Sharing State Between Step Definition Lessons – Grape Up

It’s an apparent truth for anybody who’s been utilizing Cucumber for Java in take a look at automation that steps have to be outlined inside a category. Passing take a look at state from one step definition to a different may be simply achieved utilizing occasion variables, however that solely works for elementary and small tasks. In any scenario the place writing cucumber situations is a part of a non-trivial software program supply endeavor, Dependency Injection (DI) is the popular (and often needed!) answer. After studying the article beneath, you’ll be taught why that’s the case and tips on how to implement DI in your Cucumber-JVM assessments shortly.


Let’s take a look on the following situation written in Gherkin:

If we assume that it’s a part of a small take a look at suite, then its implementation utilizing step definitions throughout the Cucumber-JVM framework may seem like this:

Within the instance above, the info is handed between step definitions (strategies) by way of occasion variables. This works as a result of the strategies are in the identical class – PurchaseProcess, since occasion variables are typically accessible solely inside the identical class that declares them.


The variety of step definitions grows when the variety of Cucumber situations grows. In the end, this forces us to separate our steps into a number of lessons – to keep up code readability and maintainability, amongst different causes. Making use of this truism to the earlier instance would possibly lead to one thing like this:

However now we face an issue: the checkPriceInHistory technique moved into the newly created PurchaseHistory class can’t freely entry information saved in occasion variables of its unique PurchaseProcess class.


So how can we go about fixing this pickle? The reply is Dependency Injection (DI) – the advisable manner of sharing the state between steps in Cucumber-JVM.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this idea, then go by Wikipedia’s definition:

“In software engineeringdependency injection is a design pattern during which an object or function receives different objects or capabilities that it relies on. A type of inversion of control, dependency injection goals to separate the concerns of setting up and utilizing objects, resulting in loosely coupled applications.[1][2][3] The sample ensures that an object or operate which desires to make use of a given service mustn’t should know tips on how to assemble these providers. As a substitute, the receiving ‘client‘ (object or operate) is supplied with its dependencies by exterior code (an ‘injector’), which it’s not conscious of.” [1]

Within the context of Cucumber, to make use of dependency injection is to “inject a standard object in every class with steps. An object that’s recreated each time a brand new situation is executed.” [2]

Thus Comes PicoContainer

JVM implementation of Cucumber helps a number of DI modules: PicoContainer, Spring, Guice, OpenEJB, Weld, and Needle. PicoContainer is advisable in case your utility doesn’t already use one other one. [3]

The primary advantages of utilizing PicoContainer over different DI modules steam from it being tiny and easy:

  • It doesn’t require any configuration
  • It doesn’t require your lessons to make use of any APIs
  • It solely has a single characteristic – it instantiates objects [4]


To make use of PicoContainer with Maven, add the next dependency to your pom.xml:

	<scope>take a look at</scope>

If utilizing Gradle, add:

compile group: 'io.cucumber', identify: 'cucumber-picocontainer', model: ‚7.8.1’

To your construct.gradle file.

Now let’s return to our instance code. The implementation of DI utilizing PicoContainer is fairly easy. First, we’ve got to create a container class that can maintain the widespread information:

Then we have to add a constructor injection to implement the PurchaseProcess and PurchaseHistory lessons. This boils all the way down to the next:

  • making a reference variable of the Container class within the present step lessons
  • initializing the reference variable by way of a constructor

As soon as the modifications above are utilized, the instance ought to seem like this:


PicoContainer is light-weight and straightforward to implement. It additionally requires minimal modifications to your present code, serving to to maintain it lean and readable. These qualities make it an ideal match for any Cucumber-JVM mission since sharing take a look at context between lessons is a query of ‘when’ and never ‘if’ in primarily any take a look at suite that can develop past a number of situations.

  1. Dependency injection – Wikipedia
  2. Sharing state between steps in Cucumber-JVM using PicoContainer (
  3. State – Cucumber Documentation
  4. How to Use Polymorphic Step Definitions | Cucumber Blog
  5. Maven Repository: io.cucumber » cucumber-picocontainer (