Introducing the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator

Introducing SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) encourages collaboration between everyone involved in developing software: developers, testers, and business representatives such as product owners or business analysts and form a shared understanding among them. 

Oftentimes business representatives don’t have a chance to collaborate and provide feedback early on, because the specifications are only accessible with developer tools. To address this pain point, we’re excited to announce the release of the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator.

What’s the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator?

It’s a set of plugins and tools for SpecFlow to generate a local or self-hosted documentation out of your Gherkin feature files, which can be easily shared with your team and stakeholders without the need for Visual Studio or Azure DevOps. The Gherkin files are formatted for readability, including Gherkin syntax highlighting, color-coding and tables for example data. 

💡 Demo: Try out our SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator Demo which is hosted on GitHub Pages.

SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator helps to spark the conversation, get faster feedback from business representatives and avoid time consuming rework. 

What are the key benefits?

  • Discuss and actively contribute to the development
  • Better visibility of the development progress
  • Get feedback from outside of your team

What are the features?

Additionally SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator has the same set of features as the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Azure DevOps Extension.

How does it work?

Generate and share your documentation in five quick steps:

Step 1: Update and setup SpecFlow

Install the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Runtime Plugin by adding the NuGet Package SpecFlow.Plus.LivingDocPlugin to your SpecFlow project.

It’s required to have at least SpecFlow 3.4.3 installed in your project in order to be able to use the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Runtime Plugin.

Step 2: Run your tests

During the test run, a new FeatureData.json file will be generated and saved into your output directory. The FeatureData.json will be used later on to generate the Living Documentation. In case you want to change the path of the output directory, please follow our configuration instructions.

Step 3: Install the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc CLI

In order to convert the FeatureData.json to the LivingDocumentation, you need to install the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc CLI first.

Simply execute following command in the command-line tool of your choice:

dotnet tool install --global SpecFlow.Plus.LivingDoc.CLI

Step 4: Generate the documentation

After the installation of the .NET Global tool is finished, you are now able to generate the Living Documentation.

Simply execute the following command in the command-line of your choice:

livingdoc <Path to FeatureData.json>

By default the FeatureData.json will be generated into the folder of your test assembly.

After the command is finished, you should be able to find the Living Documentation – LivingDoc.html in the same folder. The LivingDoc.html can be opened and viewed by a browser of your choice.

Step 5: Finally share the Living Documentation with your team and stakeholders

The generated LivingDoc.html is a single page application with no external dependencies. That makes it is easy to share the documentation within your team and stakeholders either locally or hosted on a location of your choice, e.g. a filesharing service or a static site hoster on your CI Server.

💡 Demo: Try out our SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator Demo which is hosted on GitHub Pages.

Here you can find some examples to quickly host your documentation. Depending on what CI/CD system you are using, there are different options available to share the file with your team.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator and the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Azure DevOps extension?

The main differences are that SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator doesn’t require Visual Studio or Azure DevOps in order to access the Living Documentation. Besides of that only the SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator is able to display test execution results of your Scenarios and Features (coming soon for Azure DevOps).

Do you have any plans stop developing the SpecFlow+LivingDoc Azure DevOps extension?

No. The release of SpecFlow+ LivingDoc Generator doesn’t mean, that SpecFlow+LivingDoc will be dropped. We are continuing the development of both products in the future.

Do you have any feedback?

Help us to improve SpecFlow+ LivingDoc and leave us your feedback.

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