Custom Formatters

Imran Khan edited this page Jun 5, 2016 · 45 revisions

As Cucumber runs your features, it calls out to any number of listener objects to let them know how it’s progressing. These listeners are notified at various points throughout the run of features. You can visualise this by using the ‘debug’ formatter. For example, take this simple scenario in Cucumber’s own test suite:

$ head -7 examples/self_test/features/sample.feature
# Feature comment
Feature: Sample

  @two @three
  Scenario: Missing
    Given missing

Here are the events fired to a listener when that scenario is run, shown using the debug formatter:

$ cucumber --format debug examples/self_test/sample.feature:6

If you want to write your own custom formatter, just create a class that implements any of the methods you see in the output from the debug formatter. Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Maybe you want to create a formatter that posts a message to Twitter every time a step fails? (I’m sure that would get you a lot of followers).

Here is how you’d do that:

Save your custom formatter class in features/support (or if you want to put it elsewhere, put a file in that directory that requires your formatter class).

# features/support/twitter_formatter.rb
require 'rubygems'
require 'twitter'

module Silly
  class TwitterFormatter
    def initialize(step_mother, io, options)
      # We don't care about these - we're just twittering!

    def step_name(keyword, step_match, status, source_indent, background, file_colon_line)
      if status == :failed
        step_name = step_match.format_args(lambda{|param| "*#{param}*"})
        message = "#{step_name} FAILED"'your email', 'your password').post(message)

Now you can run your features by passing --format Silly::TwitterFormatter to the cucumber command line, Rake task or even in cucumber.yml – see Running Features for all the options. You have more methods available than the ones used in this awesome example (but you only need to implement the ones you care about). Look at the sources for some of Cucumber’s built-in formatters to discover more methods.

If your formatter can’t be found

If cucumber complains that it can’t find your formatter, add an explicit --require dir, where dir is a parent directory of your formatter. You can also pass the full path to the ruby file where the formatter is defined.

The cucumber --help states:

Automatic loading is disabled when this option is specified, and all loading becomes explicit. Files under directories named “support” are always loaded first.

This means that you have to add your support folder to --require dir for it to be loaded.

Other Formatters

  1. TeamCity – prints cucumber results in a format for interpretation by a TeamCity build agent.
    1. teamcity_formatter – Compatible with Cucumber 2.
    2. cucumber_teamcity – Tested with Cucumber 1.3.18 and TeamCity 8.×.
  2. TextmateFormatter prints cucumber results as HTML with enhanced styling and Javascript for Textmate (Included in the cucumber core since 0.4.5)
  3. SlowHandCuke – Simple tweak to the Pretty formatter to display the currently running step as it is running
  4. timestamped-scenarios – Append test run timestamps to each scenario name as it is being output.
  5. Fivemat – Cucumber formatter that gives each test file its own line of dots.
  6. Fuubar – The instafailing progress bar formatter
  7. Viewcumber – Cucumber formatter which generates an HTML website to browse your scenarios and view screen capture of every single step.
  8. cucumber_timing_presenter – formatter that calculates timing metrics as well as two graphs showing impact of step time on overall build time.
  9. Bilgerat – formatter that sends failure messages to HipChat rooms.
  10. cucumber_statistics – Tracks timing and displays results in a single html page with outliers highlighted in a table sortable by various metrics.
  11. cucumber_characteristics – Generates html/json report on overall tests timings as well as timings and usage of steps, features and examples. Also lists unused and ambiguous (Cucumber 1.x) steps. Compatible with cucumber 1.x and 2.1+ and ruby 1.9+.
  12. allure-cucumberAllure adaptor for Cucumber. This formatter generates the XML files for Allure reporting framework.