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Florian Engelhardt
Florian Engelhardt

Posted on • Updated on

Revisiting GitLab as a PHP Developer

Every now and then it seems like a good idea to re-read the documentation of tools you've been using for years. In most cases you just update to the latest version and everything works fine, but you may not be using the latest features.

So here are some things I already knew, and some things I newly discovered when I re-read GitLab's documentation after stumbling over this tweet:

TLDR

You may see all of the below in action in this demo merge request.

Unit test reports

The first thing I found is that GitLab has support for the JUnit XML file format and PHPUnit is able to write a JUnit XML file report. By configuring PHPUnit to create a JUnit XML and by declaring this an artefact in .gitlab-ci.yml you can have a nice unit test overview in the pipeline itself and the merge request.

Test summary of your tests, including number of failed and total tests

Add the JUnit logging to your phpunit.xml file:

<phpunit>
    <!-- ... -->
    <logging>
        <junit outputFile="junit.xml" />
    </logging>
    <!-- ... -->
</phpunuit>
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And tell GitLab-CI via the .gitlab-ci.yml about this report:

Unit Tests:
  stage: test
  script:
    - ./vendor/bin/phpunit
  artifacts:
    reports:
      junit: junit.xml
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What you get is a nice overview of the tests run, the time it took to run every single one in the pipeline and in the merge request overview page.

You may find more hints about this feature in the unit test reports section of the official GitLab docs.

Test code coverage

GitLab can show you the code coverage in percent you have with your tests at various places:

  • as a badge via a predefined URL
  • in a merge request, also indicating if merging this code would increase or decrease code coverage
  • and as a nice graph over time in the Analytics > Repository overview per project and on a group level

Overall test code coverage including if this MR will raise or decrease code coverage

Add a simple coverage report to phpunit.xml:

<phpunit>
    <!-- ... -->
    <coverage>
        <report>
            <text outputFile="php://stdout"
                  showUncoveredFiles="false"
                  showOnlySummary="true" />
        </report>
    </coverage>
</phpunuit>
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And tell GitLab-CI via the .gitlab-ci.yml about this report (add the coverage key):

Unit Tests:
  stage: test
  script:
    - XDEBUG_MODE=coverage ./vendor/bin/phpunit
  coverage: '/^\s*Lines:\s*\d+.\d+\%./'
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This assumes you are using Xdebug and have it already installed in the image your are using to run the tests in GitLab CI. Find the documentation about this feature here.

Test code coverage visualization

This one was an absolut blast for me. While you are gathering code coverage to have a line coverage number you can see everywhere in GitLab, you can also create a line coverage report as Cobertura XML file format with PHPUnit that GitLab can read and show you covered and uncovered lines directly in the merge requests diff view.

Diff view with hints if line is covered or not

Add a the cobertura coverage report to phpunit.xml:

<phpunit>
    <!-- ... -->
    <coverage>
        <!-- ... -->
        <report>
            <!-- ... -->
            <cobertura outputFile="cobertura.xml" />
        </report>
    </coverage>
    <!-- ... -->
</phpunuit>
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And tell GitLab-CI via the .gitlab-ci.yml about this report (add the coverage_report artifacts key):

Unit Tests:
  stage: test
  script:
    - XDEBUG_MODE=coverage ./vendor/bin/phpunit
  artifacts:
    reports:
      coverage_report:
        coverage_format: cobertura
        path: cobertura.xml
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Read more about this awesome feature in the test coverage visualization documentation alongside some screenshots.

Code style violations

PHP CS Fixer is able to generate a GitLab formatted report which GitLab can use to show you any new violations in the code or even if code style violations have been tackled.

Run PHP CS Fixer with the --format=gitlab argument and tell GitLab CI via the .gitlab-ci.yml where the report is to be found:

Coding guidelines:
  stage: static analysis
  script:
    - ./vendor/bin/php-cs-fixer fix -v --dry-run --format=gitlab --using-cache=no src/ > gl-cs-fixer.json || exit 0
  artifacts:
    reports:
      codequality: gl-cs-fixer.json
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I hope this small overview helps you get more out of GitLab and GitLab CI when working with PHP projects.

Top comments (1)

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shochdoerfer profile image
Stephan Hochdörfer

Thanks for sharing!

I gave it a try and was running into an issue with the codequality report. I had the job marked to only run for Merge Requests which caused it not to work as a baseline report was missing. It seems the job needs to run on your master/main branch to have it properly working.

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