Differences Between Selenium and Cucumber

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Last updated on
31st May, 2022
26th Jul, 2019
Differences Between Selenium and Cucumber


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 automation of desktop application or mobile application. Testing done using Selenium tool is known as Selenium Testing.

Selenium is a suite of software, each having capability to cater 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 it 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 automation of web application. 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 platforms 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 script and these test scripts are executed by Java. 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 Selenium tool.  Selenium ensures software quality, usability, security, and performance. Because selenium is an open-source tool with a low maintenance cost, high quality, 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 test in a human-readable language. It explains the behaviour of the application using Gherkin language.

You know what about Gherkin language? Gherkin language used in Cucumber is a plain text, with readable and understandable syntax. This helps the client or anyone in the organization to understand the behaviour of the software.

Need for Cucumber:

Selenium is a popular automation tool in the IT industry. Most of the 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, 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 behaviour 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 behaviour of the system as a whole.   

To automate scenarios at the UI layer and to check the behaviour of the system as a whole, selenium is a great tool. 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.

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

With a simplistic and naive view of scenarios, such as favourite login functionality, Cucumber works beautifully. 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 behaviour-driven framework.
Programs are written in?Selenium is mostly written in JavaCucumber is written in 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 client or management team
InstallationSelenium installation is difficult compared to cucumberCucumber is easy to install
PerformanceSelenium 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, performance testing.
Cucumber is used for story testing.
Supporting prog. LanguagesJava, Python, Ruby, .NetJava, Scala, Ruby, Groovy
CostSelenium is freeCucumber is free
Selenium supports only Web Application
Cucumber supports only Web Application

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 behaviour-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 from 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 set of software tools. Each tool has a different purpose and each has different functionalities to test. For example, Selenium WebDriver is used to test Web application across different browsers and platforms. In Cucumber, we define a set of terms and we need to write the file according to 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 behaviour driven development(BDD). BDD enables you to write the scenarios in a plain language that you prefer so that it gives more readability to technical as well as non-technical person.
  • 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. 

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

Combination of Selenium and Cucumber provides you with a lot of advantages like 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. 


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.