Skip to main content

Testing suite - Temporal Go SDK feature guide

The Testing section of the Temporal Application development guide describes the frameworks that facilitate Workflow and integration testing.

In the context of Temporal, you can create these types of automated tests:

  • End-to-end: Running a Temporal Server and Worker with all its Workflows and Activities; starting and interacting with Workflows from a Client.
  • Integration: Anything between end-to-end and unit testing.
    • Running Activities with mocked Context and other SDK imports (and usually network requests).
    • Running Workers with mock Activities, and using a Client to start Workflows.
    • Running Workflows with mocked SDK imports.
  • Unit: Running a piece of Workflow or Activity code (a function or method) and mocking any code it calls.

We generally recommend writing the majority of your tests as integration tests.

Because the test server supports skipping time, use the test server for both end-to-end and integration tests with Workers.

Test frameworks

The Temporal Go SDK provides a test framework to facilitate testing Workflow implementations.

This framework is suited for implementing unit tests as well as functional tests of the Workflow logic.

Test setup

To run unit tests, we first define a test suite struct that absorbs both the basic suite functionality from testify via suite.Suite and the suite functionality from the Temporal test framework via testsuite.WorkflowTestSuite.

Because every test in this test suite will test our Workflow, we add a property to our struct to hold an instance of the test environment. This allows us to initialize the test environment in a setup method.

For testing Workflows, we use a testsuite.TestWorkflowEnvironment.

type UnitTestSuite struct {

env *testsuite.TestWorkflowEnvironment

Next, we implement a SetupTest method to set up a new test environment before each test. Doing so ensures that each test runs in its own isolated sandbox.

func (s *UnitTestSuite) SetupTest() {
s.env = s.NewTestWorkflowEnvironment()

We also implement an AfterTest function where we assert that all the mocks we set up were indeed called by invoking s.env.AssertExpectations(s.T()). Timeout for the entire test can be set using SetTestTimeout in the Workflow or Activity environment.

func (s *UnitTestSuite) AfterTest(suiteName, testName string) {

Finally, we create a regular test function recognized by the go test command, and pass the struct to suite.Run.

func TestUnitTestSuite(t *testing.T) {
suite.Run(t, new(UnitTestSuite))

Testing Activities

An Activity can be tested with a mock Activity environment, which provides a way to mock the Activity context, listen to Heartbeats, and cancel the Activity. This behavior allows you to test the Activity in isolation by calling it directly, without needing to create a Worker to run the Activity.

Mock and override Activities

When running unit tests on Workflows, we want to test the Workflow logic in isolation. Additionally, we want to inject Activity errors during our test runs. The test framework provides two mechanisms that support these scenarios: Activity mocking and Activity overriding. Both of these mechanisms allow you to change the behavior of Activities invoked by your Workflow without the need to modify the actual Workflow code.

Let's take a look at a test that simulates a test that fails via the "Activity mocking" mechanism.

func (s *UnitTestSuite) Test_SimpleWorkflow_ActivityFails() {
s.env.OnActivity(SimpleActivity, mock.Anything, mock.Anything).Return(
"", errors.New("SimpleActivityFailure"))
s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(SimpleWorkflow, "test_failure")


err := s.env.GetWorkflowError()
var applicationErr *temporal.ApplicationError
s.True(errors.As(err, &applicationErr))
s.Equal("SimpleActivityFailure", applicationErr.Error())

This test simulates the execution of the Activity SimpleActivity that is invoked by our Workflow SimpleWorkflow returning an error. We accomplish this by setting up a mock on the test environment for the SimpleActivity that returns an error.

s.env.OnActivity(SimpleActivity, mock.Anything, mock.Anything).Return(
"", errors.New("SimpleActivityFailure"))

With the mock set up we can now execute the Workflow via the s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(...) method and assert that the Workflow completed successfully and returned the expected error.

Simply mocking the execution to return a desired value or error is a pretty powerful mechanism to isolate Workflow logic. However, sometimes we want to replace the Activity with an alternate implementation to support a more complex test scenario. Let's assume we want to validate that the Activity gets called with the correct parameters.

func (s *UnitTestSuite) Test_SimpleWorkflow_ActivityParamCorrect() {
s.env.OnActivity(SimpleActivity, mock.Anything, mock.Anything).Return(
func(ctx context.Context, value string) (string, error) {
s.Equal("test_success", value)
return value, nil
s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(SimpleWorkflow, "test_success")


In this example, we provide a function implementation as the parameter to Return. This allows us to provide an alternate implementation for the Activity SimpleActivity. The framework will execute this function whenever the Activity is invoked and pass on the return value from the function as the result of the Activity invocation.

Additionally, the framework will validate that the signature of the "mock" function matches the signature of the original Activity function.

Since this can be an entire function, there is no limitation as to what we can do here. In this example, we assert that the value param has the same content as the value param we passed to the Workflow.

Run an Activity

If an Activity references its context, you need to mock that context when testing in isolation.

Listen to Heartbeats

When an Activity sends a Heartbeat, be sure that you can see the Heartbeats in your test code so that you can verify them.

Cancel an Activity

If an Activity is supposed to react to a Cancellation, you can test whether it reacts correctly by canceling it.

Testing Workflows

When running unit tests on Workflows, we want to test the Workflow logic in isolation. The simplest test case we can write is to have the test environment execute the Workflow and then evaluate the results.

func (s *UnitTestSuite) Test_SimpleWorkflow_Success() {
s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(SimpleWorkflow, "test_success")


Calling s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(...) executes the Workflow logic and any invoked Activities inside the test process. The first parameter of s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(...) contains the Workflow functions, and any subsequent parameters contain values for custom input parameters declared by the Workflow.

Note that unless the Activity invocations are mocked or Activity implementation replaced (see Activity mocking and overriding), the test environment will execute the actual Activity code including any calls to outside services.

After executing the Workflow in the above example, we assert that the Workflow ran through completion via the call to s.env.IsWorkflowComplete(). We also assert that no errors were returned by asserting on the return value of s.env.GetWorkflowError(). If our Workflow returned a value, we could have retrieved that value via a call to s.env.GetWorkflowResult(&value) and had additional asserts on that value.

Query tests

TestWorkflowEnvironment instances have a QueryWorkflow() method that lets you query the state of the currently running Workflow. For example, suppose you have a Workflow that lets you query the progress of a long running task as shown below.

func ProgressWorkflow(ctx workflow.Context, percent int) error {
logger := workflow.GetLogger(ctx)

err := workflow.SetQueryHandler(ctx, "getProgress", func(input []byte) (int, error) {
return percent, nil
if err != nil {
logger.Info("SetQueryHandler failed.", "Error", err)
return err

for percent = 0; percent<100; percent++ {
// Important! Use `workflow.Sleep()`, not `time.Sleep()`, because Temporal's
// test environment doesn't stub out `time.Sleep()`.
workflow.Sleep(ctx, time.Second*1)

return nil

This Workflow tracks the current progress of a task in percentage terms, and increments the percentage by 1 every second. Below is how you would write a test case that queries this Workflow. Note that you should always query the Workflow either after ExecuteWorkflow() is done or in a RegisterDelayedCallback() callback, otherwise you'll get a runtime error panic.

func (s *UnitTestSuite) Test_ProgressWorkflow() {
value := 0

// After 10 seconds plus padding, progress should be 10.
// Note that `RegisterDelayedCallback()` doesn't actually make your test wait for 10 seconds!
// Temporal's test framework advances time internally, so this test should take < 1 second.
s.env.RegisterDelayedCallback(func() {
res, err := s.env.QueryWorkflow("getProgress")
err = res.Get(&value)
s.Equal(10, value)
}, time.Second*10+time.Millisecond*1)

s.env.ExecuteWorkflow(ProgressWorkflow, 0)


// Once the workflow is completed, progress should always be 100
res, err := s.env.QueryWorkflow("getProgress")
err = res.Get(&value)
s.Equal(value, 100)

RegisterDelayedCallback can also be used to send Signals. When using "Signal-With-Start", set the delay to 0.

How to mock Activities

Mock the Activity invocation when unit testing your Workflows.

When integration testing Workflows with a Worker, you can mock Activities by providing mock Activity implementations to the Worker.

How to skip time

Some long-running Workflows can persist for months or even years. Implementing the test framework allows your Workflow code to skip time and complete your tests in seconds rather than the Workflow's specified amount.

For example, if you have a Workflow sleep for a day, or have an Activity failure with a long retry interval, you don't need to wait the entire length of the sleep period to test whether the sleep function works. Instead, test the logic that happens after the sleep by skipping forward in time and complete your tests in a timely manner.

The test framework included in most SDKs is an in-memory implementation of Temporal Server that supports skipping time. Time is a global property of an instance of TestWorkflowEnvironment: skipping time (either automatically or manually) applies to all currently running tests. If you need different time behaviors for different tests, run your tests in a series or with separate instances of the test server. For example, you could run all tests with automatic time skipping in parallel, and then all tests with manual time skipping in series, and then all tests without time skipping in parallel.

Set up time skipping

Learn to set up the time-skipping test framework in the SDK of your choice.

Skip time automatically

You can skip time automatically in the SDK of your choice. Start a test server process that skips time as needed. For example, in the time-skipping mode, Timers, which include sleeps and conditional timeouts, are fast-forwarded except when Activities are running.

Skip time manually

Learn to skip time manually in the SDK of your choice.

Skip time in Activities

Learn to skip time in Activities in the SDK of your choice.

How to Replay a Workflow Execution

Replay recreates the exact state of a Workflow Execution. You can replay a Workflow from the beginning of its Event History.

Replay succeeds only if the Workflow Definition is compatible with the provided history from a deterministic point of view.

When you test changes to your Workflow Definitions, we recommend doing the following as part of your CI checks:

  1. Determine which Workflow Types or Task Queues (or both) will be targeted by the Worker code under test.
  2. Download the Event Histories of a representative set of recent open and closed Workflows from each Task Queue, either programmatically using the SDK client or via the Temporal CLI.
  3. Run the Event Histories through replay.
  4. Fail CI if any error is encountered during replay.

The following are examples of fetching and replaying Event Histories:

Use the worker.WorkflowReplayer to replay an existing Workflow Execution from its Event History to replicate errors.

For example, the following code retrieves the Event History of a Workflow:

import (


func GetWorkflowHistory(ctx context.Context, client client.Client, id, runID string) (*history.History, error) {
var hist history.History
iter := client.GetWorkflowHistory(ctx, id, runID, false, enums.HISTORY_EVENT_FILTER_TYPE_ALL_EVENT)
for iter.HasNext() {
event, err := iter.Next()
if err != nil {
return nil, err
hist.Events = append(hist.Events, event)
return &hist, nil

This history can then be used to replay. For example, the following code creates a WorkflowReplayer and register the YourWorkflow Workflow function. Then it calls the ReplayWorkflowHistory to replay the Event History and return an error code.

import (


func ReplayWorkflow(ctx context.Context, client client.Client, id, runID string) error {
hist, err := GetWorkflowHistory(ctx, client, id, runID)
if err != nil {
return err
replayer := worker.NewWorkflowReplayer()
return replayer.ReplayWorkflowHistory(nil, hist)

The code above will cause the Worker to re-execute the Workflow's Workflow Function using the original Event History. If a noticeably different code path was followed or some code caused a deadlock, it will be returned in the error code. Replaying a Workflow Execution locally is a good way to see exactly what code path was taken for given input and events.

You can replay many Event Histories by registering all the needed Workflow implementation and then calling ReplayWorkflowHistory repeatedly.