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BDD and Cucumber

In this assignment you will create user stories to describe a feature of a SaaS app, use the Cucumber tool to turn those stories into executable acceptance tests, and run the tests against your SaaS app.

Specifically, you will write Cucumber scenarios that test the happy paths of parts 1-3 of the Rails Intro assignment, in which you added filtering and sorting to RottenPotatoes' index view for Movies.

The app code in rottenpotatoes contains a "canonical" solution to the Rails Intro assignment against which to write your scenarios, and the necessary scaffolding for the first couple of scenarios.

Fork this repo to your GitHub account, then clone the fork to your development environment:

$ git clone

We recommend that you do a git commit as you get each part working. As an optional additional help, git allows you to associate tags---symbolic names---with particular commits. For example, immediately after doing a commit, you could say git tag hw4-part1b , and thereafter you could use git diff hw4-part1b to see differences since that commit, rather than remembering its commit ID. Note that after creating a tag in your local repo, you need to say git push YOUR_REMOTE --tags to push the tags to your remote. See 'add' in the git-remote man page for how to add remotes. (Tags are ignored by deployment remotes such as Heroku, so there's no point in pushing tags there.)

NOTE: Pushing your homework to a public repo is against the edX Honor Code. Unless you have GitHub premium service which allows private repositories, you should use some other code host for this such as notabug, gitlab, or bitbucket and be sure that your repo is private.

Part 1: Create a declarative scenario step for adding movies

The goal of BDD is to express behavioral tasks rather than low-level operations.

The background step of all the scenarios in this homework requires that the movies database contain some movies. Analogous to the explanation in Section 4.7, it would go against the goal of BDD to do this by writing scenarios that spell out every interaction required to add a new movie, since adding new movies is not what these scenarios are about.

Recall that the Given steps of a user story specify the initial state of the system: it does not matter how the system got into that state. For part 1, therefore, you will create a step definition that will match the step Given the following movies exist in the Background section of both sort_movie_list.feature and filter_movie_list.feature. (Later in the course, we will show how to DRY out the repeated Background sections in the two feature files.)

Add your code in the movie_steps.rb step definition file. You can just use ActiveRecord calls to directly add movies to the database; it`s OK to bypass the GUI associated with creating new movies, since that's not what these scenarios are testing.

SUCCESS is when all Background steps for the scenarios in filter_movie_list.feature and sort_movie_list.feature are passing Green.

Part 2: Happy paths for filtering movies

  1. Complete the scenario restrict to movies with PGorR ratings in filter_movie_list.feature. You can use existing step definitions in web_steps.rb to check and uncheck the appropriate boxes, submit the form, and check whether the correct movies appear (and just as importantly, movies with unselected ratings do not appear).

  2. Since it's tedious to repeat steps such as When I check the 'PG' checkbox, And I check the 'R' checkbox, etc., create a step definition to match a step such as: Given I check the following ratings: G, PG, R This single step definition should only check the specified boxes, and leave the other boxes as they were. HINT: this step definition can reuse existing steps in web_steps.rb , as shown in the example in Section 7.9 in ESaaS.

  3. For the scenario all ratings selected, it would be tedious to use And I should see to name every single movie. That would detract from the goal of BDD to convey the behavioral intent of the user story. To fix this, create step definitions that will match steps of the form: Then I should see all of the movies in movie_steps.rb. HINT: Consider counting the number of rows in the HTML table to implement these steps. If you have computed rows as the number of table rows, you can use the assertion expect(rows).to eq value to fail the test in case the values don't match. Update: You no longer need to implement the scenario for no ratings selected.

  4. Use your new step definitions to complete the scenario all ratings selected. SUCCESS is when all scenarios in filter_movie_list.feature pass with all steps green.

Part 3: Happy paths for sorting movies by title and by release date

  1. Since the scenarios in sort_movie_list.feature involve sorting, you will need the ability to have steps that test whether one movie appears before another in the output listing. Create a step definition that matches a step such as Then I should see "Aladdin" before "Amelie"


  • page is the Capybara method that returns an object representing the page returned by the app server. You can use it in expectations such as expect(page).to have_content('Hello World'). More importantly, you can search the page for specific elements matching CSS selectors or XPath expressions; see the Capybara documentation under Querying.
  • page.body is the page's HTML body as one giant string.
  • A regular expression could capture whether one string appears before another in a larger string, though that's not the only possible strategy.
  1. Use the step definition you create above to complete the scenarios sort movies alphabetically and sort movies in increasing order of release date in sort_movie_list.feature.

SUCCESS is all steps of all scenarios in both feature files passing Green.


To submit your assignment, please submit a .zip compressed archive file containing just your features directory. The command for doing this in a UNIX environment, from your app's root directory, is:

$ zip -r features

Please make sure that the features directory is contained in the archive. For example, unarchiving your submission should create a directory named features in the current working directory. It should not extract all your features directly into the current working directory.

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