Unit Testing — UITableView

The most common way to show data to users is using some kind of endless tables like Instagram’s feed, Facebook’s timeline, WhatsApp’s messages and others.

As an iOS Developer, you have some tools to achieve this. You can use a UITableView , a UICollectionView , IGListKit and more. All these tools have things in common, they all use delegate/datasource pattern and have a custom view to show data.

In this post I’ll, show how we can test delegates, datasource and views for our collections using a UITableView.


First of all, let’s create a new file and implement some methods from UITableViewDataSource. In this example, we are going to use the default UITableViewCell as our cells and String as our model but fell free to use whatever cell and model you want.

Our cells will have different titles based on our [String]? data.

MyDelegateDatasource file

After that, let’s write some tests. Before each test, we are going to create a [String] to populate our table, create a MyDelegateDatasource object, register UITableViewCell to our table and set its delegate and datasource.

We have two tests at the moment:

  • Number of rows
  • Number of sections

Our rows count should be 5 and should have 1 section. The cellForRow method is going to be tested later.

MyDelegateDatasource test file


Our delegate is a little different, to test it we need to mock it and an easy way to do that is to create a protocol.

Every time our user selects a cell we call this protocol. So now we can update MyDelegateDatasource to have a MyDelegateDatasourceProtocol object and call it every time the UITableViewDelegate calls didSelectRow. Don’t forget to implement UITableViewDelegate didSelectRow method.

MyDelegateDatasource file

To test this delegate we need to create an object that implements this protocol, in other words, we need to mock it. We are going to use this object to check if our delegate is being called when UITableViewDelegate calls didSelectRow. This mock is simple it just needs to change a boolean value when the didSelectCell method is called and save the received parameter.

MyDelegateDatasourceMock file

Let’s update our test file creating an MyDelegateDatasourceMock object and setting the delegate property on MyDelegateDatasource.

Our delegate test is checking if the didSelectCell property is false before we call tableView(tableView, didSelectRowAt: indexPath) and if it changed to true after. Also, we are verifying if the data received is the expected.


The cellForRow method is not covered by our test. To check if our UITableViewCell is behaving as expected we used Nimble+Snapshot. Let’s add some tests to check them.

MyDelegateDatasourceTest file

Implementing a delegate and datasource in its own file helps a lot when testing and make them easier to write and testing them is also very important as part of our project.

This is a part-4 of a series of posts that show how to test some stuff on iOS.

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