Cucumber Selenium - A Comprehensive Guide
Updated on 20th Jan, 24 9.1K Views

Cucumber is a Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) framework that uses natural language to describe test cases, while Selenium is an open-source automation testing framework that allows you to automate web applications.

When used together, Cucumber Selenium can help you to:

  • Create clear and concise test cases that are easy to understand and maintain.
  • Automate a wide range of web-based applications.
  • Run tests across multiple browsers and devices.
  • Generate detailed reports of test results.

If you are looking for a powerful and efficient automation testing solution, Cucumber Selenium is a great option. Read more

Watch this video to learn Selenium from experts:

What is Cucumber Selenium?

Cucumber for Selenium is a powerful combination of two popular tools used in automation testing: Cucumber and Selenium. You can create test scenarios using Cucumber, a behavior-driven development (BDD) tool, in a natural-language manner.  It uses a simple and readable syntax called Gherkin, which makes it easier for both technical and non-technical stakeholders to understand and collaborate on testing efforts.

Selenium, however, serves as a widely-utilized open-source automation framework for web applications. It offers an extensive range of APIs and tools to automate browser interactions, allowing testers to replicate user actions like clicking buttons, completing forms, and verifying outcomes.

By combining Cucumber and Selenium, you can create comprehensive and maintainable automated tests. Cucumber acts as a bridge between stakeholders and the automation code, allowing you to express test cases in a business-readable format. Meanwhile, Selenium provides the underlying automation capabilities to execute these test cases on web applications.

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Why Use Cucumber with Selenium?

Why Use Cucumber with Selenium

The combination of Cucumber and Selenium offers a multitude of benefits for automated testing. Here are the main reasons why you should consider incorporating Cucumber with Selenium into your testing processes:

  • Business Readability – Cucumber allows you to write test cases in a human-readable format called Gherkin. This format uses plain English statements structured in a Given-When-Then pattern, making it easier for non-technical stakeholders to understand and review test scenarios. By using Cucumber, you can bridge the communication gap between developers, testers, and business stakeholders.
  • Test Automation Framework – Selenium is a popular open-source framework for web application automation. It provides a robust set of APIs to interact with web elements, perform actions, and validate results. By integrating Cucumber with Selenium, you can leverage Selenium’s capabilities for browser automation while harnessing Cucumber’s powerful test case organization and execution features.
  • Collaboration – Cucumber promotes collaboration within the development team. With Cucumber, testers, developers, and business analysts can work together to define and refine the behavior of the application. By involving stakeholders in writing and reviewing Gherkin scenarios, you can ensure that the tests accurately reflect the desired functionality.
  • Test Reporting and Documentation – Cucumber generates detailed and structured reports that provide insights into the test execution results. These reports highlight the status of each scenario, including passed, failed, or pending tests. Additionally, the Gherkin feature files serve as living documentation, capturing the intended behavior of the application and facilitating test case management.
  • Reusability and Maintainability – Cucumber promotes the use of step definitions, which are reusable blocks of code that map Gherkin steps to Selenium actions. This abstraction allows for easy maintenance and reusability of test code. By separating the test logic from the implementation details, you can create a modular and scalable test suite.

Using Cucumber with Selenium brings clarity, collaboration, reusability, maintainability, and comprehensive reporting to your automated testing efforts. This powerful combination enables effective communication among stakeholders and enhances the overall quality of your software development process.

Check out the Selenium tutorial to learn more about its concepts.

Prerequisites for Using Cucumber with Selenium

Before you start using Cucumber with Selenium for automation testing, it is crucial to make sure that you have the required prerequisites. These prerequisites encompass the following:

  • Programming Language Knowledge
    To effectively work with Cucumber and Selenium, you need to have a strong understanding of a programming language such as Java, C#, or Ruby. This knowledge is crucial, as you will be writing step definitions and glue code to implement the test logic.
  • Installation of JDK
    Cucumber and Selenium both require Java to run. Therefore, you must have the JDK installed on your machine. You can download the JDK from the official Oracle website and follow the installation instructions specific to your operating system.
  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
    Having an integrated development environment (IDE) is highly recommended to facilitate the development process. Popular choices include Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, or Visual Studio Code. These IDEs provide features like code auto-completion, debugging capabilities, and project management tools that can significantly enhance your productivity.
  • Selenium WebDriver
    Selenium WebDriver plays a vital role in automating browsers. To utilize it, you must acquire suitable WebDriver bindings for your preferred programming language. If Java is your language of choice, you must obtain the Selenium WebDriver Java bindings. These bindings enable you to actively engage with web elements, execute actions, and extract data from web pages.
  • Cucumber and Selenium Dependencies
    To utilize Cucumber with Selenium, you must incorporate the essential dependencies into your project. This entails including the Cucumber and Selenium libraries, which can be effectively managed through build automation tools such as Maven or Gradle. These tools take care of dependency management, guaranteeing the availability of the necessary libraries during both compilation and runtime.

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Setting up the Environment

Before diving into writing Selenium Cucumber tests, you need to set up the environment to ensure all necessary components are installed and configured correctly. Here are the steps involved:

  • Install Java Development Kit (JDK) – To write Cucumber Selenium tests, you typically use Java, which requires you to install JDK on your machine. You should visit the official Oracle website, download the JDK, and follow their installation instructions.
  • Configure Java Environment Variables – Having installed the JDK, you must then configure the Cucumber Java environment variables, adding the JDK bin directory to the system’s PATH variable. This step allows you to execute Java commands from any location.
  • Download Selenium WebDriver – Selenium WebDriver is the core component that enables browser automation. Download the WebDriver for your preferred browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge, and place it in a directory accessible to your project.
  • Set Up a Build Tool – Build tools like Maven or Gradle commonly manage Cucumber Selenium projects. Select a build tool and establish a project structure comprising essential dependencies and configuration files.
  • Add Cucumber and Selenium Dependencies – To ensure successful test execution, incorporate the Cucumber and Selenium dependencies into the build configuration file of your project, thereby making the necessary libraries accessible.
  • Configure WebDriver – Configure the WebDriver to point to the location of the browser driver executable (e.g., ChromeDriver for Chrome). This allows Selenium to launch and control the specified browser during test execution.
  • Verify the Setup – Once the environment is set up, verify that everything is working correctly by running a simple test. Execute the test, and if it opens the browser, interacts with the web page, and produces the expected result, your setup is successful.

Also, check out what Maven in Selenium is through this Maven in Selenium blog.

Writing Your First Cucumber Selenium Test

Open Eclipse and proceed to create a new Java project of your choosing, granting it any desired name.

  • Add Necessary Dependencies: In the project, include the following dependencies in the pom.xml file for the project:
<dependency>
    <groupId>io.cucumber</groupId>
    <artifactId>cucumber-java</artifactId>
    <version>6.10.4</version>
</dependency>
<dependency>
    <groupId>io.cucumber</groupId>
    <artifactId>cucumber-junit</artifactId>
    <version>6.10.4</version>
    <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.seleniumhq.selenium</groupId>
    <artifactId>selenium-java</artifactId>
    <version>3.141.59</version>
</dependency>
  • Create a Feature File: Generate a new feature file in the src/test/resources directory, bearing the ‘.feature’ extension. This file should encompass the scenarios that necessitate testing.
  • Write a Scenario: Compose a scenario in Gherkin syntax within the feature file as shown below:

Feature: Google Search
    As a user
    I want to search for a term on Google
    So that I can find relevant information
    Scenario: Search for “cucumber selenium”
        Given I am on the Google search page
        When I enter “cucumber selenium” in the search box
        And I click the search button
        Then I should see search results related to “cucumber selenium”

  • Write Step Definitions: In the project, create a new package called stepdefinitions under the src/test/java folder. In this package, create a new Java class called GoogleSearchSteps. In this class, write the step definitions for the scenario you just wrote. For example:
package stepdefinitions;
import org.openqa.selenium.By;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;
import io.cucumber.java.en.Given;
import io.cucumber.java.en.Then;
import io.cucumber.java.en.When;
public class GoogleSearchSteps {
    WebDriver driver;
    @Given("I am on the Google search page")
    public void iAmOnTheGoogleSearchPage() {
        System.setProperty("webdriver.chrome.driver", "/path/to/chromedriver");
        driver = new ChromeDriver();
        driver.get("https://www.google.com/");
    }
    @When("I enter {string} in the search box")
    public void iEnterInTheSearchBox(String searchTerm) {
        driver.findElement(By.name("q")).sendKeys(searchTerm);
    }
    @When("I click the search button")
    public void iClickTheSearchButton() {
        driver.findElement(By.name("btnK")).click();
    }
    @Then("I should see search results related to {string}")
    public void iShouldSeeSearchResultsRelatedTo(String searchTerm) {
        String pageTitle = driver.getTitle();
        assert(pageTitle.contains(searchTerm));
        driver.quit();
    }
}
  • Run the Test: Once you are done writing the feature file and step definitions, you can proceed to execute the test. In Eclipse, right-click on the feature file and choose “Run As” > “Cucumber Feature” from the context menu. The test will be initiated, and you will be able to view the corresponding output in the console.

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Automation Testing Using Cucumber with Selenium

Automation Testing Using Cucumber with Selenium

Once you have the prerequisites set up, you can start automating your tests using Cucumber with Selenium. Here is a step-by-step process to guide you through the automation testing journey:

  • Define Test Scenarios
    Begin by identifying the test scenarios you want to automate. These scenarios should represent specific functionalities or user interactions within your application. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the behavior you want to validate through automation.
  • Create Feature Files
    Test cases are written in Cucumber using the Gherkin human-readable format, which uses keywords like “Given,” “When,” and “Then” to define the test steps. Create feature files that represent your test scenarios, and describe them using Gherkin syntax. Feature files provide a structured approach to documenting and organizing your test cases.
  • Implement Step Definitions
    Code snippets known as step definitions are utilized to map Gherkin steps to the actual automation code. Every Gherkin step in the feature file should possess a corresponding step definition that outlines the actions to execute. These step definitions employ Selenium WebDriver methods to interact with web elements, carry out actions, and verify the anticipated outcomes.
  • Execute Tests
    You can now execute the tests by placing your feature files and step definitions. The Cucumber framework offers multiple options for test execution, including running tests from the command line, utilizing test runners, or integrating with build automation tools. During test execution, Cucumber reads the feature files, matches the steps with their corresponding step definitions, and runs the automation code.
  • Analyze Test Results
    After test execution, it is essential to analyze the test results. Cucumber provides built-in reporting mechanisms that generate detailed reports, including information about the passed and failed scenarios, along with any error messages or stack traces. These reports help you identify issues and track the progress of your automation efforts.
  • Maintain and Enhance Tests
    Cucumber automation tests require maintenance to keep up with application changes and evolving requirements. As your application evolves, update your feature files and step definitions to reflect the changes. Regularly review and enhance your test suite to cover new functionalities and ensure comprehensive test coverage.

By following these steps, you can effectively automate your tests using a combination of Cucumber and Selenium. This powerful combination enables seamless collaboration between technical and non-technical team members, enhances test readability, and establishes a robust framework for automation testing.

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Examples of Cucumber Selenium

Below we will discuss some Selenium Cucumber examples :

Example 1: Implementing a Basic Test Case

In this scenario, we will show you how to actively implement a basic test case using Cucumber Selenium. The test case aims to validate the functionality of a specific feature or behavior of the application being tested.

Firstly, we utilize Gherkin syntax to generate a feature file. Gherkin serves as a user-friendly language, enabling us to specify the intended functionality of the application in a structured manner. We articulate the feature, present a scenario, and outline the required steps to validate the scenario.

Next, we write step definitions in Java to map the steps described in the feature file to Selenium WebDriver actions. Step definitions are methods that encapsulate the code needed to execute each step. For example, if the feature file states, “Given the user is on the login page,” the corresponding step definition will navigate the WebDriver to the login page URL.

After placing the feature file and step definitions, we can execute the test. Cucumber Selenium reads the feature file, matches the steps with their respective step definitions, and uses WebDriver to perform the necessary actions. We can run the test using Cucumber’s test runner either through an IDE or through the command line.

After performing the test, we should validate the results by comparing the actual behavior of the application with the expected behavior using cucumber’s JUnit or TestNG assertions libaries. If the actual behavior aligns with the expected behavior, the test will pass; otherwise, it will fail, indicating a deviation from the desired functionality.

Also, check out the blog on how to use Selenium with Java.

Example 2: Data-Driven Testing with Cucumber and Selenium

Data-driven testing is a powerful technique that allows us to test multiple scenarios with different input data and expected outcomes. Cucumber Selenium provides support for data-driven testing through scenario outlines and examples tables.

In this scenario, we will examine the process of conducting data-driven testing using Cucumber Selenium. First, we define a scenario outline in the feature file, which serves as a blueprint for numerous test cases. We designate scenario outline placeholders to represent the diverse input data.

We then provide examples in an examples table below the scenario outline. Each row in the examples table represents a unique set of test data for a test case. We can define multiple columns to represent different data inputs, such as usernames and passwords.

When Cucumber Selenium executes the test, it substitutes the scenario outline placeholders with the corresponding values from the examples table. This allows us to automatically generate and execute multiple test cases with different data sets.

By parameterizing the test data, we can achieve extensive test coverage without duplicating test code. We can also easily add or modify test cases by simply adding or updating rows in the examples table. This flexibility and efficiency make data-driven testing an essential technique for comprehensive testing.

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Example 3: Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) with Cucumber and Selenium

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) promotes collaboration among stakeholders, developers, and testers by emphasizing the definition and testing of the expected behavior of the system under test.

Cucumber Selenium is an ideal framework for implementing BDD practices. In this scenario, we will learn how to write feature files that capture the expected behavior of the application. Feature files are written using Gherkin syntax, and they describe the features or functionalities to be tested.

Each feature file contains one or more scenarios that represent specific test cases. Scenarios are written using Given-When-Then steps, which describe the preconditions, actions, and expected outcomes of the test. These steps are then mapped to corresponding step definitions that interact with the application using Selenium WebDriver.

By following the BDD approach, we can ensure that the tests align with the desired behavior of the application and provide a clear understanding of the functionality being tested. BDD promotes collaboration by enabling stakeholders to participate in the creation and review of feature files. It also enhances test readability and maintainability, as the Gherkin syntax focuses on business-readable descriptions.

Using Cucumber Selenium for BDD enables teams to bridge the gap between business requirements and technical implementation, resulting in more effective and efficient testing. It also facilitates communication and understanding among team members, leading to higher-quality software and improved customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

The blog provided you with a thorough understanding of Cucumber Selenium and its significance in modern automation testing. We have covered essential topics such as setting up the environment, prerequisites for using Cucumber, and automation testing using Cucumber. By mastering Cucumber Selenium, you can streamline your testing process, improve test coverage, and enhance collaboration within your team. Remember to continue exploring additional resources and staying updated with the latest developments in automation testing to further advance your skills. Embrace the power of Cucumber Selenium and embark on a journey toward efficient and effective automation testing.

Still, in doubt, don’t worry we got you covered, drop your queries at our Selenium Community to get them resolved!

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