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10 Best BDD Testing Tools

10 Best BDD Software Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. TestLeft

    Fully Embedded Developer Testing Tool Based on the Shift Left Security

  2. JDave

    Java-based Test Specification Engine

  3. Concordion

    Blends Automated tests in Java with Flexible and Attractive Documentation

  4. SpecFLow

    Test Automation Solution For the .NET Platform

  5. FitNesse

    Wiki-based Acceptance Testing Framework and Collaboration Tool

  6. BeanSpec

    Java-Based BDD Solution for Summarizing Component Behavior

  7. JBehave

    Java-based BDD Test Tool that Maps User Stories to Java Code

  8. Cucumber

    An single source of truth for comprehensive BDD efforts

  9. testRigor

    Super Fast Test Automation Engine with Cutting-edge Tools

  10. Zephyr Scale

    Software Testing Tool Capable of Supporting Large Test Libraries in Jira

BDD testing tools allow software teams to test products by defining application features and running test scripts using Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). The best BDD testing tools selected for this article allow you to write user stories and depict application behavior in simple, plain language.

These BDD tools narrow the gap between technical and business teams through understandable acceptance tests. The top BDD tools make it easy to scale BDD tests using automation, and seamless IDE plugins while supporting integration with DevOps and productivity apps.

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best BDD testing tools? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for BDD tools with user interfaces that provide intuitive and easy navigation elements. To enhance user experience, the best BDD tools have UI interfaces that are well-designed, uncluttered, clean, and user-friendly.
  2. Usability: Software tools, for the most part, are designed with productivity in mind. Therefore, I looked for how well a BDD tool allowed users to accomplish core testing tasks with relative ease. While it is desirable for them to have a rich feature-set, the functionality should also have a low learning curve.
  3. Integrations: BDD tools are used by software development teams so they should the ability to support and integrate a wide variety of tools in that ecosystem. In addition to testing apps, their APIs ought to provide compatible support for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CD/CI) pipelines.
  4. Value for $: Price and affordability are important considerations for most customers. However, cheaper rarely ever means better. So, I evaluate the value for money associated with a BDD tool by weighing its cost with the corresponding benefits it provides. 

BDD Testing Key Features

These are the key features BDD testing tools need to remain competitive.

  1. Wide Coverage of User Stories: The ability to implement user stories defined through scenarios that communicate the desired behavior in a shared language, typically that of the business domain. This helps to explain test scenarios to stakeholders while  empowering testers to write test scripts in step definition files.
  2. Clarity and Expressiveness of Scenarios: Provide the ability to write user stories in a ‘given-when-then’ format that is characteristic of the BDD approach, typically with Gherkin syntax that focuses on the outcome being tested or developed.

    This “specifications as documentation” approach should allow expressiveness of functionality so the gap between technical and business teams is narrowed. Testers should be able to write scenarios or acceptance tests by describing the behavior of the system from the users' perspective.
  3. Automation of Test Scenarios: In addition to manual testing, the best BDD tools have built-in automation to reduce errors and run test scripts with minimal human intervention. Most are now moving to cutting-edge AI-powered test automation to easily detect patterns along with performing deep data analytics.
  4. Scalability: The bane of most software testing tools is their inability to cater to significant increases in testing volume. In addition to facilitating acceptance tests through automation, the best BDD tools are able to help teams scale their testing pace, volume, and velocity.
  5. User-friendliness: Since BDD is designed to make acceptance tests and their design more accessible, BDD tools should be intuitive and simple for newcomers and experts alike. This includes providing human-readable descriptions of software requirements through Gherkin that established a shared understanding for the whole team. 

Overviews Of The 10 Best BDD Testing Tools

Here’s a brief description of each BDD testing tools to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface

1

TestLeft

Fully Embedded Developer Testing Tool Based on the Shift Left Security

TestLeft is a test automation tool built for developers and advanced testers. It is easy to fully integrate TestLeft into your favorite IDE, making it convenient to execute functional unit and UI tests while writing code. TestLeft embraces the shift left philosophy of DevSecOps security, which encourages testing much earlier in the product lifecycle, which makes it easier to detect and fix errors.  

TestLeft seamlessly integrates with your DevOps ecosystem to run tests for web and desktop applications. To facilitate quick functional UI testing, it provides features like object recognition and automatic application model generation.

TestLeft provides support for unit testing frameworks and templates such as NUnit, TestNG, and MSTest. It has robust support for popular IDE such as Visual Studio, including Java IDEs such as IntelliJ and Eclipse. As such, it helps to boost developers' productivity since they don’t have to leave the familiar environment of their favorite IDE to run tests. 

TestLeft has two pricing options. The licensing for its Node-locked and Floating subscription are priced at $1,119 per year and $2,249 per year respectively.

From $1,119/year

2

JDave

Java-based Test Specification Engine

JDave is a Java behavior-driven development framework that runs on JUnit. It is a more developer-oriented framework than other typical BDD test automation platforms. 

JDave operates differently from story runner frameworks like Cucumber in the sense that it is a specification engine, and therefore, each scenario depicts the behavior of a class object. 

JDave is a lightweight tool that nonetheless draws heavily from RSpec as a BDD, especially in the use of a domain-specific language and with tight integration with its affiliated language. Likewise, JDave encourages writing the smallest test case possible to match what is needed in a program.

In addition to using the JUnit adapter to launch its specifications, JDave integrates with the mocking framework, JMock2 to allow users to mock their objects. To boost users' ability to create flexible expressions of intent, JDave uses Hamcrest as a matching library.

JDave is free to use.

Free To Use

3

Concordion

Blends Automated tests in Java with Flexible and Attractive Documentation

Concordion is an open-source platform that blends software delivery and writing automated tests. Concordion is designed as a collaborative tool to help various stakeholders ranging from developers, analysts, and testers to build quality software products through flexible documentation. 

It is simple and easy to use, with a clean concept facilitated by an attractive stylesheet makes it easy to read. Concordion empowers users to create beautiful living documentation with features that leverage the power of HTML. Some of these include the ability to add images, hyperlinks, tables, and indexes to make your pages more useful with clear results. 

Concordion also provides technical users with fundamental development features like exception handling through stack traces. With its extensible API, it allows users to powerfully customize its core functionality. For example, by adding screenshots to output, displaying logging information, or even using spreadsheets as specifications. 

Since it is used with Java, Concordion integrates directly with JUnit. However, it can also be used with other Java-based IDEs like Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ IDEA. 

Concordion is free to use.

Free To Use

4

SpecFLow

Test Automation Solution For the .NET Platform

SpecFLow is an open-source BDD framework built for the .NET platform. Instead of limiting testers to isolated QA phases, SpecFlow allows them to apply their expertise throughout the software development cycle. In addition to writing new test cases, SpecFlow makes it convenient and simpler to handle the maintenance and extensibility of existing automated tests. 

SpecFlow empowers developers to maintain better, modular code by separating test automation from their specification and feature files. Its Living Documentation seeks to provide users with a central place to combine test automation results with test documentation. That way, it can be used as a source of truth to foster a better understanding among the development team.

SpecFLow enables organizations to build more scalable tests while maintaining high-quality testing standards. It also shines by striving to turn test automation into a more collaborative, team effort. 

SpecFlow is free to use. 

Free To Use

5

FitNesse

Wiki-based Acceptance Testing Framework and Collaboration Tool

FitNesse is an open source, fully-integrated, yet minimalist test management platform. It uses a wiki-based server with a rich text editor to provide text-based wiki pages. FitNesse is easy to set up with a low barrier to entry and a quick learning curve. As a result, it is suited for business analysts, management, and support staff, in addition to testing professionals. 

FitNesse is straightforward to debug and plays with different environments and programming languages such as Java, Python, and C#. Its breadth of use ranges from UI, web, and even electronic components. FitNesse also permits both running automatic and manual tests. 

FitNesse can be used with JUnit or NUnit, andis able to act as a collaboration tool with external APIs. The tool runs deterministic tests for a given requirement so it provides clarity to the user on whether the test succeeded or failed. It provides a natural complement to xUnit-based testing.

FitNesse is free to use.

Free To Use

6

BeanSpec

Java-Based BDD Solution for Summarizing Component Behavior

BeanSpec allows users to specify, check, and summarize the behavior of a component using an easy to follow, narrative style. This makes it simple to use BeanSpec to handle complex specifications with declarative language.

It is a Java-based solution, which makes it amenable to be used with Java-based IDEs like Eclipse and NetBeans. BeanSpec also allows you to generate internal reports at the end of test execution runs. 

BeanSpec is free and operates under the Apache V2.0 license. 

Free To Use

7

JBehave

Java-based BDD Test Tool that Maps User Stories to Java Code

JBehave is an open source, Java-based framework that supports BDD. It is a BDD tool that allows users to map textual scenarios depicting application functionality into Java methods. It is ideal for Java-based enterprises who want to easily specify and run text-based user stories.

JBehave leans heavily on stories, which are a collection of scenarios explaining what should happen when certain behavior is encountered during the use of an application’s functionality. JBehave allows you to do so by testing a Java class through its methods.

Because it permits tests to be run as JUnits, JBehave makes it easy to integrate tests with continuous integration frameworks. However, JBehave stories can also be run from the command line. It features syntax highlighting, error checking, autogeneration of pending steps, annotation-based configuration, and much more. 

JBehave is broken down into two components, namely JBehave Web and JBehave Main

JBehave has plugins and integrations for apps such as Maven and Jira. This Jira plugin allows users to create JBehave stories and view JBehave reports without requiring an IDE. 

JBehave is free and open source.

Free and open source

8

Cucumber

An single source of truth for comprehensive BDD efforts

Cucumber is an open-source BDD tool that simplifies test case writing for non-technical people. Cucumber is one of the most widely adopted tools for BDD. It seeks to provide a single source of truth for BDD by merging both test and specification documentation into a cohesive, comprehensive unit. 

Cucumber allows you to check the accuracy of executable feature specifications against runnable code in almost all modern development languages, tools, and stacks. Some of these include JavaScript, Java, .NET, Ruby, and so on. As a result, Cucumber is ideal for anyone involved in the software development lifecycle, such as developers, project managers, software architects, and QA teams.

To facilitate BDD, Cucumber uses a Gherkin syntax that is very similar to normal English. This reduces the learning curve for new users and allows almost anyone to write concise descriptions of test scenarios. Cucumber also allows you to embrace test automation with Selenium, and API calls.

Cucumber integrates seamlessly with office productivity apps such as Jira, Trello, and Slack. Cucumber’s Git integration ensures a seamless up-to-date document, which provides a consistent, single source of truth. It also has integration support with popular integrated development environments (IDEs) like  IntelliJ, and Visual Studio Code. The platform can be used for desktop, web, and client-server applications. 

Cucumber offers two products: Cucumber Open and CucumberStudio. CucumberStudio provides in-depth and frictionless collaboration between teams. For instance, it enables  technology and business teams to collaborate on acceptance criteria. 

Cucumber Open is free while pricing for CucumberStudio is available upon request. 

Pricing upon request

9

testRigor

Super Fast Test Automation Engine with Cutting-edge Tools

TestRigor allows testers to use plain language to quickly create complex, yet stable end-to-end tests about 15X faster. It is enhanced by its AI-powered system geared to reduce both manual input and test maintenance to a bare minimum. TestRigor provides a Chrome extension to speed-test and simulate how normal people interact with mobile and web applications by autonomously generating tests that reflect your end users’ behavior.

TestRigor allows development teams to deploy products faster by applying more stable tests with 95% less maintenance than most comparative tools. It does this without requiring users to have deep technical skills yet provides up to 90% test coverage. As a result, it allows teams to focus on improving their product, not code. 

TestRigor strives to provide a better, more improved approach to testing. So, whether it’s unit, UI, regression, or exploratory testing, TestRigor allows you to execute it from the end users’ point of view. It also provides integrations to make it seamless and easy to incorporate TestRigor into your existing workflow. 

Some of these integrations include apps such as Jira, TestRail, Gitlab, Zephyr, Jenkins, AWS, and many more.

TestRigor is free and open-source. However, it also offers Private and Enterprise versions. The Private tier costs $900 per month and comes with a free trial. Pricing for the Enterprise tier is available upon request. 

Free and open-source

10

Zephyr Scale

Software Testing Tool Capable of Supporting Large Test Libraries in Jira

Zephyr Scale is designed to provide structured and scalable test management inside Jira. It allows enterprises to scale while ensuring consistency and high testing standards. Zephyr Scale is suited for both agile and waterfall methodologies, allowing you to plan, organize, and measure your test library for improved software quality in complex environments. 

Zephyr Scale is built by SmartBear Software, which leveraged its deep competencies in developer tools to provide features such as versioning for detailed change history, data analytics, and cross-project hierarchical test libraries. Its scalability and support allow you to manage large test cases in less time. 

Apart from integrating seamlessly into your Jira setup, Zephyr Scale comes with numerous BDD reports and test integrations with Jenkins and Bamboo through its REST API. 

Zephyr Scale pricing depends on the Jira user tier and hosting type selected. The hosting options are categorized as Cloud, Data Center, and Server. For each of their minimum number of users, Cloud is priced at $10 per month (10 users), Data Center costs $3,210 annually (50 users), while Server is at a $214 purchase price. 

Zephyr Scale allows you to request a demo and provides a free trial. 

Request free trial and free demo

$10/month (10 users)

The 10 Best BDD Testing Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
TestLeft

Fully Embedded Developer Testing Tool Based on the Shift Left Security

Not available

From $1,119/year Visit Website
2
JDave

Java-based Test Specification Engine

Not available

Free To Use Visit Website
3
Concordion

Blends Automated tests in Java with Flexible and Attractive Documentation

Not available

Free To Use Visit Website
4
SpecFLow

Test Automation Solution For the .NET Platform

Not available

Free To Use Visit Website
5
FitNesse

Wiki-based Acceptance Testing Framework and Collaboration Tool

Not available

Free To Use Visit Website
6
BeanSpec

Java-Based BDD Solution for Summarizing Component Behavior

Not available

Free To Use Visit Website
7
JBehave

Java-based BDD Test Tool that Maps User Stories to Java Code

Not available

Free and open source Visit Website
8
Cucumber

An single source of truth for comprehensive BDD efforts

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
9
testRigor

Super Fast Test Automation Engine with Cutting-edge Tools

Not available

Free and open-source Visit Website
10
Zephyr Scale

Software Testing Tool Capable of Supporting Large Test Libraries in Jira

Request free trial and free demo

$10/month (10 users) Visit Website

Conclusion

Behavior-Driven Development is becoming an important aspect of modern software development. It is a revolutionary approach that seeks to make the software process more egalitarian through the usage of a shared language of communication. 

The 10 best BDD tools allow users to implement acceptance testing, primarily by defining software and application behaviors in a logical, broadly shared language that users can understand.

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By Eze Onukwube

Eze has a master's degree in communications with over 10 years of experience as a software engineer. His playground is at the intersection of technology, process improvement, and simplifying IT concepts.

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