NullPointerException in Mockito

Of course this was identified in the testing phase.

So, in my unit test, I was mocking the interface  and then calling the corresponding service to perform a unit test.

However, while debugging the failed test, it threw a NullPointerException at the point where the unit made the actual call to the service through the interface.

My interface was @Autowired. What could go wrong? Why couldn’t the instantiate the @Autowired interface? I have properly injected it to the test, too.

Ok, let’s start reading both the test and the unit from the beginning: in the test part, everything seemed to be fine; mocking the offending interface, providing the preconditions and calling the offending service properly.

Started reading the service of the unit itself guided me to the error. I never autowired any interface. The only thing I injected and autowired was the service itself. Of course, this thing worked pretty well on the user’s side, because no matter of what you define as your caller (interface or service), the method that has to be called will be called in the end, because both of them can call it (the only difference is that the call through interface is “implicit” and the other “explicit”),  but by the time I mocked the interface in the test and setup any preconditions to be dependant on the interface, it would onbivously throw a NPE, because I hadn’t specified anything for the implementation, in the unit test.

Changing the implementation to inject the offending interface instead of the implementation of it, resolved the problem, because then, Mockito could identify the interface, because I had already set it properly up in the test, whereas previously it threw NPE, because I was just trying to setup a precondition for something (interface) that wasn’t actually used in the unit class itself (implementation was injected  instead).


Both interfaces and implementations can be marked as @Autowired, but be careful when unit testing. For example, in my case, with Mockito, I setup my test around the interface, whereas the offending unit had the implementation injected, instead.





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