Is it bad practice to allow my Junit tests to interact with a real DB?

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I'm building a basic HTTP API and some actions like POST /users create a new user record in the database.

I understand that I could mock these calls, but at some level I'm wondering if it's easier to let my Junit tests run against a real (test) database? Is this a bad practice? Should only integration tests run against a real DB?

I'm using flyway to maintain my test schema and maven for my build, so I can have it recreate the test DB with the proper schema on each build. But I'm also worried that I'd need some additional overhead to maintain/clean the state of the database between each test, and I'm not sure if there's a good way to do that.


Unit tests are used to test single unit of code. This means that you write a unit test by writing something that tests a method only. If there are external dependencies then you mock them instead of actually calling and using those dependencies.

So, if you write code and it interacts with the real database, then it is not a unit test. Say, for some reason your call to db fails then unit test will also fail. Success or failure of your unit test should not be dependent on the external dependencies like db in your case. You have to assume that db call is successful and then hard code the data using some mocking framework(Mockito) and then test your method using that data.


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