To install for development:

  1. Fork the biweeklybudget repository on GitHub
  2. Create a new branch off of master in your fork, and clone it locally then:
$ cd biweeklybudget
$ python3 -mvenv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
$ pip install -e
$ cd src/biweeklybudget

The git clone you’re now in will probably be checked out to a specific commit, so you may want to git checkout BRANCHNAME.


  • pep8 compliant with some exceptions (see pytest.ini)
  • 100% test coverage with pytest (with valid tests)

Docker Database Container

To run a Dockerized database for your test environment:

$ docker run -d --name budgettest -p 13306:3306 --env MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=dbroot --env MYSQL_ROOT_HOST='%' mariadb:10.4.7
$ export DB_CONNSTRING='mysql+pymysql://root:dbroot@'; export MYSQL_HOST=; export MYSQL_PORT=13306; export MYSQL_USER=root; export MYSQL_PASS=dbroot; export MYSQL_DBNAME=budgettest; export MYSQL_DBNAME_LEFT=alembicLeft; export MYSQL_DBNAME_RIGHT=alembicRight
$ python dev/
# run your tests
$ docker stop budgettest && docker rm budgettest

Test Database Setup

After starting your test database (i.e. Docker Database Container above or by running a local MySQL / MariaDB server) and exporting your connection string and MySQL-related variables, i.e.:

export DB_CONNSTRING='mysql+pymysql://root:dbroot@'; export MYSQL_HOST=; export MYSQL_PORT=13306; export MYSQL_USER=root; export MYSQL_PASS=dbroot; export MYSQL_DBNAME=budgettest; export MYSQL_DBNAME_LEFT=alembicLeft; export MYSQL_DBNAME_RIGHT=alembicRight

you can set up the test databases by running dev/

Loading Data

The sample data used for acceptance tests is defined in biweeklybudget/tests/fixtures/ This data can be loaded by setting up the environment <_getting_started.setup> and then using the loaddata entrypoint (the following values for options are actually the defaults, but are shown for clarity):

loaddata -m biweeklybudget.tests.fixtures.sampledata -c SampleDataLoader

This entrypoint will drop all tables and data and then load fresh data from the specified class.

If you wish, you can copy biweeklybudget/tests/fixtures/ to your customization package <_getting_started.customization> and edit it to load your own custom data. This should only be required if you plan on dropping and reinitializing the database often.


Testing is done via pytest, driven by tox.

  • testing is as simple as:
    • pip install tox
    • tox
  • If you want to pass additional arguments to pytest, add them to the tox command line after “–”. i.e., for verbose pytext output on py27 tests: tox -e py27 -- -v

For rapid iteration on tests, you can run only one module at a time like:

tox -e plaid -- biweeklybudget/tests/acceptance/

Or even just one class by specifying its name with -k like:

tox -e plaid -- -k TestClassName biweeklybudget/tests/acceptance/

Unit Tests

There are minimal unit tests, really only some examples and room to test some potentially fragile code. Run them via the ^py\d+ tox environments.

Integration Tests

There’s a pytest marker for integration tests, effectively defined as anything that might use either a mocked/in-memory DB or the flask test client, but no HTTP server and no real RDBMS. Run them via the integration tox environment. But there aren’t any of them yet.

Acceptance Tests

There are acceptance tests, which use a real MySQL DB (see the connection string in tox.ini and and a real Flask HTTP server, and selenium. Run them via the acceptance tox environment. Note that they’re currently configured to use Headless Chrome; running them locally will require a modern Chrome version that supports the --headless flag (Chrome 59+) and a matching version of chromedriver.

The acceptance tests connect to a local MySQL database using a connection string specified by the DB_CONNSTRING environment variable, or defaulting to a DB name and user/password that can be seen in Once connected, the tests will drop all tables in the test DB, re-create all models/tables, and then load sample data. After the DB is initialized, tests will run the local Flask app on a random port, and run Selenium backed by headless Chrome.

If you want to run the acceptance tests without dumping and refreshing the test database, export the NO_REFRESH_DB environment variable. Setting the NO_CLASS_REFRESH_DB environment variable will prevent refreshing the DB after classes that manipulate data; this will cause subsequent tests to fail but can be useful for debugging.

Running Acceptance Tests Against Docker

The acceptance tests have a “hidden” hook to run against an already-running Flask application, run during the docker tox environment build. Be warned that the acceptance tests modify data, so they should never be run against a real database. This hook is controlled via the BIWEEKLYBUDGET_TEST_BASE_URL environment variable. If this variable is set, the acceptance tests will not start a Flask server, but will instead use the specified URL. The URL must not end with a trailing slash.

Database Migration Tests

There is a migrations tox environment that runs alembic-verify tests on migrations. This tests running through all upgrade migrations in order and then all downgrade migrations in order, and also tests that the latest (head) migration revision matches the current state of the models.

The environment also runs manually-curated acceptance tests for any migrations that involve data manipulation.

This tox environment is configured via environment variables. Please note that it requires two test databases.

  • MYSQL_HOST - MySQL DB hostname/IP. Defaults to
  • MYSQL_PORT - MySQL DB Port. Defaults to 3306.
  • MYSQL_USER - MySQL DB username. Defaults to root.
  • MYSQL_PASS - MySQL DB password. Defaults to no password.
  • MYSQL_DBNAME_LEFT - MySQL Database name for the first (“left”) test database.
  • MYSQL_DBNAME_RIGHT - MySQL Database name for the second (“right”) test database.

Alembic DB Migrations

This project uses Alembic for DB migrations:

  • To generate migrations, run alembic -c biweeklybudget/alembic/alembic.ini revision --autogenerate -m "message" and examine/edit then commit the resulting file(s). This must be run before the model changes are applied to the DB. If adding new models, make sure to import the model class in models/
  • To apply migrations, run alembic -c biweeklybudget/alembic/alembic.ini upgrade head.
  • To see the current DB version, run alembic -c biweeklybudget/alembic/alembic.ini current.
  • To see migration history, run alembic -c biweeklybudget/alembic/alembic.ini history.

Database Debugging

If you set the SQL_ECHO environment variable to “true”, all SQL run by SQLAlchemy will be logged at INFO level.

To get an interactive Python shell with the database initialized, use python -i bin/

Performance Profiling and Logging


If you set the SQL_ECHO environment variable to “true”, all SQL run by SQLAlchemy will be logged at INFO level.

If you set the SQL_QUERY_PROFILE environment variable to “true”, event handlers will be inserted into the SQLAlchemy subsystem that log (at DEBUG level) each query that’s run and the time in seconds that the query took to execute. This will also result in logging each query as it is executed.

Flask Application

When running the application in development mode using flask rundev, the werkzeug WSGI handler will append the time taken to serve each request to the request log, in the format [Nms] where N is an integer number of milliseconds.

When running the application in Docker, the time taken to serve the request in decimal seconds will be appended to the end of the Gunicorn access logs, in the format [N.Ns] where N.N is the decimal number of seconds.

Docker Image Build

Use the docker tox environment. See the docstring at the top of biweeklybudget/tests/ for further information.

Frontend / UI

The UI is based on BlackrockDigital’s startbootstrap-sb-admin-2, currently as of the 3.3.7-1 GitHub release. It is currently not modified at all, but should it need to be rebuilt, this can be done with: pushd biweeklybudget/flaskapp/static/startbootstrap-sb-admin-2 && gulp

Sphinx also generates documentation for the custom javascript files. This must be done manually on a machine with jsdoc installed, via: tox -e jsdoc.

Vendored Requirements

A number of this project’s dependencies are or were seemingly abandoned, and weren’t responding to bugfix pull requests or weren’t pushing new releases to PyPI. This made the installation process painful, as it required pip install -r requirements.txt to pull in git requirements.

In an attempt to make installation easier, we’ve vendored any git requirements in to this repository under biweeklybudget/vendored/. The intent is to move these back to requirements when each project includes the fixes we need in its official release on PyPI.

To updated the vendored projects:

  1. Update biweeklybudget/vendored/
  2. Run cd biweeklybudget/vendored &&
  3. Ensure that our main includes all dependencies of the vendored projects.

Release Checklist

  1. Ensure that CHANGES.rst has entries for all changes.
  2. Ensure that the version in has been incremented.
  3. Update the header in CHANGES.rst to have the new version number and release date.
  4. Regenerate all docs with tox -e docs -e jsdoc -e screenshots and commit the results.
  5. Merge all of the above to master.
  6. To cut release, tag master.