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Behaviour Driven Development Testing Framework with Cucumber

The Ultimate Guide in 2022

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Behaviour Driven Development(BDD) is a method of working for the software teams to bridge the gap between business and technical people by:

  • Encouraging cross-role collaboration to develop a shared knowledge of the problem
  • Increasing feedback and the flow of value by working in short, quick iterations
  • Producing system documentation that is validated against the system’s behavior automatically

One can accomplish those mentioned before by concentrating collaborative efforts on tangible, real-world examples of how we want the system to behave. Those examples serve as a roadmap for us as we move from concept to implementation in a collaborative process.

The concept of BDD involves using a common language to improve communication between various tech and non-tech teams. The tests are more user-centered and based on the behavior of the system. The proposed approach for writing test cases in BDD is ‘Given-When-Then.’ The test-driven development strategy has been replaced by the business-driven development approach, as BDD follows the ‘Given-When-Then’ processes for developing test cases.

Let’s walk through the behaviour driven development testing framework with the help of Cucumber, an automation tool.

Cucumber: A Behaviour Driven Development Testing Framework Tool

Cucumber is a framework for behaviour driven development testing (BDD) which can also be used for Test Automation. The cucumber testing tool is a Ruby-based, business-driven development tool. Cucumber framework uses Gherkin (a simple plain text language parser) to express expected software behaviors in a logical language, allowing technical and non-technical team members to communicate and collaborate more effectively. The higher the quality of the code, the lower the maintenance expenses and the lower the project’s associated hazards. Stakeholder involvement becomes easy regardless of programming ability, and testers can write test scripts without requiring extensive programming experience. Cucumber’s plugins are faster than Selenium’s, and it supports a wide range of programming languages. Selenium, Ruby on Rails, Watir, Spring framework, and other software platforms are all flexible. As a result, it’s possible to reuse the code, and it’s also a lot easier to set up. Cucumber is compatible with various software systems, including Selenium, Watir, Ruby, and others. It is more concerned with defining ‘behavior’ rather than establishing ‘tests.’ It helps members of a cross-functional product team communicate more effectively. Cucumber lets you understand how the system should function from the developer’s and customer’s perspectives by using non-technical language to reach a wider audience.

Cucumber serves as a connector between the following groups:

  • Manual and Automation Testers
  • Manual Testers and Developers
  • Business Analysts and Software Engineers

With all the benefits, we have limitations too, and they include the following:

  • Testers must have prior experience in TDD (Test-driven Development) to work in BDD
  • BDD approach may be ineffective if the requirements are not correctly analyzed
  • Testers must have sufficient technical skills

Gherkin is a language that developers use to define tests in Cucumber. Since this language uses plain English, it’s meant to describe use cases for a software system in a way that can be read and understood by almost anyone. This syntax promotes BDD because it allows developers, managers, business analysts, and other parties involved to understand the requirements of the project and the life cycle. In addition, the language facilitates the creation of essential documentation for the code under development. Gherkin also includes test automation scripts and supports a wide range of languages. To write Gherkin tests, you must first comprehend the terms and their meaning in practice. The most popular keywords in Gherkin syntax are listed below.

  • Feature
  • Rule
  • Example
  • Given, When, Then, And, But
  • Background
  • Scenario Outline

Each keyword is critical to the process of writing a great Gherkin test. Now, let’s take a closer look at these keywords and how to use them to write Gherkin tests.

What is Gherkin?


Gherkin documents start with this keyword, followed by text that provides a description. More simply put, the feature describes what the software is supposed to do. This keyword enables us to group scenarios together. This isn’t really for testing purposes, but it allows you to add documentation on requirements and business rules. The description section ends when you start a new line with keywords such as scenario outline, example, or rule.

If desired, free-form descriptions can be written beneath the keywords specified above, as long as none of your lines begin with a keyword.



The rule keyword denotes a single business rule that must be included. This gives the feature some context. These “rules” should have multiple scenarios to demonstrate the rule, as well as a background section.

Let’s look at some of the processes in a Gherkin test now. Given, When, Then, And, and But.


The steps that follow set the scene for the situation. These phases, in most cases, refer to an event that occurred in the past. This provides context to the system before a user interacts with it. As a result, this stage should not include any user interactions. Instead, consider what you have as preconditions in this phase.

When you need to take action, they describe an occurrence. Two examples are an event initiated by another system or a user interacting with it. For each case, it is advised that you have one step.



Then there are the steps that lead to a result. This is where you describe what you want the system to do so that it can be compared to how it works. As an outcome, you should see something tangible, such as a message or report.

When you have numerous steps mentioned above, you can use and or but—this aids in the organization and readability of your documentation.

And and But


As previously stated, the background helps you provide the scenarios in a feature even more context. This is where you can have multiple steps if necessary. Note that each feature can only have one background step. So you’ll need to generate different feature files if you need more background steps.

The scenario outline includes an example section. These steps are laid down in a template format. Except for the header row, the scenario overview repeats once for each row in the example section.

Scenario Outline

Gherkin and Cucumber are good options when you need everyone on your team to be informed without delving into technical details. However, this combination may make test automation more complicated than it needs to be in the long run. The choice is yours, but carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks before deciding on syntax and solution. What matters most is that you and your team have the correct tools for your development initiatives.