SHPEC and Curl to test endpoints

SHPEC makes it easy to wrap some Bash commands with some assertions. Curl is a data transfer tool that supports a wide variety of protocols. To test endpoints you will be transferring data from a HTTP or HTTPS resource.


  • Bash
  • Curl
  • Date

Special Ingredients

If you are running a Mac you will need to install coreutils to get the same GNU standard options for date. Recommended Way is to install using homebrew.

brew install coreutils

Bake Time

15 min.


Start by creating a project structure.

mkdir shpec
mkdir -p shpec/matchers

Within the matchers directory create a file called_curl_matchers.sh_.

status_200() {
  assert present "$1" "HTTP/1.1 200 OK"

content_type() {
  assert present "$1" "Content-Type: $2;"

Notice that there are 2 matcher functions one for Status code and one for Content-Type.

The function_status_200()_takes in 1 argument $1 which will be the data returned back from Curl.

The function_content_type()_will take 2 arguments $1 and $2. $1 is the data that comes from Curl and $2 is the Content-Type that we are looking for.

Once you have your matchers create a new file called_first_curl_shpec.sh_and put in the following code.

describe "SHPEC Curl Endpoint Test"
  start="$(date +%s%3N)"
  output="$(curl -s -i '')"
  end="$(date +%s%3N)"

  it "has runtime less than 1 second"
    assert lt $runtime "1000"

  it "returns a 200 status code"
    assert status_200 "$output"

  it "returns an application/json contentType"
    assert content_type "$output" "application/json"

You will notice that immediately after the describe block there is a start, output, end and runtime. The start and end variables get the time before and after the Curl command. This will allow us to calculate the milliseconds that it took to run that specific command. The difference of these 2 values will be stored in runtime.

The other major variable that we are using is output. This is where we are storing the data returned from Curl.

Curl it self has a couple arguments that will help in producing the data we need to create some useful tests.

curl -s -i some-url

The_-s_is used to suppress the progress bar from coming back in our data. The_-i_adds header information to the return value. This is where we can see things like Content-Type, Cookies, etc.

This will produce a result like the following and returns it within the output variable.

$ curl -s -i ''
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:40:54 GMT
Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 25
Last-Modified: Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:28:51 GMT
Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
Expires: Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:50:54 GMT
Cache-Control: max-age=600
Accept-Ranges: bytes
X-GitHub-Request-Id: 2FDE25D5:59A4:126984DF:583C5006

  "name": "John Doe"

Once we have our data we can run asserts on the matchers that we created.