Jasmine JS, Angular JS – Testing of an Angular Controller + Spy On

While testing a controller we can use the Angular’s $controller() method (instead of $inject.get()), which allow us to resolve the controller and to specify the mock dependencies in a single call as well.

SpyOn() Jasmine feature

We are using the spyOn() Jasmine’s feature as well, which allow us to check if a particular target’s method has been called. The spyOn() method allow as as well to mock the method’s code, or we can use the and.callThrough() method (as we are doing) to execute the real method’s code. To check if a method we was spying on was called we can use the toHaveBeenCalled() method within our tests.

Here is our test:

/// <reference path="../../../scripts/jquery-2.1.3.min.js" />
/// <reference path="../../../scripts/jasmine/jasmine.js" />
/// <reference path="../../../scripts/angular.min.js" />
/// <reference path="../../../scripts/angular-mocks.js" />
/// <reference path="../../hangman/hangmanBundle.js" />
describe("Hangman Controller:", function () {
    describe("When the controller is created", function () {
        var $scope, target;
        //Mock objects
        var mockHangmanService = {
            getKeyboard: function () {
                return new window.hangman.KeyboardModel();
            getPhrase: function (phrase) {
                return new window.hangman.PhraseModel(phrase);
        var mockWordService = {
            getWord: function () {
                return {
                    then: function (callback) {
                        callback("The Test Phrase");
        var mockHangmanConstants = {
            NS: window.hangman,
            MAX_ERRORS: 5
        beforeEach(function () {
            inject(function ($controller, $rootScope) {
                //Create the test $scope
                $scope = $rootScope.$new();
                //With spyOn() we can check if our mock methods were called.
                //.ans.callThrough() tells to really execute the mock methods
                //(since we could override their returned value from here).
                spyOn(mockHangmanService, "getKeyboard").and.callThrough(); //<- Jasmine 2.0 only! (With 1.0 it was .andCallThrough())
                spyOn(mockHangmanService, "getPhrase").and.callThrough();   //<- Jasmine 2.0 only! (With 1.0 it was .andCallThrough())
                spyOn(mockWordService, "getWord").and.callThrough();        //<- Jasmine 2.0 only! (With 1.0 it was .andCallThrough())
                //Resolve the hangmanController.
                //In this case we can use the $controller object to
                //create the controller directly passing its dependencies.
                //So we don't need to create a mock module and to use the
                //$injector object as we did for the hangmanService
                target = $controller("hangmanController", {
                    "$scope": $scope,
                    "hangmanService": mockHangmanService,
                    "wordService": mockWordService,
                    "hangmanConstants": mockHangmanConstants
        it("It should have a keyboard", function () {
            //We can check this thanks to the spyOn()
        it("It should have a phrase", function () {
            //We can check this thanks to the spyOn()
        it("It should be possible to win", function () {
        it("It should be possible to lose", function () {

Here’s our controller’s code

    ["$scope", "hangmanService", "wordService", "hangmanConstants",
        function ($scope, hangmanService, wordService, hangmanConstants) {
            $scope.errors = 0;
            $scope.keyboard = null;
            $scope.phrase = null;
            $scope.init = function () {
                $scope.errors = 0;
                $scope.keyboard = hangmanService.getKeyboard();
                wordService.getWord().then(function (word) {
                    $scope.phrase = hangmanService.getPhrase(word);
            $scope.onKeyPress = function (key) {
                if (!$scope.phrase.discoverCharacter(key)) {
                    if ($scope.playerLose())
            $scope.playerWins = function () {
                if ($scope.phrase)
                    return $scope.errors < hangmanConstants.MAX_ERRORS
                        && $scope.phrase.phraseDiscovered();
                    return false;
            $scope.playerLose = function () {
                return $scope.errors == hangmanConstants.MAX_ERRORS;
            $scope.endGame = function () {
                return $scope.playerWins() || $scope.playerLose();

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