All contributions to HiCognition must pass all existing tests and ideally implement new test-cases that test all aspects of new features. The tests are stratified into test for the the flask server (Backend test), tests for the front-end (Frontend tests) and integration tests that test typical user flows (Integration tests).

Backend tests

The backend tests test both the request handling of the flask server as well as the preprocessing tasks that run inside the queue worker instances. All example data has been restricted to be very compact such that the tests typically run within ~1 min. If you contribute new tests, we would ask you to abide by the same principle and not use full-length test data.


The tests are located in the back_end\tests directory relative to the HiCognition repository. They are further structured into the following categories that reside in individual directories:

  • Database models | Test the convenience methods of database model classes
  • Delete routes | Test flask server delete routes
  • Get routes | Test flask server get routes
  • HiCognition package | Tests for the hicognition submodule that contains common helper functions
  • Post routes | Test flask server post routes
  • Tasks | Test preprocessing tasks
  • Testfiles | Examples needed to run the tests

Within these directories, the tests are distributed to different python files that use the unittest framework to set up test cases and run them. Many of the tests need asses to a test instance of the flask app. This functionality is provided by the LoginTestCase class that can be imported from hicognition.test_helpers. If tests inherit from this class, each call to setUp will create a fresh flask app instance with an in-memory SQLite database. Be sure to call super().setUp() if you want to add other setup steps! The hicognition.test_helpers file also contains a TempDirTestCase class that can be mixed into a test case to create a temporary directory (accessible via `Te) before the test-suite and clean it up after the suite ash run.

Running the tests

If you want to run the tests, you need a running development HiCognition instance (see the guide to find out how you can set this up). Then, you need to attach a shell to the flask-server container:

docker exec -it flask-server bash

You can then run the entire backend suite using pytest:

cd /code
pytest .

Alternatively, you can run a specific test file using python (all test files have a unit test entry point defined):

python tests/get_routes/test_api_auth.py

If you change any code inside the hicognition package during development, you either need to rebuild the container or install the package in the running container using pip install .

Frontend tests

The frontend tests test common utility functions that are used throughout the vue.js app.


The tests are written using jest and are located in front_end\src\tests relative to the HiCognition repository.

Running the tests

If you want to run the tests, you need a running development HiCognition instance (see the guide to find out how you can set this up). Then, you need to attach a shell to the node container:

docker exec -it node bash

You can then run the entire frontend test suite using npm:

cd /front_end
npm run test

Integration tests

The integration tests test common user flows on a running test instance of HiCognition using cypress.


The tests are located in front_end\e2e relative to the HiCognition repository. This directory contains both the definitions of the tests as well as a Dockerfile that defines the cypress docker image to use. The main reason we have a separate image for this is that we include a custom test initialization script (init.sh) that defines how to wait on resources needed for running the test (in this case, the flask server startup and finishing the frontend build).

Running the tests

To run the tests, we provide an integration docker-compose file called docker_integration_tests.yml that starts the flask server in end2end mode and runs the integration tests. End2end mode means that a volatile MySql database is used (no data is persisted outside the MySql docker container), and a test-user is created at app startup. In addition, the integration test docker-compose file has a slightly different way of building the frontend files such that the file /dist/static/finished.json is deposited into the static directory after the build is finished. This file is used by the init.sh script of the cypress container to determine that the frontend build has finished.

You can run the integration tests as follows:

docker-compose -f docker_integration_tests.yml up