The Retirement of SpecFlow+ Runner

2022-01-27 22-01-27
Using SpecFlow
by Andreas Willich



We have had numerous queries regarding the support of .NET 6 for SpecFlow+ Runner. Sadly, we must let you all know that we will be discontinuing any further development on SpecFlow+ Runner, with version 3.9.31 being the last version of the SpecFlow+ Runner.

In the past weeks, we looked at the ideas and visions we have for SpecFlow and the tools around it (Visual Studio Extension, JetBrains Rider Plugin, SpecFlow+ LivingDoc, Online Gherkin Editor, and more). To be able to achieve our goals, we need to be more focused and get rid of things that would hinder us in our progress. We are a small team and need to be mindful of how we are spending our time.

Unfortunately, SpecFlow+ Runner is one of the projects that is hindering us in innovating. Developing a test-runner that integrates tightly in the .NET ecosystem has become more complicated in the last few years. Adding support for a new .NET version (which happens every year) is a fair amount of work for multiple developers.

We estimate that we would need to have one full-time developer working on the SpecFlow+ Runner to simply keep SpecFlow+ Runner in an up-to-date state. That is a quarter of our development team.

Thus, we have decided to stop developing and maintaining SpecFlow+ Runner.

It was no easy decision for us to make. That’s why you didn’t hear anything about .NET 6 support yet.

What does this exactly mean for you?

  • If you are using .NET 5 and prior versions, not much will change. The NuGet package will stay available, and you can use the SpecFlow+ Runner without any limitation. But there won’t be any bug fixes or new features in the future.
  • If you want to use .NET 6, you need to switch your unit test runner. We prepared a documentation page on how you do that here.

We know that some of the features in the SpecFlow+ Runner aren’t available in other unit test runners. For most, there are already replacements by us or the .NET community, for some of the missing ones we are planning to create solutions in SpecFlow that work for all unit test runners.


If you are missing some other feature of the SpecFlow+ Runner in MSTest, xUnit, or NUnit or have problems switching to other unit test runners, please let us know in the Community Forum