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An easy to use gem that provides datasets that can be used by your application and tests. The data is stored in yaml files.


In order to use data_magic you will have to inform the gem where it can find the yaml files. You can do this with the following code:

DataMagic.yml_directory = 'data/yml'

If you do not specify a directory the gem will default to using a directory named config/data.

After setting the directory you must load a file. This can be accomplished by calling the load method.

DataMagic.load 'filename.yml'

Another way to specify the file to load is to use a tag in a cucumber scenario. You tag should take the form of @datamagic_FILENAME where FILENAME is replaced with the file you wish to load. For example, if you add the tag @datamagic_foo then the file foo.yml will be loaded. If you want to use the tags you simply have to add the following code in a hook:

Before do |scenario|

If you do not specify a filename the gem will attempt to use a file named default.yml. If you are using this for testing you will more than likely want to call load before each test to load the proper data for the specific test, or use the namespaced keys method, detailed below.

Another option is to set an environment variable DATA_MAGIC_FILE. When this is set it will be used instead of the default.yml file.

The final thing to do is use the data. The gem has a data_for method that will return the data for a specific key. The most common way to use this is to include the DataMagic module in a page-object and then populate a page with the data. Here's an example:

class MyPage
  include PageObject
  include DataMagic


  def populate_page
    populate_page_with data_for :my_page

Notice that I am including the module on line 3. On lin 8 I am calling the data_for method passing the key :my_page. The populate_page_with method is a part of the page-object gem.

To organize your data into namespaces, and load that data just in time for testing, use namespaced keys instead:

  page.populate_page_with data_for "user_form/valid"

This will load user_form.yml, and populate the page with the valid: record therein.

Your data might look something like this:

  name: Cheezy
  address: 123 Main Street
  email: [email protected]
  pay_type: 'Credit card'

In order to access the data directly you can just call the method on the module like this:

  page =
  my_data = page.data_for :my_test

Data generators

You can call one of many built-in methods in your yaml file to randomize the data. Here is an example of how you would randomize the above yaml:

  name: ~full_name
  address: ~street_address
  email: ~email_address
  pay_type: ~randomize ['Credit card', 'Purchase order', 'Check']

Here is a list of the built-in methods:

built-in methods built-in methods
first_name last_name
last_name full_name
name_prefix name_suffix
title street_address(include_secondary=false)
secondary_address city
state state_abbr
zip_code country
company_name catch_phrase
words(number = 3) sentence(min_word_count = 4)
sentences(sentence_count = 3) paragraphs(paragraph_count = 3)
characters(character_count = 255) email_address(name = nil)
domain_name url
phone_number cell_phone
randomize([]) randomize(1..4)
mask - #=num a=lower A=upper
today(format = '%D') tomorrow(format = '%D')
yesterday(format = '%D')
3.days_from_today(format = '%D') 3.days_ago(format = '%D')
month month_abbr
day_of_week day_of_week_abbr
sequential([]) sequential(1..4)

If you wish to add your own built-in methods you can simply pass a module to DataMagic and all of the methods will be available.

module MyData
  def abc

DataMagic.add_translator MyData # this line must go in the same file as the module

# can now use ~abc in my yml files


The rdocs for this project can be found at

To see the changes from release to release please look at the ChangeLog

Older versions of Ruby:

This gem only works with Ruby >= 2.2. Use versions 1.1 or below if you have an older Ruby.

Known Issues



Please ensure all contributions contain proper tests.

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

Copyright (c) 2012-2013 Jeffrey S. Morgan. See LICENSE for details.