Behavior-Driven Development, or BDD, facilitates a collaborative environment that brings together business and technical teams. It involves individuals who grasp user scenarios and those with technical roles, such as developers, testers, and engineers responsible for implementation.

BDD serves as a bridge to establish a shared comprehension between these two groups. It functions as a universally comprehensible form of documentation, fostering mutual understanding among all team members.

How Is BDD Created?

Whenever new features, implementations, or changes are planned in an organization, the initial step involves crafting a user story. This user story serves as a descriptive account of software functionality from the end-user's standpoint.

Subsequently, after creating the BDD (Behavior-Driven Development) specification, a collaborative process unfolds. This process entails engaging with the entire team, spanning business stakeholders, developers, and QA engineers.

The aim is to collectively deliberate on how the system should be conceived, how its behaviour should be defined, and how the proposed approaches are approved. This collective insight is then documented to facilitate its utilization in the development and testing phases. Following this, the developer takes charge of the implementation phase.

Three Phases of BDD

Within the framework of BDD, there are three distinct phases:


Teams work together and talk about how the system should act. The end result of this step is a shared agreement on how the system will behave.


Once everyone agrees on how the system will be made, they create clear examples that help build and automate it. The outcome of this step is a list of written examples, which might also involve tests to make sure things work correctly.


During this phase, the implementation occurs through coding, guided by the documentation. Automation scenarios are also established concurrently. The result of this phase encompasses both automated tests and the actual code implementation.

Let's explore a typical instance of BDD for better comprehension. Cucumber has introduced a shared language known as Gherkin to maintain a uniform structure and framework for these stories.

Anatomy of a Gherkin Feature File

A Gherkin feature file is a text file with a .feature extension. It typically consists of three main sections:


  • The 'Feature' keyword describes the software feature or functionality you want to test.
  • It provides context for the subsequent scenarios and helps you understand what aspect of the application is being described.
  • It is followed by a brief, clear title that describes the feature.


  • The 'Scenario' keyword describes a specific test case or use case within the feature.
  • Each scenario should be a detailed description of a single test case, outlining the steps to reproduce it and the expected outcome.

Given, When, Then

  • These keywords structure the steps within a scenario and provide a clear sequence of events.
  • They help define the context (Given), the action or event (When), and the expected outcome (Then) of the scenario.
  • These keywords are typically used in a specific order: Given, When, Then.

And, But

  • 'And' and 'But' keywords are used to continue a step in a scenario when multiple conditions or actions are involved.
  • They are used to maintain readability and clarity within the scenario.

BDD Use Case

Let's dive into a practical example to illustrate how BDD specs work.

Example: BDD for B2B Organizations

Feature: Order Processing

Scenario 1: Creating a New Order

  • Given the user is logged into the B2B portal
  • When the user navigates to the Create New Order section
  • And fills in the required order details (e.g., customer information, product, quantity)
  • And clicks the Submit button
  • Then, the system should validate the order of information
  • And display a confirmation message

Scenario 2: Updating an Existing Order

  • Given the user is logged into the B2B portal
  • When the user searches for an existing order by order number
  • And selects the order to update
  • And modifies order details (e.g., changing the shipping address)
  • And clicks the Update button
  • Then, the system should validate the updated information
  • And display a confirmation message

Scenario 3: Canceling an Order

  • Given the user is logged into the B2B portal
  • When the user searches for an existing order by order number
  • And selects the order to cancel
  • And confirms the cancellation
  • Then, the system should mark the order as cancelled
  • And update the order status accordingly

Lastly, BDD specs, often written in user-friendly formats like Gherkin, play a crucial role in software development. They promote collaboration among diverse teams, enhance communication clarity, and support automated testing.

By using BDD specs, teams create a shared understanding of desired software behaviour, leading to the delivery of high-quality software. Additionally, automated tests derived from these specs streamline the testing process and reduce late-stage bug fixing, resulting in more efficient development processes and improved software quality.

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