public void onlyForAdminProducerAndConsumerUser() {
        // Will be run only if producer is ROLE_ADMIN and consumer is either ROLE_USER or existing-user-name

    @RunWithUsers(producers = {"role:ROLE_ADMIN"})
    public void onlyForAdminAndAnyUser() {
        // Will be run only if producer is ROLE_ADMIN. Consumer can be any of the ones defined for class.
    // From version 0.5 onwards
    @IgnoreForUsers(producers = {"role:ROLE_ADMIN"})
    public void ignoredForAdminProducer() {
        // Will no be run if producer is ROLE_ADMIN. Consumer can be any of the ones defined for class.



Let’s say that there are multiple tests that use exact same user/role definitions. In 0.5 and older versions the only possibility was to copy paste the definitions to each test. In 0.6 this issue has been solved with UserDefinitionClass.

For example there are multiple tests that take {"role:ROLE_ADMIN", "role:ROLE_USER"} as the consumer definitions. Now it is possible to make a class:

public class GeneralTestUsers implements UserDefinitionClass {

    public String[] getUsers() {
        return new String[] {"role:ROLE_ADMIN", "role:ROLE_USER"};

This class can be given to the consumer in RunWithUsers:

@RunWithUsers(consumerClass = GeneralTestUsers.class)
public class ServiceXTest {
    // ...

Or to the producer:

@RunWithUsers(producerClass = GeneralTestUsers.class)
public class ServiceXTest {
    // ...


Definitions in Assertions

The user definitions role, user, RunWithUsers.PRODUCER and RunWithUsers.ANONYMOUS must be same in the assertion and in the @RunWithUsers annotation. For example if the @RunWithUsers has user:admin and that user has ROLE_ADMIN role it can be only asserted with user:admin and not role:ROLE_ADMIN. Also producer users can only be asserted with RunWithUsers.PRODUCER definition and not with user or role. Users specified with special definitions RunWithUsers.PRODUCER and RunWithUsers.ANONYMOUS can only be asserted with the exact same special definitions.

RunWithUsers.WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE is an exception to above. It can’t be used in the assertions. Instead the corresponding producer user definition has to be used. For example if producer is role:ROLE_ADMIN and consumer is RunWithUsers.WITH_PRODUCER_ROLE the correct way to reference the consumer in an assertion is role:ROLE_ADMIN.


The preferred way to write assertions if the new expectation API introduced in version 0.5. The new API uses less nested calls and is more natural and fluent than the previous APIs. Writing and reading the rules is easier when the when-then structure is on the same level (as opposed to nested like in 0.2).

authorizationRule.given(() -> testService.getAllUsernames())
        .whenCalledWithAnyOf(roles("ROLE_ADMIN", "ROLE_USER"))
        .then(expectValue(Arrays.asList("admin", "user 1", "user 2")))

        .then(expectValue(Arrays.asList("super_admin", "admin", "user 1", "user 2", "user 3")))

                exception -> assertThat(exception.getMessage(), is("Access is denied"))


For all examples, please visit multi-user-test-runner/examples

Configuring base class for tests:

// Webapp specific implementation of test class
@ContextConfiguration(classes = {IntegrationTestContext.class})
        runner = SpringMultiUserTestClassRunner.class, 
        defaultException = AccessDeniedException.class)
public class AbstractConfiguredUserIT extends AbstractUserRoleIT<User, User.Role> {
    protected UserService userService;
    protected UserSecurityService userSecurityService;

    public void loginWithUser(User user) {
        final Set<SimpleGrantedAuthority> authorities = Collections
                .singleton(new SimpleGrantedAuthority(user.getRole().toString()));

                new UsernamePasswordAuthenticationToken(UserInfo.createFromUser(user), user.getUsername(), authorities));

    public void loginAnonymous() {

    public User createUser(String username, String firstName, String lastName, User.Role userRole, LoginRole loginRole) {
        User user = userService.createUser(username, firstName, lastName, userRole);
        userSecurityService.setUserPassword(user, loginRole.toString());
        return user;

    public User.Role stringToRole(String role) {
        return User.Role.valueOf(role);

    public User getUserByUsername(String username) {
        return userService.findByUsername(username);

Writing tests in the test class:

// Test implementation
@RunWithUsers(producers = {"role:ROLE_ADMIN", "role:ROLE_USER"},
        consumers = {RunWithUsers.PRODUCER, "role:ROLE_ADMIN", "role:ROLE_USER", "user:existing-user-name"})
public class ServiceIT extends AbstractConfiguredUserIT {

    public void createAndUpdateTodo() {
        // Create data with "producer" user
        // Logged in as "producer" user by default
        Todo todo = todoService.create(new TodoDto("Write documentation"));
        // Create/update/read data with "user" user
        TodoDto updateDto = new TodoDto(todo);
        updateDto.setName("Write better documentation");
        authorization().expect(toFail(ifAnyOf("role:ROLE_USER", "user:existing-user-name")));

This example test class will run tests:


Custom Test Class Runners

It is also possible to create your own custom test class runner. The custom runner has to extend JUnit’s org.junit.runners.ParentRunner (doesn’t have to be direct superclass) class and has to have a constructor with following signature:

CustomRunner(Class<?> clazz, UserIdentifier producerIdentifier, UserIdentifier consumerIdentifier).

When creating a custom test class runner it is important to note that AbstractUserRoleIT.logInAs(LoginRole) method has to be called after @Before methods and before calling the actual test method. This will enable creating users in @Before methods so that they can be used as producers.

The RunnerDelegate class contains helper methods for creating custom test class runners. Most of time the runner implementation can just call the RunnerDelegate class’ methods without any additional logic. But for example implementing the withBefores method may require some additional logic in order to make the test class’ @Before methods to work correctly (See implementation of BlockMultiUserTestClassRunner#withBefore method).