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Tests are assertions you make about your models and other resources (e.g. sources, seeds and snapshots). You can do things like test whether a column contains nulls or only unique values, compare row counts between tables, or check all of the records in a child table have a corresponding record in a parent table. dbt ships with some tests you can use but there many more out there in packages like dbt_utils, so do checkout dbt’s package hub for what’s available.

For more information on tests, see dbt’s tests documentation.

Available tests

There is an ecosystem of packages containing helpful macros and tests you can use, see dbt package hub. If you need a package adding to the dbt project, update the packages.yml file then rerun dbt deps.

Custom generic tests

A test is really just a SQL query that returns rows that meet a certain criteria. If the number of returned rows is not zero, then the test fails. When you know that, you’ll soon realise that it’s not too difficult to write your own tests. Tests you write yourself are called custom generic tests and are writen in special macros; read the dbt guidance on how to write custom generic tests to find out more. There are some requirements specific to Create a Derived Table that you must follow when writing custom generic tests. They must live subdirectory named after the team, project, or database they relate to in the ./mojap_derived_tables/tests/generic/ directory and should follow a naming convention where the subdirectory and test name are separated by double underscores, for example team_name__test_name. This is so that ownership of the test is clear and so that the filename is unique.

├── mojap_derived_tables
  ├── dbt_project.yml
  └── tests
      └── generic
          ├── prison_safety_and_security  # team name
              ├── prison_safety_and_security__test_name.sql
          ├── other_project_name  # project name
              ├── other_project_name__test_name.sql
          ├── other_database_name  # database name
              ├── other_database_name__test_name.sql

Singular tests

Singular tests should not be used and they will not be run in the production environment.

Configuring tests

Defining tests for your resources is done within the property file for that resource under the tests property. See the example below.

version: 2

  - name: <model_a>
      - dbt_utils.equal_rowcount:
          compare_model: <model_b>
      - name: <column_a>
          - not_null
          - dbt_utils.not_constant
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