Testing email sending in Django

During the past three months I have developed my first two websites in Python using the Django framework.

Following the tutorial was a great start and it didn’t take me that long to get adapted to Python coming from a PHP background. But when you want to go further the documentation is rather vague and confusing in my opinion.

This week I got to the point where I wanted to test the email functionality. Django offers quite a nice tool while you are developing a website; if you want to see the output of your emails, you can just write them to a file adding a couple of settings.

EMAIL_BACKEND = 'django.core.mail.backends.filebased.EmailBackend'
EMAIL_FILE_PATH = os.path.join(PROJECT_ROOT, 'tmp')

In addition to this I wanted to check the email configuration before going production, but already using the final parameters for the required settings:

EMAIL_HOST=''
EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD=''
EMAIL_HOST_USER=''
EMAIL_PORT = 25
EMAIL_USE_TLS = True
DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL = ''
SERVER_EMAIL = ''

The problem is that when Django sets up the testing environment, it changes the email backend to the one in-memory. Fortunately, this behavior can be overridden so you can run a test case with the following code to check if your mail is being actually sent.

 
from django.test import TestCase
from django.core import mail
from django.test.utils import override_settings

@override_settings(EMAIL_BACKEND='django.core.mail.backends.smtp.EmailBackend')
class EmailTest(TestCase):       
    def test_send_email(self):
        mail_sent_success = mail.send_mail('Subject here', 
                       'Here is the message.',
                       '', ['pablo@esebesoftware.com'],
                       fail_silently=False)
        self.assertEquals(mail_sent_success, 1)

Notice that DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL is used if omitting the from_email field.

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3 thoughts on “Testing email sending in Django

  1. There are times when you do not want Django to send emails at all. For example, while developing a Web site, you probably don t want to send out thousands of emails but you may want to validate that emails will be sent to the right people under the right conditions, and that those emails will contain the correct content.

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