I've defined a truffle migration step as follows:

Deploy my 'main' smart contract, nothing out of the ordinary:

 var UniversityVoting = artifacts.require('./UniversityVoting.sol');

   module.exports = async (deployer) => {

     await deployer.deploy(UniversityVoting);


I then deploy an ERC20 token contract, called VotingToken. As you can see, in module.exports, I get an instance of UniversityVoting which I deployed in step 1, so I can then pass the address of the newly deployed VotingToken to it:

var VotingToken = artifacts.require('./VotingToken.sol');
var UniversityVoting = artifacts.require('./UniversityVoting.sol');

module.exports = async (deployer) => {

    UniversityVotingInstance = await UniversityVoting.deployed();

    await deployer.deploy(VotingToken, UniversityVotingInstance.address);

    await UniversityVotingInstance.setVotingTokenAddress(VotingToken.address);


This works fine using truffle migrate and I can indeed see the correct VotingToken address in Ganache: enter image description here

But in a test written in JavaScript that I execute using truffle test, where I create a new instance of UniversityVotingand call a getter method that returns deployedVotingToken it returns a 0 address. Why would that happen in a truffle test? I thought it was supposed to run your migration files?

describe("Deploy and use the child institution contract", function() {
  before(async function() {

    universityVoting = await UniversityVoting.new(
      from: developerAccount


// In an 'it' block

const originalToken = await universityVoting.getVotingTokenAddress();

originalToken.should.equal("[exampleAddress]");  // Here it says that AssertionError: expected '0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000' to equal '0x34344343434'

1 Answer 1


This was an elementary mistake from my part. In a truffle test environment, if I have to create a new instance of any arbitrary contract, in this case UniversityVoting, why wouldn't I have to with VotingToken? Very silly. So I called a setter and gave the deployedVotingToken instance variable to UniversityVoting and it is no longer unitialised/0 address.

votingToken = await VotingToken.new(
  from: developerAccount
const setToken = await universityVoting.setVotingTokenAddress(
  { from: developerAccount }
  • 1
    Since you are deploying a separate instance the migrations scripts are not called on it. If you have used UniversityVoting.deployed() instead it will be initialized.
    – Ismael
    Jul 16, 2019 at 20:31
  • I wasn't going to comment because rules but this is a gamechanger, thanks. If you put that as an answer I'll accept it! Jul 16, 2019 at 20:52

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