Skip to main content

Specflow

After listening to .Net Rocks with Scott Millett this week I felt a renewed enthusiasm for trying out some BDD. I downloaded Specflow and got straight on with the screen cast they have on their website. The video acts as a good introduction into how to get up and running in Specflow. Interestingly it also gave me a better insight into how bowling works. I have never really thought about it. I normally just wang the balls down the lane until the game is over!

Specflow introduces the idea of writing the specification first. It uses a specific language called Gherkin which comes from Ruby land. You will need NUnit installed as well. An example of it is: 

[edit: NUnit is what I have used up to now but Specflow is compatible with other testing frameworks aswell. See the comments section below.]

Feature: Passwords

In order to have a strong password
As a new user or existing user changing my password
I need to check if my password is alphanumeric and is greater than 6 characters

Scenario: Password only comprises of characters

Given I have entered "nottinghamforest" as my new password
When I press save
Then the system should reject the password
And say "The password must be alphanumeric and greater than 6 characters"

It's a fairly straight forward language. Although I really want to use it for a new asp.net mvc project I have in mind and I am not quite sure how to write out features and scenarios for things like "The user clicks on the drivers link and can then view a list of current drivers on the system...". I am currently cruising the Google Group for Specflow though and have spotted a couple of examples that might help me.  I have previously been doubtful of Specflow and this specification malarky before, favouring just writing unit tests in a certain way instead. For example WhenCreatingANewPassword.ThePasswordMustBeAlphaNumeric. However after messing about with this for 2 days I can really see where this might come in useful. 

I had a go at my own clean version of BDD using Specflow by making a very simple password strenght checker project. The winning thing about it? I wrote the spec on my netbook in notepad++ last night whilst watching Terminator 2. No coding was done. I then brought it into work this morning, put the feature file in. Added the steps file (which was very short because I reused them with regex helpers) and then implemented what I needed to do. I could really see the benefit if you had a client that had a domain expert that was also a bit of a power user. They could easily get into the rythm of writing / amending features for your project.

I have uploaded it to GitHub (which is also a first for me!). So you can check it out there.
https://github.com/DominicFinn/Specflow-Example-Password-Strength

Comments

Dom Finn said…
Thanks, I will definitely check that out. The MSTest support will be handy as (for right or wrong) I am currently using that in quite a few projects.

Popular posts from this blog

An instantiated object should be "ok"

I've been QA'ing quite a bit of work recently and one common theme I've noticed across both Java and C# projects I have been looking at is that we occasionally open ourselves up unessacarily to Exceptions by the way objects are being created. My general rule of thumb (which I have seen mentioned in a Pluralsight video recently but also always re-iterate in various Robust Software talks I have done) is that you shouldn't be able to create an object and then call a method or access a property that then throws an exception. At worst, it should return null (I'm not going to moan about that now). I've created an example below. We have two Dojos, one is good and one is bad. The bad dojo looks very familiar though. It's a little class written in the style that seems often encouraged. In fact, many classes start life as something like this. Then as years go on, you and other colleagues add more features to the class and it's instantiation becomes a second

Accessing the UI Thread with Tasks in F#

I have a Windows Forms program written in F# that can deploy a code base to n number of sites at once (you select the sites you would like to deploy to and it goes off and completes a number of tasks (backing up current sites, various unpacking and moving of files etc... ). Once you start it, it begins it's merry journey and begins to update the UI with what has happened. At the moment this method of updating the UI is not pretty because the threads I am doing the work on can't update the UI so I perform some fiendery to make that happen (don't ask). I knew there was a better way using some newer .NET features but I just hadn't got round to having a fiddle yet. I have now found that if you use the built in Task class but break your code up in a nicer way and then chain the tasks together you can then pass the correct context into the task that you want to talk to the UI. Here's a little script to give you a feel for it. You can press the "start" butt

NESTA - Next Gen.

via nesta.org.uk Following on from an article on the BBC about Raspberry Pi, this next gen report has some interesting findings. The scariest stat which I picked out from the BBC website was "out of the 28,767 teachers who were awarded Qualified Teacher Status... in 2010, only three qualified in computing or computing science as their primary qualification" Having worked as a computer science teacher for a year in a school that was a specialist in Computing I can concur that the uptake in Comp Sci was woeful. 2 Students for A2... The other teachers backgrounds in Computer Science was also fairly woeful (most knowing a bit about Office but still a paltry amount even about that). I couldn't speak for my counterpart that I was covering however. I suspect they were fairly up on things. All in all what kills me is that Computer science is not a secondary level subject. Areas are often covered, a little in IT, a little in DT subjects (if kids choose Systems and Contr