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What is a BDD Framework? The Complete Introduction

BDD (Behavior Driven Development) is one of the prevalent terminologies you might have heard when participating in agile development. In theory, it is meant to vet the requirements from the customer’s lens while taking into account the inputs of the development and testing teams. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. You can begin with this article if you’re just starting to figure out what BDD is about.

Now let’s take a look at the BDD frameworks to understand how one can help you develop higher-quality applications.

What is the idea behind the BDD approach?

BDD is sometimes referred to as an evolution of TDD (Test Driven Development). The main idea behind any BDD framework is to support the development process and promote proactive communication between the stakeholders prior to shipping off the final result to the customer.

So what does a BDD framework entail for the team?

Let’s look at the key components behind the implementation.

The Three Amigos

BDD terms the product owner, developer, and tester as the three amigos that must keep communicating at all times to ensure that the customer’s expectations are honored. Each has a different perspective to bring to the table. Just to be clear, that doesn’t necessarily mean only three people on a given team; this concept conveys the idea of groups – and multiple people can represent each group. Product owners lend the perspective of the product’s functionality and how the system should behave. Developers know the technical feasibility of the proposed solution and can suggest viable workarounds or solutions to problems. Finally, testers can help with the quality aspect by enlisting corner cases and other scenarios that might occur during implementing of the new feature and integrating it with the existing functionality.

The Actual Process

The process starts with the three amigos discussing the requirements and trying to assess the technical feasibility and functional validity while ensuring that the quality standards are maintained. Through these discussions, the team attempts to finalize the system behavior, all while keeping the customer’s perspective in mind. This acts as the acceptance criteria.

As this approach is built over the TDD approach, it involves writing test cases before the application development is over. During the entire process, a constant communication channel is maintained between the three amigos to ensure that they are on the same page as the customer. If need be, the product owner can involve the customer for clarification and insights (where applicable).

All the identified test cases are written in a language that all stakeholders understand. A widespread example of this is the Gherkin language which focuses on documenting the scenario in the given-when-then format. Many tools are available today in the market to help with this scenario documentation.

These scenarios are used as guidance by developers to develop the product features and by testers to create test cases. The expectation is that both are ready with their output at the same time so that the developed product can be tested using the test cases created by the testers. In the case that there is an issue with the above testing, required changes are made to the code.

Automation and BDD

Usually, the test cases that are documented as a part of BDD are automated. The aim is that these same test cases should be able to validate the code and thus ascertain that the acceptance criteria set through the documented scenarios are met. This helps gauge how well all teams have understood and considered the customer’s point of view. With this information in hand, the automation and even the development code is refactored, and reusable functions are identified. These functions can be reused across components.

How does testRigor help with BDD?

In the above section, we pointed out that the BDD cases are typically documented using the Gherkin language, that is, the given-when-then syntax. This approach, however, has been observed to be taxing for the parties involved – since phrasing and accommodating complex scenarios in this format can be challenging for all parties. Moreover, it is essential to note that just writing these scenarios does not mark the BDD process as complete. With most BDD tools, you need to explicitly write code that will be associated with each of the Gherkin statements – which means there is an extra step in the process, taking significant time.

There are multiple BDD frameworks available on the market, and teams typically decide on one based on the current language in that the application is developed. However, not all BDD frameworks are language-specific, and even more so, not all of them require the Gherkin approach.

This is where testRigor can help you significantly simplify your BDD process. It’s not just a framework, but an entire cloud-hosted system.

No step definition process or feature file

This tool takes BDD a step further by allowing you to specify the steps in plain English language. The rest is taken care of by testRigor’s AI-powered engine that interprets and executes the commands. In a nutshell, this means business people can write executable specifications in a regular English format, which will become automated tests once the development team codes a feature.

Easy testing of complex use cases

testRigor has a whole set of features, ensuring you can cover any type of functionality. You can build tests for Web, Native Desktop, Mobile (native and hybrid applications), and even APIs. Furthermore, it also has features like email, SMS testing, cross-browser and cross-platform testing, and visual testing – to name a few. You can also quickly generate data based on regex (ex: create a new user password each time the test runs, but in a specific format).

Unparalleled stability of tests

The test runs executed using testRigor are so stable that some customers even use them to monitor the product’s health.

Conclusion

BDD is an excellent approach for certain scenarios, but many companies struggle to accurately follow the process because of its complexity – and thus fail to get the desired results. When looking to adopt BDD in your organization, make sure to pick the proper BDD framework that will make the entire process more straightforward.