Last updated Jun 12, 2024

Generate and Examine skeleton tests

When you generate a new plugin with an atlas-create-application-plugin command, the generated plugin skeleton includes skeleton tests.  This page walks you through the process of generating the plugin skeleton and its tests.  It also introduces you to the project components the tests rely on.

Backgrounder:  Supported Plugin Test Types

You can and should test plugins using the same types of tests as you would for other software. In general, the different types of tests fall into these categories:

unitTest on a distinct unique of work within the plugin such as a single method or function.

Tests the interactions between the plugin and the plugin's target environment. In the case of an Atlassian plugin, the target environment is the host application. Integration tests can also include or rely on other external, services.

Atlassian supports traditional integration tests and wired integration tests. Wired integration tests are bundled as a plugin and run directly in the host application. You'll learn more about creating wired integration tests later in this tutorial.

functionalTests the functionality of the application's features and functions.
stressTests how the application performs under a large number of requests within a given period.
acceptanceTests how well the application meets a customer's needs.

Unit and integration tests test your plugin's internal structures or functions.  Atlassian provides you with a plugin test skeleton and a tools for unit and integration testing.  Often, you can combine functional tests with your integration tests.  In some cases, Atlassian host applications supply functional test libraries that you can leverage in developing your own tests.

The stress and acceptance tests require you to write specifications or build systems specific to your plugin and its requirements.   Atlassian does not provide tools, processes, or infrastructures for these test types but we do encourage you to do them on your own.

Step 1. Create a Plugin Skeleton

In this step, you create a simple plugin skeleton and import it into the Eclipse IDE. You can create a skeleton for any of the Atlassian host applications. This tutorial uses Jira.

Do I have to Use Eclipse?

If you aren't interested in using Eclipse and prefer another IDE, you are perfectly free to use another. However, the tutorial assumes you are using Eclipse.

Do the following to generate the plugin skeleton and its tests resources:

  1. Open a terminal and navigate to your Eclipse workspace directory.

  2. Enter the following command to create a Jira plugin skeleton:


    When prompted, enter the following information to identify your plugin:

    Create a plugin for?

    Enter a Jira version









    Use OSGi Java Config


  3. Confirm your entries when prompted.

  4. Change to the testTutorial directory created by the previous step.

  5. Run the command:

    atlas-mvn eclipse:eclipse

    You should repeat this command after you add a dependency to your pom.xml file. It ensures that Eclipse populates your project dependencies correctly. 

  6. Start Eclipse.

  7. Select File->Import
    Eclipse launches the Import wizard.

  8. Filter for Existing Projects into Workspace (or expand the General folder tree).

  9. Press Next and enter the root directory of your workspace. 
    Your Atlassian plugin folder should appear under Projects.

  10. Select your plugin and click Finish
    Eclipse imports your project.

Step 2. Review the Generated Test Structure

The atlas-create-jira-plugin command creates test directories and skeleton test files.   Most atlas-create-application-plugin commands create the following directories:

PLUGIN_HOME/src/test/java/itPlace integration tests here. You must package all your integration tests in a package that begins with the it prefix.
PLUGIN_HOME/src/test/java/utPlace unit test here. You must package all your unit tests in a package that begins with the ut prefix.


Place resource test files here.

Not all  atlas-create-application-plugin commands generate these directories. If you use a command that does not generate these directories, create them yourself.

Along with the test directory structure, most atlas-create-application-plugin commands generate skeleton test files.  For this tutorial, the generation step created these additional files:  

  • PLUGIN_HOME/src/test/java/it/com/example/plugins/tutorial/jira/testTutorial/
  • PLUGIN_HOME/src/test/java/ut/com/example/plugins/tutorial/jira/testTutorial/
  • PLUGIN_HOME/src/test/resources/atlassian_plugin.xml

The wired integration tests rely on the descriptor file (atlassian_plugin.xml). You'll learn more about this later in the tutorial. 

Take some time and open the generated test files.  The Java files contain simple classes that you can expand on as you work.  If you use the atlas-create-application-plugin-module commands to add plugin modules, you may find the commands generate additional files in these folders.  

Step 3. Review the pom.xml Test Dependencies

Typically, your pom.xml file contains three elements related to test dependencies.

The JUnit Dependency

In the previous step, you may have noticed that all of your plugin test files import a org.junit.Test class. JUnit is a widely-used testing framework supported for testing Atlassian plugins. When you generate a plugin, the  pom.xml file includes a dependency on JUnit 4.10:


The scope of this dependency limits the availability of JUnit only to the project test compilation and execution phases.  If you are packaging a plugin, you need not remove your tests files as the test dependencies do not load at runtime in a production system.

Testrunner Dependencies

Look for the wired test runner dependencies further down the page.  These look like the following:


Your integration tests can make use of these dependencies to write in-product, wired integration tests.

Product-specific Dependencies

Depending on which host application you are using, Jira, Confluence, etc., your pom.xml file may contain dependencies in addition to JUnit. The dependencies can be on third-party test frameworks, like Mockito, or to Atlassian test suites. The application-specific sections of this site contain information on these resources. The last page of this tutorial explains where those are.

Next Step

So far, you've learned about the generated structure created for you when you run an atlas-create-application-plugin command.  This structure includes test directories, files, and dependencies. This is code that Atlassian generates for all plugin developers automatically.  In the next section, you write a simple unit test, execute the test in your plugin, and review the results of the test.

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