POST testing JSON REST API’s with WWW::Mechanize

Having just read the article on POST and PUT in REST API’s I realised I’d goofed a couple of my operations on one of my API’s.

I have tests and this is Perl so how hard can it be to convert over? With Catalyst::Action::REST indeed it is pretty simple to convert my calls, in fact it’s a case of changing the word PUT to POST in some of my function names. It’s the tests where things got interesting. I’m using Test::WWW::Mechanize variants to do my testing because it’s nice and simple. Unfortunately switching from put_ok to post_ok didn’t produce the desired results. When it came to the API it wasn’t reading the data at all. A bit of digging revealed that the post_ok call encoded the parameters in the application/x-www-form-urlencoded style before posting, where as the put_ok call just passed the json through raw.

Some digging into the Catalyst::Action::REST module revealed that they may well have had a similar issue because they created a little helper module called Test::Rest (not to be confused with Test::Rest on CPAN) which created the requests by hand for use in the test suite. Of course they may have simply been avoiding dependencies, and just been lucky to avoid the magic.

I didn’t manage to figure out a way to turn it off so in the end I did a similar thing. The fix for my test suite was to create a simple sub like this that rolled my own POST request with out any magic, then to call $mech->request to simply pass the request through like I was already doing with the DELETE’s. It’s basically a dumbed down version of a method from the Test::Rest from Catalyst::Action::REST.

use HTTP::Request;

sub construct_post
    my $url = shift;
    my $data = shift;

    my $req = HTTP::Request->new( "POST" => $url );
    $req->content_type( 'application/json' );
        do { use bytes; length( $data ) }
    $req->content( $data );
    return $req;

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