Software development and testing are complex processes that require the extensive knowledge and expertise of developers. This is especially the case for teams who are eyeing to implement behavior-driven development (BDD). There could be various techniques and strategies to simplify the process, but the outcome will also depend on the efficacy of the former.
Learning more about BDD test automation frameworks can help your organization grow by streamlining software development and testing. This blog will discuss all you need to know about BDD test automation frameworks, including how they work. You will also learn the advantages and ways to select the most fitting framework for your company or organization.
What Is BDD or Behavior-Driven Development?
Behavior-driven development, otherwise known as BDD, is a set of tactics that minimize or eradicate wasteful behavior when it comes to software development.
How does BDD work?
It allows users to work with numerous sets of test data with less software code intervention. This will, in turn, increase the reusability of the code. In a nutshell, BDD is a time-saving and sustainable mechanism for software development and testing. To put it in simple words, BDD is:
- A language that can be used to define the behavior of applications.
- A system that can automatically test those behaviors.
- A collaboration tool that can be used by testers, product managers and engineers.
BDD is implemented at the onset of a software development cycle. Typically, this is done after a user story is established. Created by British technology consultant Dan North with the intention to add slight modifications to TDD (test-driven development) and bridge the confusion between the technical and non-technical groups so that they can collaborate and communicate to deliver software projects more efficiently, BDD has now become a full-blown software development methodology of its own.
The BDD approach has two parts:
Part 1: Developers use examples written in ubiquitous language to demonstrate product behavior, or ways in which users interact with them.
Part 2: Developers utilize these examples for running automated tests. Moreover, the check on the functionality of the product, and ensure that the features are meeting all business requirements.
There’s no argument for the fact that all BDD frameworks and languages are effective. However, there are specific organizational requirements to be met in selecting one. You have to consider certain factors, such as your workflow and your team’s expertise.
Below are some of the best BDD languages and frameworks for your organization:
.Net & C#
If you’re planning to use C# language, then Specflow is the best option. Specflow is the most used framework for Microsoft .NET. If you are planning to use the free version, you may need a separate unit test runner for scenario testing. There is a premium version called Specflow+ that offers premium support and living documentation.
Perfecto designed Quantum, a Java-based and open-source BDD framework. Organization heads, test engineers, and developers usually prefer Quantum for the expansion of their automation efforts. The tests are executed on none other than the reliable Perfecto cloud, which keeps everything stable and clean. It also helps execute tests more smoothly on desktop or iOS/Android devices.
As mentioned, Specflow is one of the most in-demand BDD frameworks among Microsoft users. It allows the execution of test scenarios and includes features such as living documentation, Microsoft Excel integrations, and premium support.
If you’re more inclined to use Java, JBehave and Cucumber are the most recommended BDD frameworks for your testing. Cucumber utilizes the Gherkin language. Meanwhile, JBehave was developed by BDD godfather and pioneer, Dan North.
There are lots of BDD frameworks for Python. Lettuce and Behave are some of the most popular ones. Pytest-BDD, which is designed for Python-centric testing networks, has also made its way to the top BDD networks for this programming language.
Meanwhile, Codeception and Behat are mostly used for the PHP programming language. Codeception is known to be more versatile in terms of testing networks centered on programmers. It can handle various types of tests, such as unit testing, integration testing, and API testing.
Nothing beats Cucumber when it comes to pleasing Ruby users. Ruby users stick with Cucumber through thick and thin to eliminate the need for learning curves trying to master another programming language.
How To Choose the Right BDD Framework
Gleaning from the list of BDD frameworks, one may notice that certain programming language users patronize certain BDD frameworks that work for them. The process of selecting can take a while, especially if you want to select the best for your organization, but it will all be well worth it once you find the perfect BDD framework for your current setup.
Your organization will have to impose specific rules and requirements before choosing a BDD framework. Learning more about these BDD frameworks can also help in the selection process.
In line with this, below are some of the features you have to keep in mind when choosing the right BDD framework:
- The BDD framework should provide clear and detailed testing reports.
- Framework execution should be supported by common CI/CD tools, like Jenkins.
- The framework's integration should be available with any common integrated development environment like Eclipse. This will help to easily debug test failures.
- The BDD framework should support core automation features like parallel execution, re-execution of failed tests, and screenshot on failure.
These are some of the features you’ll need to consider on top of the specific requirements of your organization.
Advantages of Using BDD framework
Aside from simplifying the non-technical terms and process for the stakeholders and managers, there are other advantages to using the BDD framework for your software development and testing:
User Story Coverage
BDD is a versatile tool that can be combined with various features. For instance, the BDD framework can benefit from every resource gathered from every step of the development process.
Automation of Scenarios
Scenarios can now be automated using the best approach to initiate the scripting. This is best done with Cucumber since functionalities are made even more understandable through the automated scripting mentioned.
Clarity of Scenarios
Imagine reading codes in layman’s language instead of the usually complicated language you’re used to seeing on other frameworks. Thanks to the Gherkin language, a non-technical user can now fully understand each stage of the process and discuss the updates more efficiently with programmers and developers. This clarity can only be achieved with BDD frameworks that work for various organizations.
Reuse of Code in Framework
Since BDD is designed to be a sustainable framework for programming, the testers can recycle the same steps and codes to save time. This is especially helpful for automation testers.
Easily Integrates Continuous Integration
Cucumber can track test scenarios with various tools, including Jenkins. The expanded view offered by this tool makes tracking extra convenient and efficient.
Feature File Parameterization
One of the best features of BDD frameworks is that they can obtain file reusability by parameterizing the stages of the Gherkin. This great function can be used by defining the feature file steps in a certain way as instructed by your software developers.
While the BDD test automation framework is a topic no one can learn overnight, it pays to understand the basics and its crucial features that can help you select the best one for your business. However, to simplify the process, QASource can help you during the entire software testing process. We have more than a thousand competent and experienced engineers who can work with you in state-of-the-art testing laboratories. We offer services such as Manual testing, Automation testing, API testing, Security testing, QA analysis, and Performance testing, among others.
We offer optimized communication protocols and dedicated teams with extensive training who can guide you every step of the way. You can get a free quote from us to get started.