Request specs have a lot of benefits over traditional controller specs. They allow for full stack testing at the controller level. One thing I recently ran into was how to write this for AJAX requests.

Take me to the solution

If you’re familiar with controller specs then you might have seen the following format before:

  xhr :get, :new

For an endpoint that uses AJAX, I first tried the following request spec style:

  get users, params: { name: 'Geralt' }, as: :js

Knowing that this was a javascript request seemed logical to me. Unfortunately, I was met with the following error:


  MembershipsController#create is missing a template for this request format and variant.

  request.formats: ["text/html"]
  request.variant: []

Ok… So that message above tells us that the requested format was text/html. But as: :js was specified since the template is an .js.erb.


Coming full circle we need to specify that the request being made is an AJAX or XHR style request. Adding the option xhr: true solves this issue.

  get users, params: { name: 'Geralt' }, xhr: true
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