EL support for cucumber steps


Who can use this?

Anyone writing cucumber steps where you need to share some variables/objects between steps. It also gives you a EL support for your gherkin test steps. You can collect objects/variable created from previous steps in a context map which can be access later in other steps. Also, the same context can be used in gherkin as with el tags. Internally it uses juel to parse the EL.

Pre Requisites


Why use this module?

Lets say there is a test case where you need to create test FB users to use then in your application registration and then use the id (and other details) of the new FB user in the next step to take some action. At the time of writing the test case you will not have the detail of this new user. In such cases, would it now be nice to pass the objects created in the previous step to the next step? This module gives you a way to put objects in a map of (String, Object) which is available across test steps.

What is so unique? we can achieve this by having a static variable.

Ofcourse. This module on itself is not special. It becomes immensely useful when you combine this feature with a EL support. What I mean is you can access all the objects in the test context map in your gherkin code with EL expressions.

Ok so how to I add objects to context?

CukeSaladContext.addToContext(nameOfTheContext, objectToPutInContext.getClass(), objectToPutInContext);

I still want to see how to use EL in gherkin

Sample feature file:

Feature: A feature to demonstrate CukeSaladJuggler util by testing FB graph api /me

  Scenario: testing with FB test users
    Given I create 2 test users in FB app "CukeSalad" using "https://developer.facebook.com/"
    #lets say the above step creates 2 FB users and adds it to the context with name "fbusers". "fbusers" is a list of maps
    Then "${fbusers[0].name}" is not same as "${fbusers[1].name}"
    # The above step compares the names of fbusers created in first step.
    Then the "fbusers" have different details:
    | name               | house              |place               |
    | ${fbusers[0].name} | ${fbusers[0].name} | ${fbusers[0].name} |
    | ${fbusers[1].name} | ${fbusers[1].name} | ${fbusers[1].name} | 
    #the above step is just to demonstrate you can use EL in data table. Here lets say you can call fb and cross check if the detail you got form the first step is same.

Do I have to do any EL evaluation in my steps?

No. In the above example where el expressions are used, the test step will get the actual values (already evaluated) in the DataTable/String params.

I still want to know how this work?

From the inside it works using AspectJ and EL evaluation. The Juggler has an around aspect that advices any method annotated with cucumber.api.java.*. For the aspect to work, you will need to weave the aspect in your code either at compile time or loadtime.

I am not familiar with aspectj. Can I still use it?

Yes. You do not need any familiarity with aspectj but for the weaving of aspects into your test case. If you dont know weaving, there is a gradle plugin that will do it at compile time – gradle-aspectj. For instance, add the below lines to your build.gradle

buildscript {
    repositories {
        maven {
            url "https://maven.eveoh.nl/content/repositories/releases"

    dependencies {
        classpath "nl.eveoh:gradle-aspectj:1.6"
project.ext {
    aspectjVersion = '1.8.4'

apply plugin: 'aspectj'
dependencies {
    aspectpath "org.cukesalad:CukeSaladJuggler:1.0.0" // the dependency that includes the aspect and el evaluator
    aspectpath "org.cukesalad:CukeDBSalad:1.0.0" // any jar dependency you may have that has cucumber steps annotations. 
    compile "org.cukesalad:CukeSaladJuggler:1.0.0" 
    // your other dependancies

Latest release:

Release 1.0.0

How to contribute

These are just a few steps I could think of. If there are any other feature that you wish for, please go ahead and create the same in the issue tracker. I will make best efforts to add them ASAP. If you wish contribute by coding, please fork the repository and raise a pull request.


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