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Behavior Driven Development (BDD) with AIO Tests

Updated: 5 days ago



Behavior-Driven Development isn't merely a testing methodology; it's a collaborative process aimed at fostering clear communication between different stakeholders.

With its revolutionary approach of a simple yet powerful language called Gherkin, it is bridging the disconnect between developers, testers, and stakeholders by being accessible to both technical and non-technical individuals.  


Unlike traditional development approaches, where requirements are often ambiguous and open to interpretation, BDD shifts the focus from technical implementation details to user behavior and business outcomes. By defining features and acceptance criteria from the user's perspective, BDD ensures that software development efforts are driven by user needs and priorities, ultimately leading to more valuable and user-centric products.


The Role of Gherkin in BDD

Gherkin serves as the lingua franca of BDD. It's a domain-specific language designed to express scenarios in a structured, human-readable format. Simply put, like any other language, it is a set of grammar rules that gives structure to describing system behaviours using plain text. By adhering to a predefined syntax, Gherkin allows stakeholders to collaborate effectively without getting bogged down in technical details.


Gherkin keywords

The document laying down a specific system behavior is called a Feature. 

A Feature is the first primary keyword of Gherkin. It can group related tests either as Scenario or Scenario Outlines.


Anatomy of a Gherkin Scenario

Gherkin scenarios are written in a Given-When-Then format, also known as the "GWT" or "Arrange-Act-Assert" pattern.

Each scenario consists of three primary components:

  1. Given: Captures the precondition or initial state of the sy.

  2. When: Corresponds to steps in the traditional way of writing tests. Describes the actions or events.

  3. Then: Expected result from the action specified in When

There are other keywords like And, But and * which can also be used to denote steps.



Gherkin with AIO Tests

AIO Tests provides a simple interface to create BDD tests along with Classic cases.  Gherkin supports keywords in over 70 languages and AIO Tests provides support for all languages, allowing users to use keywords in the language of their choice.


BDD steps are stored and become reusable steps allowing simple type ahead options and quick creation of cases as below:

Along with an intuitive case creation screen, AIO Tests also allows to import feature files. Existing feature files can simply be used to create BDD-Gherkin cases in AIO.


AIO Tests also supports Data driven cases based out of Scenario Outline cases in Gherkin.

While executing Gherkin tests, users have an option to capture step level results. Below screen grab shows a scenario outline based case execution, where each example can be executed separately and execution statuses can be marked against steps.

Execution of scenario outline cases in AIO Tests Cycles

Automation with Cucumber/Specflow

While Gherkin scenarios are primarily intended for human consumption, they also serve as the foundation for automated testing. Various BDD frameworks, such as Cucumber and SpecFlow, leverage Gherkin syntax to generate executable test cases. 

AIO Tests also allows simple reporting of results from these frameworks to AIO Tests giving an end to end solution for Gherkin, from writing cases to capturing execution results of automated tests.


Conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, effective communication is non-negotiable. BDD, with its emphasis on collaboration and clarity, offers a compelling solution to this perennial challenge. AIO Tests with it's support for Gherkin, the language of BDD, provides a structured yet simple means of expressing tests, enabling teams to deliver value-driven software.

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