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Gherkins - A Bridge Between IT and Business


How are we going to complete this project Successfully?

To make any project successful it is very important to have experts from different fields in your team. But, do you think a project will be successful by having only talented people on the team? If all team members won't have a collaborative approach it is hardly possible to achieve an expected result. IT people use technical language while business people use business language. When it's time to work in a team it gets difficult for both teams ( IT and Business) to understand each other's language and due to this communication gap, it takes time to get an expected result which leads to decreased productivity.  

To overcome this situation, BDD ( Behavior-Driven Development) came into the picture. BDD is a development method that encourages communication between teams. Cucumber is an open-source software testing tool that supports BDD. And Gherkin is a language that developers use to define tests in Cucumber.

Key Words: BDD, Gherkins, Cucumber, Scenario.

What is Gherkin Language?

Gherkin is a business readable language that helps you to describe business behavior without going into details of implementation. It is a domain-specific language for defining tests in Cucumber format for specifications. It uses plain language to describe use cases and allows users to remove logic details from behavior tests.

Gherkin Syntax:

Feature: Title of the Scenario

Given [Preconditions or Initial Context]

When [Event or Trigger]

Then [Expected output]

A Gherkin document has an extension .feature and is simply just a test file with a fancy extension. The cucumber reads the Gherkin document and executes a test to validate that the software behaves as per the Gherkin syntax.

Important Terms Used in Gherkin

  • Feature

  • Background

  • Scenario

  • Given

  • When

  • Then

  • And

  • But

  • Scenario Outline Examples

The naming convention is used for the feature name. However, there are no set rules in Cucumber about names.


The file should have an extension .feature and each feature file should have only one feature. The feature keyword is with the Feature: and after that add, space, and name of the feature will be written.


Each feature file may have multiple scenarios, and each scenario starts with Scenario: followed by the scenario name.


Background keywords help you to add some context to the scenario. It can contain some steps of the scenario, but the only difference is that it should be run before each scenario.

Given: What Software will look like to the user

When: Things that the user will do

Then: What the user should expect

Gherkin Examples : 

Feature: Login functionality

  1. Scenario: Login with Valid Credentials

  2. Scenario: Login with invalid credentials

Many scenarios can come under one feature.

Let's write Gherkins for 1st scenario 

Scenario: Login with Valid Credentials

Given: The user has opened the application URL

And: Navigate to the login page 

When: User enters valid email address and password

And: Clicks on the login button 

Then: The user should be able to log in successfully.

Now let's write Gherkin for 2nd scenario.

Scenario: Login with invalid credentials

Given: The user has opened the application URL

And: Navigate to the Login page

When: User enters invalid user id and passwords 

And: clicks on Login Button

Then: The user should not be able to log in

And: Error message should be displayed.


Cucumber is a testing tool that supports Behavior Driven Development (BDD). It offers a way to write tests that anybody can understand, regardless of their technical knowledge. In BDD, users (business analysts, product owners) first write scenarios or acceptance tests that describe the behavior of the system from the customer’s perspective, for review and sign-off by the product owners before developers write their codes. 

Advantages of Cucumber Software : 

  1. It is helpful to involve business stakeholders who can’t easily read code

  2. The Cucumber Testing tool focuses on end-user experience

  3. The style of writing tests allows for easier reuse of code in the tests

  4. Quick and easy setup and execution

  5. The cucumber test tool is an efficient tool for testing.

Conclusion : 

Gherkin provides a common set of keywords in English text, which can be used by people from different communities and yet get the same output in the form of test scripts. Gherkins are a way to add to user stories and give a full scenario that will help developers and testers understand both the outcome and the output of a particular user interaction. Gherkin scripts connect the human concept of cause and effect to the software concept of the input/ output process.


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