Understanding how to run feature files in Visual Studio
Being a developer comes with the responsibility of testing your application’s functionality thoroughly. Feature files are a key component in ensuring that your applications behave as expected and meet user demands. Feature files contain scenarios that describe how the application should react to different conditions. In this article, we will explore how to run feature files using Visual Studio
Step 1: Create a Solution
The first step in utilizing Visual Studio is creating a solution. A solution acts as a container-like structure consisting of one or more projects. Creating a new solution requires you to select “File > New > Project” from the menu bar. From the “New Project” dialog box, choose the type of project you want to create, such as a C# console application, web app, Windows Forms, or WPF app. Once you have all the required options and specifications in place, click on “Create” to create the new project.
Step 2: Add SpecFlow to the Project
SpecFlow is a body of tools used to write acceptance tests in Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) style. Adding this feature to your Visual Studio project is a critical step that requires you to right-click on the project in Solution Explorer and select “Manage NuGet Packages.” In the popup window, search for SpecFlow and install it.
Step 3: Add a Feature File
Adding a feature file is a crucial step in the feature file creation process. To add a new feature file, right-click on the project in Solution Explorer and select “Add > New Item.” From the “Add New Item” dialog box, select “SpecFlow Feature File” and give it a name. Afterward, click add to complete the process of creating a new feature file.
Step 4: Write Scenarios in Gherkin Syntax
Gherkin syntax is a business-readable language that uses keywords like “Given,” “When,” and “Then” to describe an application’s behavior. After creating the feature file, the next step is to write your scenarios using Gherkin syntax. For instance, a scenario for a login feature can be written as:
As a registered user
I want to be able to log into the application
So that I can access my account
Scenario: Successful login
Given I am on the login page
When I enter my username and password
And I click the login button
Then I should be redirected to the home page
Step 5: Build the Project
After a successful creation of a feature file, the next step is to build the project. This step is essential as it compiles all the code necessary for the project’s successful execution. To build the project, select “Build > Build Solution” from the menu bar.
Step 6: Run the Scenario
The final step is the execution of the scenario. To execute, right-click on the scenario in the feature file and select “Run SpecFlow Scenarios” from the context menu. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+R, Ctrl+S” to run the scenario. Running the scenario displays the output in a new window where a green bar represents a successful scenario execution, while a red bar shows a failed scenario.
Through the use of SpecFlow and Visual Studio, running feature files becomes a seamless process. With this development tool in your arsenal, you can confidently create, manage, and run feature files, ensuring that your application meets the users’ requirements.