Wiremock Template Parameters

Apr 3, 2020 java wiremock restassured springboot testing

Explaining and demonstrating the use of template parameters in wiremocked responses within a Spring Boot based integration test.

This article is available on both my blog Paperstack and on my GitHub account (which also contains all of the source code).


What is Wiremock?

For the purposes of this article, Wiremock is a set of libraries to allow you to mock up web APIs for testing. There’s more to it than that, but this is an area in which it shines.

The typical scenario - and what I’ll be demonstrating here - is where you are creating a service that has additional API dependencies. A good integration test needs those services to be completely under the control of your tests so that you can simulate responses, verify the expected requests are made, and simulate error situations.

The example in the test case here:

            .withHeader("Content-Type", "application/json")
            .withTransformers("response-template") // Explicitly enable the "response-template" transformer
            .withTransformerParameter("my-value", "pong")

I’ll break this down in a moment, but in brief this sets up an HTTP server and waits for GET requests to the /ping endpoint - at which point it returns the response created from a file pong.json supplemented by a my-value parameter set to pong. Details follow a little further on.

What is RestAssured?

For the other side of the coin you want to be able to make requests to your own services and verify that they return the expected responses. RestAssured is a library that gives you a Domain Specific Language (DSL) to make the requests and validate the responses.

The example in the test case here:


This sends a GET request to an endpoint (defined by the uri string supplied) and expects a response with status code 200 (success with content) and the body contains just the string Pingy!. If any of these conditions fail to hold then an AssertionError will be thrown describing the discrepancy and the test will fail.

The application under test

In the scenario I’m considering I have a piece of middleware that has transitive dependencies and I want to test its interactions with those dependencies. The relationship will be: rolls up sleeves and creates ascii art…

+-----------+      +--------------------------+      +------------------+
|           |      |                          |      |                  |
| Test Case +----->| Application (Middleware) +----->| API (dependency) |
|           |      |                          |      |                  |
+-----------+      +--------------------------+      +------------------+

My demonstration application will do the following:

The significant part of the controller of the application is therefore as follows:

public String pingalyse() {
    final Optional<Ping> ping = Optional.of(restTemplate.getForObject(properties.getTargetUri(), Ping.class));
    return ping.map(p -> respond(p.getResponse())).orElse("No ping payload :'(");

private String respond(final String responseText) {
    return "pong".equals(responseText) ? "Pingy!" : "Not so pingy :'(";

As you an see, if this gets the expected payload it returns the text Pingy!. Other than a minor effort to deal with null values there is no real error checking here. For example, if the API dependency is not running (whether real or mocked) then the controller will fail, an exception will be thrown, and my service will return a 500 status response.

Port management

One way to configure this test would be to hard code a port for my application - say the default Spring Boot port of 8080 - and hardcode another port for the Wiremocked API - say port 8082. This would work fine, but would make it impossible to run the test if some other application had already reserved those ports.

A better strategy is to instruct both the application and the wiremocked API to choose unused ephemeral ports. Spring Boot supports this approach nicely. Firstly I can configure the SpringBootTest class to choose a suitable unused ‘random’ port:

@SpringBootTest(webEnvironment = RANDOM_PORT)
class ApplicationTests {

I can also tell the SpringBoot test that I intend to use Wiremock (saving some of the configuration work) and that I want it to choose a suitable port as well by specifying the port as zero (zero is not a real port so this is unambiguous):

@SpringBootTest(webEnvironment = RANDOM_PORT)
@AutoConfigureWireMock(port = 0)
class ApplicationTests {

Spring Boot Test makes the special property wiremock.server.port available at configuration time to the Spring Boot application. I can therefore specify my test uri property like this:


Finally I need to know what port the application under test will be listening on - and Spring Boot Test provides the @LocalServerPort annotation to autowire this into the test:

private int serverPort;

Using templates

Templates are not enabled by default in Wiremock so you need to turn them on globally (for all wiremock stubs you create) or for an individual case.

To turn them on globally you would have to override the default Spring Boot Test configuration of Wiremock by supplying a configuration bean as part of the test suite:

public static class ApplicationTestConfiguration {
    public WireMockConfigurationCustomizer customizer() {
        return config -> config.extensions(new ResponseTemplateTransformer(true));

In my example I turn the transformer on explicitly for the test case with the Wiremock DSL invocation of .withTransformers("response-template").

I specify the template file to use by invoking .withBodyFile("pong.json") and by default wiremock will search the classpath for this file under a __files path. The project path to this file is therefore src/test/resources/__file/pong.json and it contains the following:

  "response" : "{{parameters.my-value}}"

The Wiremock response template transformer uses the Mustache templating format and so I need to supply a model with parameters.my-value populated.

Note that in my call to populate this I omit the parameters prefix I omit the parameters prefix but this must be present in the template file itself. This isn’t super clear on the Wiremock documentation!

Another set of model keys is available and automatically created from the request under the request prefix, which is why a prefix is needed to differentiate the two sets.

In the light of this, the invocation of .withTransformerParameter("my-value", "pong") obviously sets the key in the model to pong and the payload from wiremock will be:

  "response" : "pong"

This is exactly what the pingRespondsOk test is looking for, so the test will pass.


This is of course a super simple demonstration of just one part of the capabilities of Wiremock in a particular context, but it has a lot of features that I like a lot. Amongst other things you can run it stand-alone as its own process and controll it remotely via an admin API.

Source documentation

Annoyances and gotchas

Since this build uses JDK11 (the current long-term-support version) we’re in the post-Java9 “Jigsaw” era of modules and a lot of libraries still have problems with that. At test start-up I see the following warnings:

WARNING: An illegal reflective access operation has occurred
WARNING: Illegal reflective access by org.codehaus.groovy.reflection.CachedClass (file:/home/dcminter/.m2/repository/org/codehaus/groovy/groovy/2.5.10/groovy-2.5.10.jar) to method java.lang.Object.finalize()
WARNING: Please consider reporting this to the maintainers of org.codehaus.groovy.reflection.CachedClass
WARNING: Use --illegal-access=warn to enable warnings of further illegal reflective access operations
WARNING: All illegal access operations will be denied in a future release

This is coming from a dependency of the RestAssured library. I turn I’m using an older version of RestAssured itself because of some other issues that seem to be related to modules:

The suggested work-arounds aren’t fixing things for me, so I’ve downgraded to an older version that works (but with the above warnings). At the time of writing the latest version of RestAssured is 4.3.0 so if a more recent release is available you should give that a whirl (and I intend to update this codebase if I see that get fixed). You may need to use the rest-assured-all artifact rather than rest-assured in that case.

About the author

Dave Minter is a consultant with Diabol AB based in Stockholm, Sweden.

© 2017 - 2024 Dave Minter