What is Cucumber Framework? Benefits You Need to Know
Cucumber testing tool is a framework whose goal is to help unify the development, testing, and documentation of feature specifications for engineers, testers, and analysts alike. In this post, we'll look at Cucumber Framework and how it can help you and your team build better products.
What is Cucumber Framework?
Cucumber testing is a type of behavior-driven development (BDD) testing that uses the Cucumber tool to define, automate, and execute test cases in a human-readable format.
In Cucumber testing, test scenarios are written in a natural language format, often using the Gherkin syntax, which is a simple language that uses keywords such as Given, When, and Then to describe the steps of a test case. These scenarios are typically written by business analysts or product owners, allowing them to have a better understanding of what is being tested.
Once the scenarios are written, they are translated into code by developers, using automation frameworks such as Selenium or Appium. The code is then executed to run the tests and produce results.
Cucumber testing provides several benefits, including increased collaboration between developers and business stakeholders, easier maintenance of test cases, and improved test coverage.
At their core, these scenarios are written in a human-readable format called Given-When-Then. Here’s how:
Given: A customer wants to buy a specific product.
When: Customer enters the required parameters: Product name, the quantity of product, customer location to deliver the product
Then: The customer will see the preview of the product with its price and a button to buy it.
The good thing about the Cucumber testing framework is that it breaks down feature design and implementation into small, manageable steps. It helps identify the best solution for an issue, and if there’s no solution, the test is simply broken.
This is how a project becomes less ambiguous and more reliable over time. Besides, the test can be scaled per the needs and understanding exhibited by cross-functional teams.
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Advantages of Cucumber Framework
Cucumber automation tool is definitely an efficient testing tool. Cucumber is an exceptionally comprehensive framework that supports BDD in the best way possible. Following are some of its main benefits.
Intuitive Way to Express Requirements in Human-Readable Form
As elucidated above, Cucumber uses Gherkin to test the interaction of business features that help drive your product, such as the scope of an app or web page. Because Gherkin is straightforward to comprehend, you don’t have to worry about coding syntax and can focus on translating your requirements into clear, concise sentences.
Essentially, this means that Gherkin (plain English text language) helps construct a standard, understandable test script. It is then viable for catering to different stakeholders (product owners, testers, developers, and business analysts.) These stakeholders can effortlessly maintain and review the script to keep track of project progress and have their perspectives reflected in the results.
The keywords “Given-When-Then” are examples of Gherkin. Other keywords such as And, But, Background, Examples, etc., are also the other examples.
Translating Business Requirements into Testable Scenarios
After translating your business needs into clear, concise sentences, you can go through the files of test scenarios and see what the product owners need. They, in turn, will be able to make modifications and enhancements. This means that the business analysts can take the scenarios and turn them into testable requirements.
Such a practice can help resolve a wide range of questions for every business, such as:
- How do you plan to monetize this product?
- What happens when a user presses the Buy button?
- What happens after the user makes the payment?
- How about the delivery of the product?
All in all, a bridge between your business requirement and the technical product is realized, and it helps confirm a solution before it goes live.
In that light, it overpowers the usability of other tools. You can write tests in a language of your choice without worrying about the tools and platforms you will be using.
The Role of Cucumber in Agile Projects
Agile teams can use Cucumber to ramp up their application development projects (to the next level) since it helps them automate the testing and documentation processes. This is possible due to its ability to accommodate a wide range of stakeholders and create acceptance test cases most intuitively.
Cucumber is also known as one of the best tools for agile development because it helps product managers and business analysts adjust the testable scenarios and the product accordingly. In that light, Cucumber helps reduce ambiguity in scope and design and enhance product quality before the final release.
The Facility of Code Reusability
Cucumber is known for its ability to provide code reuse. This is possible because of the way it generates the Given-When-Then scenarios and how it handles the test case execution. In addition to that, its easy-to-use interface helps reduce the technical barriers to entry.
Reduced development time, increased productivity, and more straightforward maintenance are all the positive outcomes of this. This is precisely what also makes it an end-to-end testing option, especially for complex projects. It can be used not just for the user interface but also for the non-UI parts of your project.
Disadvantages of Cucumber Framework
While Cucumber is excellent in many ways, some limitations do exist.
No doubt, Gherkin is the cornerstone of Cucumber. But, it can increase complexity by working against succinctly conveying what needs to be conveyed. For something very specific, the generic Gherkin language can be cumbersome and superfluous. Additionally, it accrues technical disadvantages when working with text editors because they don’t read its syntax as a regular language.
The Given-When-Then Framework Can be Wasteful
Although the framework is a good way to implement test scenarios, it can be overly verbose, causing redundancy. The fact that such elaboration inside the step definitions is hardly catered to stakeholders renders it utterly wasteful. If only the developers are required to read through them, why not make them precise and fit for purpose?
The Bottom Line
Given the market inclination towards stakeholder inclusion and adherence to software-as-a-service initiatives, Cucumber can help companies improve their products, cut down on implementation time and resources, and scale swiftly. However, Gherkin, which is the cornerstone of Cucumber, can be difficult to use. Text editors cannot read its syntax as a regular language.
If you want an easy-to-use, low-code test automation tool, look at ACCELQ. It is your tool for BDD – it empowers business users by allowing them to write action logic in natural English.