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Cucumber: Everything You Need to Know

What is cucumber?

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, and 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. It uses the Ruby programming language.

Cucumber reads executable specifications written in plain text and validates that the software does what those specifications say. The specifications consist of multiple examples or scenarios. Each scenario is a list of steps for Cucumber to work through. Cucumber verifies that the software conforms with the specification and generates a report indicating success or failure for each scenario.

In order for Cucumber to understand the scenarios, they must follow some basic syntax rules, called Gherkin. Gherkin is a set of grammar rules that makes plain text structured enough for Cucumber to understand. The scenario above is written in Gherkin.

Gherkin serves multiple purposes:

  • Unambiguous executable specification
  • Automated testing using Cucumber
  • Document how the system actually behaves

The Cucumber grammar exists in different flavors for many spoken languages so that your team can use the keywords in your own language. Gherkin documents are stored in feature text files and are typically versioned in source control alongside the software.

Step definitions connect Gherkin steps to programming code. A step definition carries out the action that should be performed by the step. So step definitions hard-wire the specification to the implementation. They can be written in many programming languages.

Now, let’s see what other tools could be considered in the testing process and how they differentiate from Cucumber.

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Few words about the importance of software testing.

Using human or automated techniques to assess one or more qualities of interest, check that the actual software product complies with the expected criteria and guarantee that it is error-free. In comparison to the real criteria, find any mistakes, gaps, or missing requirements.

Testing is crucial since it allows you to find any faults or errors in the software early on and fix them before the program is delivered. Reliability, security, and high performance are all ensured by well-tested software, which also leads to time savings, cost-effectiveness, and customer pleasure.

Learn which of the 3 tools mentioned in this article (Cucumber, TestNG, and Selenium) might be most helpful to you when you conduct your testing.

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What is the difference between Cucumber and TestNG?

Mentioning once again, Cucumber is a tool that supports Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) - a software development process that aims to enhance software quality and reduce maintenance costs.

While TestNG is a testing framework designed to simplify a broad range of testing needs, it covers all categories of tests: unit, functional, end-to-end, integration, etc. Run your tests in arbitrarily big thread pools with various policies available (all methods in their own thread, one thread per test class, etc.

Here will be helpful to turn to Quora and see what are the differences between these 2 frameworks based on what people say from proper experience. Here is the answer we like more:


  • Cucumber is a collaboration tool, which lets non-technical people write executable specifications. Those executable specifications test your app from the outside – like a black box.
  • Cucumber is not meant to be used as a unit testing tool.
  • It allows writing automated acceptance tests, functional requirements, and software documentation into one format that would be understandable by non-technical people as well as testing tools.
  • You can implement your tests using the same language you use to discuss them with the business.
  • Cucumber adds the overhead of plain English (or another native language) to executable code conversion.


  • TestNG is a unit testing tool. They are great for testing individual classes, but not great for executable specifications that are readable (and writable) by non-technical people.
  • It facilitates individual class testing.
  • You can group tests using tags.
  • TestNG supports a lot of complicated practices like priorities, grouping, listener, etc.

Useful when you have to automate a large number of test cases.

QA testers What is the difference between Cucumber and Selenium?

Cucumber and selenium share certain similarities. They're both open-sourced. They are both employed in functional testing. But how do the Selenium and Cucumber frameworks vary from one another and how to combine them? Let's see.


  • Cucumber is a behavior-driven development tool that can be used with Selenium (or Appium).
  • Cucumber is typically preferred by non-technical teams (business stakeholders and testers).
  • Cucumber is used for acceptance testing.
  • Cucumber depends on Selenium or Appium for step-definition implementation.

Selenium automates browsers. It is a highly popular testing framework and set of tools for testing web-based applications.


  • Selenium is a web browser automation tool.
  • Selenium is preferred by technical teams (SDETs/programmers).
  • Selenium is used for automated UI testing.
  • Selenium can work independently of Cucumber.

As you can see, there are significant differences between cucumber and selenium. Your unique environment, circumstances, and objectives will determine which one you should employ.

software testing, software testing team, laptops Final thoughts:

To conclude, it should be mentioned that everything depends on your intention, on the goal of your tests. All tools mentioned in this blog post are great tools and could bring wonderful results in the right hands and in the right case. It is all for today. Follow the updates of our blog and do not forget to subscribe to our social media. Have a great week! Let all your tests work as they should!