Mock Same Method with Different Parameters

When creating a mock for a Java method, it proves beneficial to obtain varied responses depending on the provided parameters. Let us delve into the article to understand the mocking of the Java method based on the input parameters.

1. Introduction

JUnit is a powerful and widely used testing framework for Java that simplifies the process of writing and executing test cases. It plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliability and correctness of Java applications throughout the development lifecycle.

1.1 Features of JUnit

  • Annotations: JUnit provides a set of annotations such as @Test, @Before, @After, etc., making it easy to define and manage test cases and setup/teardown procedures.
  • Test Runners: JUnit supports various test runners, allowing developers to run tests in different environments and configurations. This flexibility is particularly useful for integration and system testing.
  • Assertions: JUnit offers a range of assertion methods for validating expected outcomes. These assertions make it straightforward to check whether the actual results match the anticipated results.

1.2 Introduction to Mockito

Mockito is a widely used mocking framework for Java that simplifies the creation of mock objects during testing. Key features and benefits include:

  • Easy Mocking: Mockito provides a straightforward syntax for creating mock objects, making it easy to simulate behavior and interactions.
  • Verification: With Mockito, you can verify the behavior of your code by checking interactions between objects, ensuring that methods are called with the correct arguments.
  • Annotations: Mockito supports annotations for concise test code, such as @Mock for creating mock objects and @InjectMocks for injecting dependencies.
  • Stubbing: It allows you to stub methods, specifying the return values of mocked objects to control their behavior during testing.

2. Code Example

Mocking the same method with different parameters in Java is a common scenario in unit testing. Here’s an example using the Mockito framework. Suppose you have a class Calculator with a method add:

public class Calculator {
    public int add(int a, int b) {
        return a + b;

Now, let’s create a unit test using JUnit and Mockito to mock the add method with different parameters:

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;
import static org.mockito.Mockito.*;

public class CalculatorTest {

    public void testAdditionWithDifferentParameters() {
        // Create a mock of the Calculator class
        Calculator calculatorMock = mock(Calculator.class);

        // Define different responses based on parameters
        when(calculatorMock.add(2, 3)).thenReturn(5);
        when(calculatorMock.add(4, 6)).thenReturn(10);

        // Test with the mocked values
        int result1 = calculatorMock.add(2, 3);
        int result2 = calculatorMock.add(4, 6);

        // Verify that the mock was called with the expected parameters
        verify(calculatorMock).add(2, 3);
        verify(calculatorMock).add(4, 6);

        // Assert the results
        assert(result1 == 5);
        assert(result2 == 10);

In this example, we create a mock object of the Calculator class using mock(Calculator.class). We then use the when method to specify different responses for the add method based on different parameter values.

Finally, we call the add method with specific parameters and assert that the mock behaves as expected. The verify method is used to ensure that the mock was called with the specified parameters.

Note: Make sure to include the JUnit and Mockito dependencies in your project’s pom.xml file.

<!-- JUnit -->
    <version>5.8.2</version> <!-- Check for the latest version -->
    <version>5.8.2</version> <!-- Check for the latest version -->

<!-- Mockito -->
    <version>3.12.4</version> <!-- Check for the latest version -->

3. Limitations of Consecutive Stubbing

Consecutive stubbing in testing frameworks like Mockito involves providing multiple return values for the same method based on the order of invocations. While this feature is powerful, there are some limitations and considerations to be aware of:

  • Order Dependency: Consecutive stubbing relies on the order of method invocations. If the order is not maintained during the test execution, the wrong stubbed value may be returned. This can make tests more brittle and harder to maintain.
  • Limited Flexibility: Consecutive stubbing is useful for scenarios where method invocations follow a specific order. However, it is not suitable for cases where methods are invoked in a more dynamic or non-linear fashion.
  • Cumbersome for Many Values: When you have a large number of consecutive invocations and need to stub a corresponding value for each, the code can become verbose and less readable. This affects the maintainability of the test code.
  • Not Suitable for All Scenarios: Consecutive stubbing is not applicable or practical for certain scenarios, especially when dealing with complex interactions, asynchronous code, or when the order of invocations is unpredictable.
  • Limited Support for Void Methods: Consecutive stubbing is more straightforward for methods that return values. Void methods require additional verification steps to ensure the correct order of invocations.
  • Potential for Misuse: While powerful, consecutive stubbing can be misused. Writing too many consecutive stubs might indicate an overly detailed specification of behavior, leading to tests that are too tightly coupled to the implementation.
  • Readability Concerns: In cases where there are many consecutive stubs, the test code might become less readable. Developers should carefully balance the need for detailed specifications with the overall clarity and simplicity of the test code.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, the use of consecutive stubbing in testing, using Mockito, offers a powerful mechanism to define different responses for the same method based on specific parameter values. While this technique can enhance the expressiveness of unit tests, it comes with certain limitations. The order dependency of consecutive stubbing requires careful management to avoid brittleness in test code, and its applicability will be limited in scenarios where method invocations follow a dynamic or non-linear pattern. Additionally, the potential for misuse and reduced readability in cases of numerous consecutive stubs should be considered. Despite these limitations, when applied judiciously, consecutive stubbing proves valuable for certain testing scenarios, providing a balance between specificity in behavior definition and the overall clarity of test code. One should weigh the benefits against the limitations and explore alternative approaches when necessary to ensure robust and maintainable test suites.


An experience full-stack engineer well versed with Core Java, Spring/Springboot, MVC, Security, AOP, Frontend (Angular & React), and cloud technologies (such as AWS, GCP, Jenkins, Docker, K8).
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