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Selenium vs Cucumber: Quick Guide to Core Differences

05th Sep, 2023
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Selenium vs Cucumber: Quick Guide to Core Differences

Web applications have become critical for organizations seeking new ways to reach and serve their target audience in the digital domain in today's era of online competition. As a result, they must be rigorously evaluated to ensure that they provide an excellent user experience.

With manual testing becoming obsolete, automated testing has become a popular method for thoroughly testing online applications. Automation testing allows you to swiftly and thoroughly test web applications for all potential issues and saves time and money.

Although Selenium and Cucumber are comparable in certain respects, each has strengths and flaws that can make or break the automation testing process. Check the Selenium vs Cucumber in detail below.


Selenium is a free, open-source suite for automated testing for web applications across different browsers and platforms. Selenium focuses on automating web-based applications and does not support the automation of desktop applications or mobile applications. Testing done using the Selenium tool is known as Selenium Testing.

Selenium is a suite of software, each capable of catering to different testing needs of an organization.

Selenium suite has four components

components in selenium

  • Selenium Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Selenium Remote Control (RC)
  • WebDriver
  • Selenium Grid

Benefits of Selenium:

Selenium training has many advantages, and it is very popular among testers.  Due to its ease of use and availability and its being free of cost, Selenium has become the favorite automation tool for many testers and developers across the globe. Selenium has made testers' life easier.

Now, being an open-source automation testing framework, Selenium is widely used for web application testing. It is mainly built on Java and extensively used for the automation of web applications. Basically, selenium is used for functional and regression testing. Selenium has emerged as a leading automation tool in the automation industry. It supports automation testing of functional aspects of a web application with a wide range of browsers and platform support. Selenium ensures software quality, usability, security, and performance. In today’s technology world, it is very important to work smartly without compromising the quality of the product, and Selenium gives you confidence in the quality of your product by avoiding human errors. Selenium Testing offers different advantages over other testing tools.

Selenium tool is used to write test scripts, and Java executes these test scripts. You can use a programming environment like Java, Ruby, PHP, C#, and more as per your requirement.

Need for Software Testing

Technology is changing at a very fast pace. Today’s invention becomes obsolete within a few days. Automation has become a necessity to reduce manual efforts and ensure that the quality of the software is maintained. Testers and Developers across the globe prefer the Selenium tool.  Selenium ensures software quality, usability, security, and performance. Because selenium is an open-source tool with a low maintenance cost, high quality, and supports different software life cycles, companies opt for selenium as an automation tool.

Nowadays, organizations are taking a step forward to get better advantage of software testing and implement important acceptance test scenarios while development is in progress, known as Behavior Driven Development.


Cucumber is a way of testing that supports Behavior Driven Development (BDD). It is an open-source tool. Cucumber allows writing tests in a human-readable language. It explains the behavior of the application using the Gherkin language.

Do you know what the Gherkin language is? Gherkin language used in Cucumber is plain text with readable and understandable syntax. This helps the client or anyone in the organization understand the software's behavior.

Need for Cucumber:

Selenium is a popular automation tool in the IT industry. Most IT companies use selenium and want to integrate it with cucumber. Cucumber acts as a bridge between a software engineer and business analyst, manual testers and automation tester, and developer and manual tester, as cucumber makes it easy to read and understand application flow.

In Behavior Driven Development, before a developer develops a code, the first user writes test scenarios or acceptance tests as per the behavior of the system from the customer’s perspective for review and sign-off by product owners.

Advantages of Cucumber:

It is very important to discuss the advantages of Cucumber.

  1.     Cucumber involves business stakeholders who can easily read the code.
  2.     The focus of Cucumber is an end-user experience.
  3.     Easy reuse of code in the test as simple test script architecture.
  4.     Easy to set up and execute.
  5.     Supports many languages like Java,.Net, Ruby, etc.
  6.     Acts as a bridge between business and technical language.
  7.     Knowledge of coding is not required to write a test.
  8.     Efficient tool.

When to Use Selenium and Cucumber?

Selenium is a testing framework, while cucumber is a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) tool. Selenium is a tool for automating scenarios at the UI layer and checking the behavior of the system as a whole.   

Selenium is a great tool to automate scenarios at the UI layer and check the system's behavior as a whole. During system integration testing or UI testing, it is best to use Selenium. Writing cucumber feature files for user stories can be a cumbersome task and will not serve the purpose of automation.

A cucumber is a great tool and should be sued for story testing. Cucumber checks the behavior of the feature at the API layer with integration tests. Each feature can be tested thoroughly.

Cucumber works beautifully with a simplistic and naive view of scenarios, such as favorite login functionality. For example - 

  • Given I am on the login page
  • When I enter valid credentials
  • Then I should see my account

Comparison/Differences :

Basis for differentiation Selenium Cucumber 
Is it a Framework?Selenium is an automation frameworkCucumber is not a framework
TypeSelenium is a browser automation testing tool.A cucumber is a testing tool based on a behavior-driven framework.
Programs are written in?Selenium is mostly written in JavaCucumber is written in the Ruby programming language
Automation toolSelenium is a functional and performance automation toolCucumber is not an automation tool
Script readabilitySelenium scripts are difficult to read for client or management teamCucumber scripts are readable by the client or management team
InstallationSelenium installation is difficult compared to cucumberCucumber is easy to install
PerformanceSelenium's performance of script execution is quite good.Cucumber makes script execution slow
Tool  ReliabilitySelenium makes testing reliable and dependableCucumber testing is not comparatively reliable
Selenium is used for API, UI, Functional, Regression, and performance testing.
A cucumber is used for story testing.
Supporting prog. LanguagesJava, Python, Ruby, .NetJava, Scala, Ruby, Groovy
CostSelenium is freeCucumber is free
Selenium supports only Web Applications
Cucumber supports only Web Applications

Key Differences Between Selenium and Cucumber

  • Selenium is referred to as a browser automation testing tool, while Cucumber is referred to as a testing tool based on a behavior-driven framework.
  • In Selenium, test scripts can be written in Java, C#, etc., while in Cucumber, test scripts are written in plain text language according to Gherkin language rules.
  • In Selenium, conditional statements can be used, while in Cucumber, we cannot use conditional statements.
  • In Selenium, scripts are written based on test cases and requirements, while in Cucumber, we write scenarios first and get it verified by the stakeholders.
  • Selenium scripts are complicated to develop and execute, while in Cucumber, it is easy to write or develop and execute the test.
  • Writing Selenium scripts is more like developing an application. Writing Cucumber scripts is like documenting the procedure or functionality in the right order.
  • Selenium is a suite of tools or a set of software tools. Each tool has a different purpose and different functionalities to test. For example, Selenium WebDriver is used to test Web applications across different browsers and platforms. In Cucumber, we define a set of terms, and we need to write the file according to the defined terms for all supported platforms.
  • In Selenium, identifying syntax errors is easy while developing, whereas in cucumber, syntax errors are not noticed while writing.
  • In terms of functionality and usage, Selenium and Cucumber are two different things.
  • We use the Selenium tool to automate the manually performed actions on browsers, and currently, it is the most preferred tool for UI automation of browsers.
  • Cucumber enables you with behavior-driven development(BDD). BDD enables you to write the scenarios in the plain language you prefer so that it gives more readability to technical and non-technical people.
  • The Selenium-Cucumber framework supports programming languages such as Perl, PHP, Python, .NET, Java, etc.

Pictorial Comparison of Selenium Vs Cucumber

comparison of selenium Vs Cucumber


Cucumber and Selenium are open-source and free tools that can be downloaded easily. They are a powerful combination together, but there are many differences between selenium vs cucumber too. 

Cucumber can be integrated with Selenium for testing and can be used for cross-browser web application testing. Scripts are easy to maintain and can be reused for different platforms and languages. These are the best tools used in the DevOps CICD process.

A combination of Selenium and Cucumber provides you with a lot of advantages it provides readability of code so that anyone in your team can get an idea of what your code will do & what scenarios you have covered, & reuse the steps easily whenever required. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

1. Can I learn Cucumber without Selenium? 

Yes! You can learn Cucumber without Selenium, an easy-to-learn framework written in plain, understandable English. Learning about the most talked-about automation tool between business folks and developers is exciting.

2. Is Cucumber better than Selenium?

Cucumber does not accept conditional statements, although Selenium does. In Selenium, test scripts are written based on requirements, but Cucumber begins with scenarios. Cucumber scripts were easier to create than Selenium scripts. 

3. Is Cucumber a framework or tool?

Cucumber is a tool used in Behavior Driven Development to create test cases for the behavior of software functionality, and it is used to supplement automated testing. In other terms, "Cucumber is a software tool used by testers to build test cases for testing software behavior."


Abhresh Sugandhi


Abhresh is specialized as a corporate trainer, He has a decade of experience in technical training blended with virtual webinars and instructor-led session created courses, tutorials, and articles for organizations. He is also the founder of Nikasio.com, which offers multiple services in technical training, project consulting, content development, etc.

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