Getting Started With BDD Framework

What Is BDD Framework?

BDD Framework or Behavior-driven development is a process of development of agile software in software engineering. The process of BDD Frameworks focuses on collaboration amidst developers, non-technical, business, and QA participants in an application assignment. 

BDD Framework motivates the team to make use of firm examples and conversations to formalize a mutual understanding of the behavior of an application. Test-Driven development forms the basis of behavior-driven development. 

BDD Framework combines the standard techniques and rules of text-driven development with ideologies from object-oriented design and analysis and domain-driven design to render management and application development teams with a shared procedure and shared tools to collaborate on application development. 

Behavior-driven development is an ideology about the management of the development of an application from the perspective of technical insight as well as business interests. The BDD Framework does not use specialized tools to aid the process of development. However, these tools are basically developed to be used in projects concerning BDD Framework, but they can also be used as special tools which aid test-driven development. 

BDD Framework is mainly facilitated via the utilization of easy domain-specific language along with simple language to express the expected results and behavior. It is considered as a useful tool when the problems of the business are much more complex. 

The focus of behavior-driven development is basically on the initiation point of the procedure, the content which needs to be tested, and how much content must be tested in a single round. Along with this, it lays emphasis on the results of the test and the reason for its failure (if the test fails). 

25 Popular BDD Frameworks You Need To Try

A tool that provides both business knowledge and technical insight is essential for any software developer. Behavior-driven development is a software development approach designed to deduct wasteful behavior in application development. 

In this, the tests are written in the plain descriptive English language, making the code easy to understand for anyone. The tests are more users focused and explained as the behavior of application rather than technical functionality. 

BDD Frameworks List

There are several BDD Framework tools out in the market proven to work effortlessly with different languages and structures. The popular ones are:


Looking for native BDD support, then HipTest is the one you need as it is the only continuous testing tool with this kind of support. It is capable of reusing steps of tests between multiple tests.  

This tool uses the shared business language to define criteria for acceptance. It can integrate with several other BDD tools. 

CucumberA free BDD tool which helps in developing easily understandable tests. Cucumber allows anyone from the stakeholder to the programmer to work on the problem statements to develop the best behavior set. It mainly uses Ruby as the programming language; however, it supports other languages too.


EasyB is a tool with no IDE integration and uses stories as the verification units. The commands are mostly written in Groovy, therefore, the specifications can be written in English instead of Programmer-centric codes. This tool is useful in Unit testing. 


As this tool runs on JUnit, it can be smoothly used in Eclipse. Comparing to tools like cucumber which is a story runner framework, JDave is a specification engine that displays the behavior of a class in each scenario. It is an easy tool to learn and apply. It is more of a developer-oriented framework.


Concordion is a powerful tool for JAVA based projects that require writing scripts for acceptance test automation. As it can integrate with the JUnit framework it can be used with Java IDEs like Eclipse. It uses JAVA language written in fixture codes for developing acceptance tests.


JBehave is an open-source BDD Framework for JAVA. It comes with two components- JBehave Main and JBehave Web. This tool can easily integrate with Selenium. Text-based stories are used in JBehave.


Written in JAVA, this tool is an open-source automation framework. It has two components- FIT and SLIM. FIT has become obsolete now while SLIM is the lightweight version of the former. This tool integrates on the business level while automating acceptance tests. 


TestLeft is a tool that allows early and fast testing as it is UI Automated tool in the IDE. It can easily merge with many other BDD framework tools and seamlessly embeds into the DevOps ecosystem’s any developmental environment. This tool provides a 30-days trial version.


Acknowledging its similarity to Cucumber, this tool is called the cucumber of .NET. This tool describes user stories in Gherkin formatted English. To run the Specflow tool, integration of IDE and Visual Studio is required.

Serenity BDD
Serenity BDD

Formerly called as Thucydides, Serenity BDD is a Java-based framework, which can smoothly integrate with other BDD tools like JBehave and Cucumber. 

Using this tool, you can easily write automated acceptance and regression tests. This tool is capable of making exceptionally detailed reports.


This tool is meant for testing JavaScript codes, however, other JavaScript frameworks are not used in this. The syntax of this tool is clean and is easy for writing tests.

COLA Tests

Cola Tests is a simple yet powerful BDD tool for JUnit tests. The benefit of this tool is that the developer can use any JUnit Runner without facing the setup difficulty.


This tool gives room for the developer to create a ubiquitous language to express and test a business domain. The tool uses plain test sentences as syntax.


Behat is a PHP framework that is open source. This tool is very useful for PHP developers. The codes used are symphony components. It supports extension with other tools, therefore, providing room for integrated testing.


Behave uses python codes backed tests that are written in natural language.


Squish is a unique tool in which stories are written in a ubiquitous language and capable of integrating automation of the GUI Test with the BDD approach. 

The Squish IDE tools support to develop, record, and moreover debug Behaviour driven GUI tests.


Frank is a BDD tool that works based on cucumber. It allows the developer to write structured text tests and acceptance tests. These tests are executed against the developer’s iOS application.


NBehave is a BDD framework that allows the shifting of vocabulary to behavior-based on test-based.


Codeception is a BDD tool, which provides rich assertions written in simple PHP DSL. All the tests are written in a descriptive manner which helps in easy understanding of what is being tested and the performance of the test.


This tool offers simple API testing. It helps in creating clear and comprehensive tests. It allows extension like HTTP assertions to be added to the testing.


A small and amazingly fast framework meant for unit testing. It provides testing tools supporting TDD, BDD, and benchmarking. This tool also offers a wide range of assertions that can enhance the readability and cleaning of the test.


This BDD tool helps in the development of easy to read test writing that can also be tracked easily during the execution of the test. The reports developed at the end are summarized in a user-friendly format which means anyone without a technical background can also understand.


Developed by ThoughtWorks, it is the latest open-source tool for test automation in Windows, Linux, and Mac. The plus point of Gauge is its ability to create executable documentation. 

The tests (called specs) are written in simple language syntax using Ruby, Java, and C#.


A flexible BDD tool that gives the developer plenty of room to write tests the way they want. It supports old-style plain text to the latest BDD style specifications. 

What Are The Letdowns Of BDD Framework

Behavior-Driven Development is a software development approach where the team members discuss and examine the expected behavior of the application. This is performed to construct system functionality that is expected and understandable by all.

The test is user focus and created using concrete real-life examples. These tests are developed using natural language for easy readability by anyone. This tool is extremely useful while working with a cross-functioning team which involves technical as well as non-technical members. 

Though BDD weighs more into the advantageous side, it does come with some drawbacks. The drawbacks are as follows:

  • It is not easy for all

Though BDD framework commands are said to be easy for anyone to understand, there will be some communication issues with the technical and non-technical members. 

The non-technical teams will not have a deep understanding of technical features and their inputs will vary from the other. Also, getting the whole team on the same page is hard. The communication between the user and developer is also essential for developing the BDD framework. 

Without the availability of the user, the developer will find it difficult to work past questions formed from user stories and ambiguities.

  • Requires opinion from everyone

In BDD framework features cannot be built without getting the opinions of everyone who are part of the software. For efficient BDD workflow, well-defined project requirements are needed. 

It also requires a dedicated development team to work closely with clients. This will help in faster communication and thorough involvement of everyone. It also requires information on how the developers expect people to use it and have an understanding of what purpose it should serve. 

  • BDD requires time

If you think about using the software only for a few months after releasing it to market, then BDD will not be of much use. It will weigh you down and definitely not meant for people in a hurry. 

The implementation of code requires significant time and effort. BDD is meant for those looking for lasting software and requires maintenance for many years. 

It is also beneficial for those using complex user interactions and multiple product features. 

  • Maintenance issue

BDD like any other automated functional testing framework requires maintenance. Most people are busy investing in new initiatives or projects. 

They forget about keeping resources for the software they are already using. If proper maintenance is not provided, then automated testing will break. If this is not fixed further, then the software dysfunction will prosper.

  • Need for scripting skills

BDD requires scripting codes. Though these can be written in natural language using real-life examples, many developers find it difficult. 

This is mainly attributed to the use of manual testing for years. The team members will be required to learn coding or scripting skills.

  • Requires extension for smooth functioning sometime

Sometimes the difficulty is experienced in using the step definitions- Given/When/Then. To ease out the problem using IDE plugins such as VScode Cucumber will help in autocompleting the codes. 

  • Focuses only on values the software is expected to deliver

BDD framework helps in measuring the functionality and does not focus much on the quality of the work in progress. This is not beneficial unless the developer also carries out test-driven development (TDD). 

As the risk of building the right thing the wrong way is more. This is mainly due to the difficulty in maintaining or further extension of codes in the future. BDD also faces issues in the availability of fewer supporting software.


BDD framework is a methodology rather than a toolset used in testing the behavior of the application just the way it displays to a user. This software development approach shows how a feature works within well-defined scenarios of inputs, actions, and outputs. 

BDD helps in eliminating a common situation that occurs between teams and developments like unsatisfied clients and overworked developers. BDD is an approach that encourages collaborations in projects mainly between developers, business teams, project managers, and QA. 

BDD framework provides room for development, testing, and thinking of command codes from the business owner’s point of view. The test scenarios are created using detailed, real-life examples. Using plain text (ubiquitous language) as command code, BDD has outperformed TDD its predecessor. 

Many think BDD is the same as TDD, which is not. In BDD, a clear understanding of what the system should do is derived from the perspective of customers and developers. 

While in TDD only the developers have an understanding of what the system should do. BDD is purely driven by business value and is user-focused. 

There are several BDD frameworks available in the market today. Cucumber, Specflow, Jbehave, EasyB, HipTestetc is a few to name. Cucumber is the most popular BDD framework. Most of these frameworks can code for many languages and few are available as open-source. These tools can also integrate with extensions.

BDD framework is a testing approach that cannot be seen as something that only matters to developers. BDD methodology requires the entire team to describe and understand the needs of the system from the beginning to the end and not just focus on code correction. Thus making the Behaviour-Driven Development framework an amazing approach to generate quality projects.

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Grzegorz Kłos
Grzegorz Kłos - Apphawks Co-founder
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