Gherkin -> Behat -> FeatureContext -> MinkJS/PhantomJS


  • Behaviour Driven Development
  • Natural language written tests

Why Behat?

  • Clear defined behaviour
  • Behaviour script written in Gherkin. Actual tests themselves still need to be written in PHP


  • Each behaviour test prefixed with Scenario
  • Given, When, Then = Steps of behaviour. Also can use And
  • Can use Scenario Outline to reduce repetition. Accept parameters to certain values.


  • Automatically add steps by accepting context
  • Results - Pending, Failed, Skipped, Redundant, Undefined, Succesfull


  • Trigger functionality before/after/during scenarios
  • Tag function with @BeforeScenario. Suffix with scenario names @BeforeScenario @database @orm, @BeforeScenario @database&&@fixtures


  • Feature = How application behaves
  • Context = How to test the application
  • FeatureContext class
    • Annotation defines the related Gherkin, function name does not matter. @When I do something with :argument
    • Has to be a discoverable class
    • Class is initialised before each test is run
  • Can have multiple contexts. Defined in behat.yml

Writing Tests

  • Write functions in context class. Write annotation to match Gherkin
  • Test anything you like


  • A context with a lot of built in functionality:
    • Clicking links
    • Fill fields
  • Saves time when writing common tests

Fixtures & Mocking

  • Mock API responses to ensure test consistency
  • Problematic to test PHP and JS in the same tests
  • Can be solved by using PHP VCR. Records HTTP interactions and replays them in the test suite


  • Much faster tests
  • Do not have to hit any API, runs from test data (HTTP interactions) stored on disk
  • Avoids rate limits etc
  • No need to create mocks or fixtures.
  • Useful for other things like offline programming


  • Headless browser
  • To use with Gherkin it runs as a ghost; as a selenium driver
  • Can save screenshots during a test. Displays exact output of the headless browser at that time

Screenshot comparison

  • Compare image code between tests
  • If they are different then the test has most likely failed
  • Not ideal as will be affected by design changes - colour, padding etc

Other use cases

  • Integration testing
  • Run tests on deploy hooks
  • Test legacy applications


  • Still not mature for CSS and image comparison
  • Behat is Open Source
  • Extension available for Drupal containing a lot of Drupal specific scenarios and contexts