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Verifying Pacts

See Verifying Pacts for an introduction into this topic.

Using rake pact:verify

Using the pact:verify task is the most common way to verify pacts. This is where you configure the default set of pacts that your service provider should honour.

It is made available by requiring 'pact/tasks' in your Rakefile.

# In Rakefile
require 'pact/tasks'

# Remember to add it to your default Rake task
task :default => 'pact:verify'

The pacts that will be verified by the pact:verify task are configured in the pact_helper.rb file in your provider codebase. The file must be called pact_helper.rb, however there is some flexibility in where it can be stored. The recommended place is spec/service_consumers/pact_helper.rb.

To ensure that the latest version of the consumer pact is used each time, it is recommended that you either use a Pact Broker or that you publish the pacts of a successful consumer build as artefacts in your CI system.

Note: Pact uses Rack::Test, and assumes that your service provider will be a Rack app. See below for options if your provider is not a Rack app.

# In specs/service_consumers/pact_helper.rb

require 'pact/provider/rspec'

# Require the provider states files for each service consumer
require 'service_consumers/provider_states_for_my_service_consumer'

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do

# Optional app configuration. Pact loads the app from by default
# (it is recommended to let Pact use the if possible, so testing
# conditions are closest to runtime conditions)
app { }

honours_pact_with 'My Service Consumer' do

# This example points to a local file, however, on a real project with a continuous
# integration box, you would publish your pacts as artifacts,
# and point the pact_uri to the pact published by the last successful build.

pact_uri '../path-to-your-consumer-project/specs/pacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json'

# This block is repeated for every pact that this provider should be verified against.
honours_pact_with 'Some other Service Consumer' do


With basic auth

To verify a pact from a URL that requires basic auth, add username and password parameters:

  pact_uri 'http://...', {username: '...', password: '...'}

With a bearer token

To verify a pact from a URL that requires a bearer token, add the token parameter:

  pact_uri 'http://...', {token: '...'}

Fetching pacts from a pact broker

To verify pacts with the specific tag(s):

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
honours_pacts_from_pact_broker do
# Base URL of pact broker is mandatory
# basic auth username/password and token are optional parameters
pact_broker_base_url 'http://...', {username: '...', password: '...', token: '...'}
verbose false # Set this to true to see the HTTP requests and responses logged

# Specify the consumer version tags for the pacts you want to verify
# Simple config - a list of tag names
# This will verify the latest pact with the tag `dev` and the latest pact with the tag `prod`
consumer_version_tags ['dev', 'prod']

# Advanced configuration - new syntax
# This uses the new 'pacts for verification' API if is enabled in your broker
# For more info on the API see
# For a full explanation of how selectors work, see
# Requires pact gem version v1.56.0+
# tag: name of the tag (required)
# latest: true|false. Defaults to false, but generally you want the latest pact, so set it to true. To verify all pacts for the specified tag, set latest: false, or omit the key.
# fallback_tag: the name of the tag to use if a pact with the specified tag does not exist (optional)
# consumer: the name of the consumer
consumer_version_selectors [
{ tag: 'main', latest: true },
{ tag: ENV['GIT_BRANCH'], fallback_tag: 'main', latest: true },
{ tag: 'prod', latest: true }

# Advanced configuration - OLD SYNTAX
# name: name of the tag
# all: it takes the boolean value true|false. Optional. Defaults to false.
# To fetch all the pacts for a tag, set it to true.
# To fetch only the latest pact, set it to false.
# fallback: In case, the tag does not exist, it will fetch pacts for the fallback-tag. This is an optional
# parameter.
# Requires pact gem version v1.28.0+
# This format is supported, but it is preferrable to use the consumer_version_selectors
# There was a regression sometime between v1.42.0 and v1.56.0 where the consumer_version_tags were not mapped correctly to the new selectors
# If you have issues, please upgrade to the latest version of the pact gem.
consumer_version_tags [{name: 'tag-name', all: false, fallback: 'fallback-tag-name'}]

enable_pending true # See docs below
include_wip_pacts_since "2020-01-01" # See docs below

Enabling pending pacts

The "Pending Pacts" feature allows pacts that have been changed by the consumer to be verified by the provider without breaking the provider's build. Read more here. Requires version 1.53.0 or later of the pact gem, and version 2.60.1 or later of the Pact Broker.

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
honours_pacts_from_pact_broker do
enable_pending true

Enabling WIP pacts

The "Work In Progress Pacts" feature automatically includes new pacts in the list of pacts to be verified, allowing the consumer to get feedback on a pact without anyone in the provider team having to change the verification configuration. Read more here. Requires version 1.53.0 or later of the pact gem, and version 2.60.1 or later of the Pact Broker.

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
honours_pacts_from_pact_broker do
include_wip_pacts_since "2020-01-01"

Publishing verification results to a pact broker

If you are using version 1.11.0 or later of the pact gem and 2.0.0 or later of the Pact Broker, you can automatically publish the results of pact verifications back to the broker by setting the app_version and publish_verification_results options in your service provider configuration.

You should only publish verification results from your CI server, not from your local development machine. The recommended way to do this is to detect an environment variable that will only be present on your CI server, like BUILD_NUMBER or TRAVIS, or to set an explicit variable like PUBLISH_VERIFICATION_RESULTS.

See Versioning in the Pact Broker for more information on what the value of the version field should contain. If you're in a hurry, the summary is: use the git sha or equivalent for the app version, and set the app_version_branch from your git branch (or equivalent).

provider_version = ENV['GIT_COMMIT'] || `git rev-parse --verify HEAD`.strip
provider_branch = ENV['GIT_BRANCH'] || `git name-rev --name-only HEAD`.strip
publish_flag = ENV['PUBLISH_VERIFICATION_RESULTS'] == 'true' # or some way of detecting you're running on CI like ENV['CI'] == 'true'

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
app_version provider_version
app_version_branch provider_branch # Supported from v1.59.0
app_version_tags ["foo", "bar"]
publish_verification_results publish_flag

If your pact URL includes basic auth configurations for the pact broker, these will be used to publish the verification.

Verifying a pact at any URL using rake pact:verify:at

You can verify a pact at any arbitrary local or remote URL using the pact:verify:at task. This is useful when you are developing the consumer and provider concurrently, and wish to verify the pact you have just generated in the consumer code base. It will use the same pact_helper file as pact:verify.

$ rake pact:verify:at[../path-to-your-consumer-project/specs/pacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json]
$ rake pact:verify:at[http://build-box/MyConsumerBuild/latestSuccessful/artifacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json]

With basic auth, set the environment variables PACT_BROKER_USERNAME and PACT_BROKER_PASSWORD, or use the basic auth URL format, http://username:password@pactbroker.yourdomain/....

Using a custom pact:verify task

To make a shortcut task for verifying a pact an arbitrary URL that you do not want to verify as part of your normal pact:verify task, (eg. when you are developing the consumer and provider side by side, and want a shorter feedback cycle than can be provided by by your CI box) add the following to your Rakefile. The pact.uri may be a local file system path or a remote URL.

# In Rakefile or /tasks/pact.rake

# This creates a rake task that can be executed by running
# $ rake pact:verify:dev do | task |
task.uri '../path-to-your-consumer-project/specs/pacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json'

With basic auth, set the environment variables PACT_BROKER_USERNAME and PACT_BROKER_PASSWORD, or use the basic auth URL format, http://username:password@pactbroker.yourdomain/....

With bearer token auth, set the environment variable PACT_BROKER_TOKEN.

Verifying one interaction at a time

At some stage, you'll want to be able to run your specs one at a time while you implement each feature. To do this, set the PACT_BROKER_INTERACTION_ID environment variable (if the pact came from a Pact Broker, and is using a recent version of the gem) or the PACT_DESCRIPTION and/or PACT_PROVIDER_STATE environment variables otherwise. At the bottom of the failed pact:verify output you will see the commands to rerun each failed interaction individually. A command to run just one interaction will look like this if it has come from a Pact Broker:

$ bundle exec rake pact:verify PACT_BROKER_INTERACTION_ID="6c8857bd2983448096184c82151a1fc0"

If it has come from a local file, then you can set the provider state and/or description environment variables.

$ bundle exec rake pact:verify PACT_DESCRIPTION="a request for something" PACT_PROVIDER_STATE="something exists"

Modifying the request with live data

Some times you may need to modify the request with data that you only know at run time, like authentication data. If you can't stub the authentication in your rack app, then you can use a proxy app as follows.

class ProxyApp

def initialize real_provider_app
@real_provider_app = real_provider_app

def call env
# Modify request hash (env) here
# See for contents of the env
# To see the env contents in the console while you run the verification, do a `puts env`
response =
# Modify response here
# A rack response is a 3 item array in the format [status, headers_hash, body_iterable]
# eg. [200, {"Content-Type" => "text/plain"}, ["Hello world"]]

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
app { }

Be very careful here that you are only changing existing data in the request - if you add something that the consumer did not actually send in the request, then the request may fail in real life because the consumer does not know it needs to be sent.

Configuring RSpec

Pact uses dynamically created RSpec specs to verify pacts. If you want to modify the behaviour of the underlying RSpec execution, you can:

  1. Configure RSpec in the pact_helper using the normal RSpec.configure code.
  2. Set task.rspec_opts in your custom rake VerificationTask, the same way you would with a normal RSpec rake task declaration.

For future proofing though, try to use the provider state set_up/tear_down blocks where you can, because we may swap out RSpec for custom verification code in the future.

Pact Helper location

The search paths for the pact_helper are: