Simpler unit tests in Angular

The Angular command line interface (ng-cli) generates the code for a component for you, including html, stylesheet, component code and a unit test. It will generate a unit test, I added the necessary import and mocked service:

describe('PortfolioComponent', () => {
  let component: PortfolioComponent;
  let fixture: ComponentFixture<PortfolioComponent>;
  let stockService = mock(StockService);

  beforeEach(async(() => {
      imports: [BrowserModule, BrowserAnimationsModule, FormsModule,
        ButtonModule, CalendarModule, DialogModule, DropdownModule, PanelModule, TableModule],
      declarations: [ PortfolioComponent ],
      providers: [
        {provide: StockService, useValue: instance(stockService)}

  beforeEach(() => {
    fixture = TestBed.createComponent(PortfolioComponent);
    component = fixture.componentInstance;

  it('should create', () => {

The unit test above will setup a TestBed with imports and providers to make it possible to render the component. This will make sure that the HTML template will work with your component code. This is all great, but it comes with a price. When I do this, it takes more time to figure out which modules and services it needs. It also takes a bit longer to setup the TestBed and execute the unit test. On my machine this simple test took 550 milliseconds. I used ts-mockito to mock the service.

describe('PortfolioComponent (Unit test)', () => {
  let component: PortfolioComponent;
  let stockService = mock(StockService);

  beforeEach(async(() => {
    component = new PortfolioComponent(instance(stockService));

  it('ngOnInit', () => {


  it('refreshPortfolioPrices', () => {
    let response0 = new StockLatestPriceResponse();
    response0.latestPrice = 1.23;
    let response1 = new StockLatestPriceResponse();
    response1.latestPrice = 2.34;



Instead of setting up the TestBed, you just instantiate the component with its constructor and mocked service. You can run the same tests and this time it takes only 11 milliseconds. Compared with the TestBed, this takes only 1/50th of the time. If you have a substantial amount of tests, this save quite a lot of time.

The drawback is of course that you don’t test the component template. You can separate tests that include these templates with the TestBed; I have created portfolio.component.spec.ts and portfolio.component.unit.spec.ts to separate component and unit test.

See my Github repository:

A pure unit test without TestBed:
– doesn’t test component template
– not dependent on module import, less brittle
– is 50 times faster