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Interactive Behavior-driven Development: a Low-code Perspective

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Patkar Nitish, Chis Andrei, Stulova Nataliia, Nierstrasz Oscar,
Project Agile Software Assistance
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings Proceedings of the 24rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems: Companion Proceedings
DOI 10.1109/models-c53483.2021.00024

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Within behavior-driven development (BDD), different types of stakeholders collaborate in creating scenarios that specify application behavior. The current workflow for BDD expects non-technical stakeholders to use an integrated development environment (IDE) to write textual scenarios in the Gherkin language and verify application behavior using test passed/failed reports. Research to date shows that this approach leads non-technical stakeholders to perceive BDD as an overhead in addition to the testing. In this vision paper, we propose an alternative approach to specify and verify application behavior visually, interactively, and collaboratively within an IDE. Instead of writing textual scenarios, non-technical stakeholders compose, edit, and save scenarios by using tailored graphical interfaces that allow them to manipulate involved domain objects. Upon executing such interactively composed scenarios, all stakeholders verify the application behavior by inspecting domain-specific representations of run-time domain objects instead of a test run report. Such a low code approach to BDD has the potential to enable nontechnical stakeholders to engage more harmoniously in behavior specification and validation together with technical stakeholders within an IDE. There are two main contributions of this work: (i) we present an analysis of the features of 13 BDD tools, (ii) we describe a prototype implementation of our approach, and (iii) we outline our plan to conduct a large-scale developer survey to evaluate our approach to highlight the perceived benefits over the existing approach.