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Ember gives you the power to write tests and be productive from day one. You can be confident that your app will be correct today and years from now. A question remains: How should you write tests?

Since tests are a core part of the Ember framework and your development cycle, we will dedicate several sections to learning how to write tests.

In this section, we will cover why testing is important and how to run, debug and filter your tests.

Why Do I Need Tests?

Writing tests is a necessary ingredient if you want to guarantee users and stakeholders that your app, whether small or large, will function as intended at any given time. The larger your app, the more costly and error-prone manual testing becomes.

Writing tests is also a fun activity, a nice change of pace from delivering features daily, and a way to help you refactor code and improve as a developer. Tests can also serve as a living documentation — a key element in onboarding new developers.

How to Run Tests

You have a few options for running tests.

First, you can run the test suite by entering the command ember test, or ember t, in your terminal. This will run the suite just once.

Suppose, instead, you want the suite to run after every file change. You can enter ember test --server, or ember t -s.

Lastly, if you are already running a local development server (through ember server), you can visit the /tests URI. This will render the tests/index.html template.

# Run all tests once
ember test
ember t

# Run all tests after every file change
ember test --server
ember t -s

How to Filter Tests

When you are working on a single component or page, you will want only a small subset of tests to run after every file change. To specify which tests to run, you can add --module or --filter option to your command.

The --module option allows you to select a module—a group of tests that you specified in module() in QUnit, or describe() in Mocha.

# Button component example
ember test --server --module="Integration | Component | simple-button"

# Run tests for a location service
ember t -s -m="Unit | Service | location"

The --filter option is more versatile. You can provide a phrase to match against the modules and test descriptions. A test description is what appears in test() in QUnit, or it() in Mocha.

# Button component example
ember test --server --filter="should show icon and label"

# Test everything related to your dashboard
ember t -s -f="Dashboard"

# Run integration tests
ember t -s -f="Integration"

In QUnit, you can exclude tests by adding an exclamation point to the beginning of the filter, e.g. ember test --filter="!Acceptance". In Mocha, ember test --filter="Acceptance" --invert.

To learn more about options for testing, you can visit Ember CLI Documentation or type ember help test in the command line.

How to Debug Tests

When you are writing tests or application code, the execution of your tests may fail.

To find out the problem, you can add debugger to your code to check the intermediate state. You can add this line to both test and application code.

Thanks to Ember's setup, you can also use pauseTest() and resumeTest() to debug your tests. pauseTest allows you to inspect the DOM easily, but can only be used in the test code.

Simply add await pauseTest(); to your test code, then save. When the test reaches this line, it will pause, allowing you to inspect the state of your application. When you are done, type resumeTest() in the browser console to continue the test.


Ember considers testing a first-class citizen. In addition, it provides various inbuilt functionalities to run, filter and debug tests.

In the next section, we will see what tools can help you with testing and how to get started with them.