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Difference between Scenario and Scenario Outline

In Cucumber, both "Scenario" and "Scenario Outline" are used to define and execute test scenarios, but they serve different purposes and are used in different contexts. Let's explore the key differences between them.

What is a Scenario in Cucumber?

A scenario is a sequence of steps that represents a behavior of the application as expected by the user. Scenarios are written using the "Scenario" keyword followed by a descriptive title. Steps for the test case are provided using Given, When, and Then steps (or And/But for additional steps). The Scenario is not parameterized, meaning it uses fixed values for input and checks against predefined expected outcomes.

Example of a Scenario:

If there is no appropriate Step Definition associated with the corresponding Given, When and Then sections of a scenario, you will observe everything highlighted in yellow. Once you execute (Run) the feature file, you will get the missing code snippets for all the scenarios, which you can then incorporate into your step definitions.

Example of a scenario using data table:

In this scenario, the "When" step uses a data table for entering a valid "username" with "password" and "password confirmation". The data tables can be used exclusively within a specific context of either Given, When or Then steps.

What is a Scenario Outline?

Scenario Outline is used when the same test is performed multiple times with a different combination of values. It uses the "Scenario Outline" keyword and includes placeholders (usually enclosed in angled brackets "<>") in the steps where data varies. The actual data sets are provided in a data table using the "Examples" keyword, and each row of the data table represents a separate test instance. Scenario Outlines are particularly useful for data-driven testing, allowing you to run the same scenario with different inputs to ensure the application behaves correctly under various conditions.

Example of a Scenario Outline:

Example of a Scenario Outline using Excel sheet:

Difference between Scenario and Scenario Outline:

In Summary, "Scenario" is used for individual, non-parameterized test cases, while "Scenario Outline" is used for parameterized test cases where the same steps are executed with different sets of input data. "Scenario Outline" is a powerful feature in Cucumber for handling data-driven testing scenarios.

Happy Learning!

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