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Cucumber: Best BDD Tool For Automation

18-Feb-2019

Cucumber: Best BDD Tool For Automation

Based on Behavior Driven Development (BDD) framework, Cucumber is an automation tool which is used to write tests for a web application. Using cucumber user can easily automate the functionalities and the format used is easily readable just like plain English.

Let us know more about it.

Why was Cucumber Introduced?

Previously there was a lot of ambiguity, and there was a need to connect software development lifecycle. Thus, there was a requirement for some criteria that would convert the customer’s acceptance criteria into the testing process for actual development. The basic ideology was to upgrade the existing Test-Driven Development process to something that a non-technical person can understand easily. It combines the acceptance tests, the functional requirements, and the documentation into a single arrangement to make it easy to understand.

Cucumber: What is it?

Simply downloading Cucumber and start coding is not the thing you can do. We need to do a lot more than that. You need to know about Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) before you automate your test cases.

There is involvement of mainly three people in the process. These roles are – BA (Business Analyst), Developer and tester. Business Analyst manages the prerequisites; Developer designs execute and the tester test the product and guarantee the products’ quality.

The feature that has to be implemented is first examined, and discussion of use cases regarding the same is done that how the system needs to behave in different situations at different points. All of these are written as scenarios that also become the document of how the system is going to behave in various situations.

Cucumber Testing Example 

If you are not so familiar with the testing environment and Cucumber capabilities, then you might confuse Cucumber Testing Example with the use cases. However, Cucumber users usually call a scenario as an example. Defined through feature files, Scenarios are stored in  

src/test/resources/hellocucumber directory (or a subdirectory). 

As long as it is concerned with real life scenarios of using cucumber, the BDD framework on cucumber enables testers to write acceptance tests for applications for easier functional validation. Moreover, the validation done is simplified into easy to read and understandable format. 

Advantages Of Using Cucumber 

The reasons why you should prefer Cucumber: 

1. Code Reuse 

In Cucumber it is much easier to reuse certain parts of the code. As there are three levels of features, steps, and world that makes it feasible to reuse the code at different levels. 

2. The World System 

In Cucumber, for our convenience, we write the steps and world in word file instead of writing code in the steps. It makes the step definitions more concise and also it helps to attain a higher level of abstraction that makes it easier to grasp by just a glance. 

As we don’t specify the test runner in the step definitions, we can easily replace the world with any other implementation. Also, we can test using a different environment. 

3. Basic Form of Documentation 

Apart from the above-mentioned advantages, the features in Cucumber can also be used as a basic form of documentation. 

4. Programming Benefits 

The most popular benefits of using cucumber include no in-depth knowledge requirement for programming with ease of installing quicker plugins. Besides, Cucumber supports several programming languages with the ease of reusing code for simple and quick app setups.  

Requirements: Cucumber 

The Languages that it supports are Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, etc. 

Supported Frameworks: The frameworks that support Cucumber are Watir, Capybara, Ruby on Rails, Selenium, etc. Cucumber is integrated with these frameworks. 

Is Cucumber same as other testing tools?

In the case of other testing tools, the code (test) that is written would be somewhat like below:

Class MyClass extends ParentClass {

    public function firstFunction() {

        $this->assertEquals(3, 2);

    }

}

The code above is hard to understand by a non-technical person. Whereas while working in Cucumber we need to write a user story instead. The example format of stories and features is given below:

Feature: User login

    //A description of the feature

    "As a user

    I want to log in,

    To view the dashboard."

    Scenario: Login as a user

        Given user "Ram" exists with password "Test12"

         When I log in with name "Ram" and password "Test12"

         Then login is successful

The code that we write in Cucumber is human readable as depicted in the above example. We can add our code to the scenarios later also which is called step definitions. These test definitions are used to match the test scenarios and are almost like the traditional functions that we use in other tools. For example, we can pass the value of password in the second step that is – Given user "Ram" exists with password "Test12”. This will enter the value from the database and prepare for further steps.

In Cucumber, we do not write the tests purely in code. Instead, we start with the user stories that are human readable. After that, we write the code to run the story. At last, we can perform the test(s) based on these stories.

Don’t you think it looks like there is a lot of extra work to achieve this? But that’s not what it seems to be. There is a lot more to it…

Cucumber Test Automation 

When it comes to cucumber test automation, one of the most popular approach which is adopted by the testers is cucumber selenium collaboration. This practice is usually followed to have the added accuracy and speed on the SDLC since cucumber adds the extra edge to rapidity of automation testing on selenium. The cucumber test automation approach is extremely beneficial for user acceptance testing where test scenarios are influenced by behavior, and Cucumber capabilities can be used to improve the automation process.  

Cucumber Tool in Agile 

When it comes to Agile testing, it is highly influenced with the idea of Behavior Driven Development.  Since Cucumber is known for effective test running for automated acceptance in BDD format, it turns out to be completely appropriate tool for agile teams. Above all, Cucumber could help with automated execution of the test cases. With advanced need for communication and support for large testing teams. Cucumber turns out to be highly compatible tool for agile developers and testing teams.  

Conclusion 

According to Agile methodologies and stories definitions, BDD is recommendable. Cucumber is an excellent BDD tool that gives its customer a lot of flexibility and features. You can even share the scenarios/ features with non-technical persons as it is easy to understand. 

Concluding it all, when the world is rapidly moving towards Agile testing and development technologies, Cucumber could offer extensive support for communication and robust testing. Also, it can help automate a wide range of tests from backend to frontend creating deeper connections between teams which is rarely possible with other testing frameworks.  

Looking for some assistance on Cucumber Testing? Our experts at BugRaptors could help you improve the testing process for your agile teams. Connect today! 

author

Shaifali Sharma

Shaifali is an ISTQB certified QA engineer, working at BugRaptors. She is a testing professional having diverse exposure in various projects and application testing with comprehensive understanding of all aspects of SDLC. She is well versed with Manual testing, Mobile application testing, performance testing, load testing, Web applications testing and able to create effective documentation related to testing like test case, test report etc.

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