TestNG vs Cucumber | Top Key Differences

June 21, 2024Kiruthika Devaraj
testng vs cucumber

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TestNG and Cucumber are two distinct frameworks in automated testing, each with unique strengths and purposes. TestNG is known for its flexibility in creating and executing test cases across various test suites. Conversely, Cucumber is celebrated for its natural language-based approach, making it a favorite among those who prefer behavior-driven development (BDD). 

In this comparison article, we’ll explore the key differences between these frameworks to help you choose the one that aligns best with your testing needs.

What is TestNG Framework?

TestNG, short for “Test Next Generation,” is a widely used testing framework primarily associated with Java. It offers comprehensive testing functionalities, allowing the creation of extensive test suites, parallel test execution, and detailed reporting. TestNG’s annotations provide a high level of customization for test cases, making it a popular choice for unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing of Java applications.

What is Cucumber Framework?

Cucumber is an open-source testing framework that promotes behavior-driven development (BDD) practices. It is compatible with multiple programming languages, including Java, Ruby, and more. Cucumber tests are written in a natural language, making them highly readable, even for non-technical stakeholders. 

Cucumber encourages collaboration between technical and non-technical team members by defining test scenarios in plain language, bridging the communication gap between developers, testers, and business analysts.

How to write tests in TestNG?

In TestNG, tests are written as methods, and annotations play a pivotal role in defining the test flow. 

TestNG offers annotations like @Test, @BeforeMethod, @AfterMethod, @DataProvider, and more. These annotations allow testers to define test setup, execution, and teardown procedures, enhancing test customization.

How to write tests in Cucumber?

Cucumber tests are written in a natural language format using a plain-text format called Gherkin. Test scenarios are defined in feature files using keywords like Given, When, and Then. These feature files are complemented by step definitions and implemented in programming languages like Java or Ruby. The step definitions map the natural language steps to executable code.

When to use TestNG

TestNG is an excellent choice when you need a versatile testing framework for unit, integration, and end-to-end testing of Java applications. It excels in handling test case management, parallel test execution, and reporting, making it suitable for a wide range of test automation scenarios.

When to use Cucumber

Cucumber is the preferred option when you want to implement behavior-driven development (BDD) practices in your testing process. It is ideal for scenarios where collaboration between technical and non-technical team members is essential. 

Cucumber’s natural language-based tests enhance the understanding of test cases across the team.

Pros of Cucumber

Cucumber’s standout features include natural language-based testing, fostering collaboration, and bridging the gap between technical and non-technical team members. Its readable and expressive Gherkin language promotes a better understanding of test scenarios.

Pros of TestNG

TestNG offers flexibility, parallel test execution, and comprehensive reporting. It is highly customizable through annotations, making it a powerful framework for unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing of Java applications.

Cucumber vs TestNG: Which is Better?

Programming Language:

– TestNG: Primarily designed for Java, but offers support for multiple languages through various plugins.

– Cucumber: Supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Ruby, and JavaScript, making it versatile for diverse development environments.

Support for Development:

– TestNG: Well-suited for developers, especially in Java-centric environments, providing annotations for test configuration.

– Cucumber: Geared towards collaboration between developers and non-technical stakeholders, as it uses Gherkin syntax for writing tests in plain language.

Type of Testing:

– TestNG: Widely used for unit, integration, and end-to-end testing.

– Cucumber: Primarily focuses on behavior-driven development (BDD) and acceptance testing, allowing tests to be written in natural language.

Use Case:

– TestNG: Ideal for testing a broad range of applications and scenarios, offering flexibility in test design.

– Cucumber: Best suited for scenarios where collaboration between technical and non-technical team members is crucial, promoting clear communication through feature files.


– TestNG: Follows the xUnit architecture and provides annotations for test lifecycle management.

– Cucumber: Has its unique Gherkin syntax, deviating from the traditional xUnit structure, emphasizing behavior-driven development.


– TestNG: Primarily used for client-side testing, covering a wide array of scenarios in application development.

– Cucumber: Suitable for client-side testing, especially when behavior-driven development and collaboration are essential.


– TestNG: Well-suited for server-side testing, ensuring comprehensive coverage in application testing.

– Cucumber: Can be applied to server-side testing, focusing on behavior-driven development principles.


– TestNG: Provides flexible grouping mechanisms, allowing the execution of specific test groups.

– Cucumber: Uses feature files and scenarios for organization, but grouping is less explicit than in TestNG.


– TestNG: Supports mocks and can be integrated with mock frameworks for effective testing.

– Cucumber: Can be used with mocking frameworks but might require additional configurations for seamless integration.


– TestNG: Offers data-driven testing capabilities, allowing the use of data providers for dynamic test case generation.

– Cucumber: Excels in data-driven testing through scenarios and tables in feature files, providing a clear structure for test generation.

In comparing Cucumber and TestNG, the choice depends on the project’s nature, team composition, and the emphasis on behavior-driven development principles. While TestNG is versatile and well-suited for various testing scenarios, Cucumber excels in scenarios where collaboration and communication through natural language are pivotal.

Cucumber vs TestNG vs Testsigma

When considering the trio of Cucumber, TestNG, and Testsigma, each serves distinct purposes in the testing landscape. Cucumber, focusing on behavior-driven development (BDD), promotes collaboration between technical and non-technical stakeholders through its Gherkin syntax. TestNG, a versatile testing framework, caters to various testing needs, emphasizing annotations for Java-based development. Testsigma, on the other hand, stands out as a cloud-based automation testing tool, streamlining the testing process with its no-code approach and comprehensive test management.

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In conclusion, the choice between Cucumber, TestNG, and Testsigma hinges on project requirements and team dynamics. Cucumber excels in BDD scenarios, TestNG offers versatility in testing types, and Testsigma is a modern, no-code solution for efficient test automation. The decision rests on aligning the tool’s strengths with the specific needs and methodologies of the testing environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use TestNG over Cucumber?

TestNG becomes a pragmatic choice if the project demands a focus on unit testing, integration testing, and a comprehensive set of annotations for test configuration..


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