PhpStorm 2016.3 Help

Preparing to Use Cucumber.js Test Runner

The Cucumber.js test runner supports executing unit tests against the Node.js server. Cucumber.js runs tests that are called features and are written in the Gherkin language. Each feature is described in a separate file with the extension feature. Feature files are marked with the /help/img/idea/2016.3/fileTypeCucumber.png icon.

The easiest way to install the Cucumber.js test runner is to use the Node Package Manager (npm), which is a part of Node.js. See Installing and Removing External Software Using Node Package Manager for details.

Depending on the desired location of the Cucumber.js test runner executable file, choose one of the following methods:

  • Install the test runner globally at the PhpStorm level so it can be used in any PhpStorm project.
  • Install the test runner in a specific project and thus restrict its use to this project.
  • Install the test runner in a project as a development dependency.

In either installation mode, make sure that the parent folder of the Cucumber.js test runner is added to the PATH variable. This enables you to launch the test runner from any folder.

PhpStorm provides user interface both for global and project installation as well as supports installation through the command line.

On this page:

Preparing to install Cucumber.js

  1. Download and install Node.js. The runtime environment is required for two reasons:
    • The Cucumber.js test runner is started through Node.js.
    • NPM, which is a part of the runtime environment, is also the easiest way to download the Cucumber.js test runner.

    If you are going to use the command line mode, make sure the path to the parent folder of the Node.js executable file and the path to the npm folder are added to the PATH variable. This enables you to launch the Cucumber.js test runner and npm from any folder.

  2. Install and enable the NodeJS repository plugin as described in Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Repository Plugins and Enabling and Disabling Plugins.
  3. Install and enable the Cucumber.js and Gherkin plugins. The plugins are not bundled with PhpStorm, but they can be installed from the JetBrains plugin repository as described in Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Repository Plugins and Enabling and Disabling Plugins. Once enabled, the plugins are available at the IDE level, that is, you can use it in all your PhpStorm projects.

Installing Cucumber.js globally

Global installation makes the test runner available at the PhpStorm level so it can be used in any PhpStorm project. Moreover, during installation the parent folder of the test runner is automatically added to the PATH variable, which enables you to launch the test runner from any folder. To install the test runner globally, do one of the following:

Run the installation from the command line in the global mode:
  1. Launch the embedded Terminal by hovering your mouse pointer over /help/img/idea/2016.3/show_tool_window_bars.png in the lower left corner of PhpStorm and choosing Terminal from the menu (see Working with Embedded Local Terminal for details).
  2. Switch to the directory where NPM is stored or define a PATH variable for it so it is available from any folder, see Installing NodeJs.
  3. Type the following command at the command line prompt:
    npm install -g cucumber

    The -g key makes the test runner run in the global mode. Because the installation is performed through NPM, the Cucumber.js test runner is installed in the npm folder. Make sure this parent folder is added to the PATH variable. This enables you to launch the test runner from any folder.

    For more details on the NPM operation modes, see npm documentation. For more information about installing the Cucumber.js test runner, see https://npmjs.org/package/cucumber.

Run NPM from PhpStorm using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
  1. Open the Settings / Preferences Dialog by pressing Ctrl+Alt+S or by choosing File | Settings for Windows and Linux or PhpStorm | Preferences for OS X, and click Node.js and NPM under Languages&Frameworks.
  2. On the Node.js and NPM page that opens, the Packages area shows all the Node.js-dependent packages that are currently installed on your computer, both at the global and at the project level. Click /help/img/idea/2016.3/new.png.
  3. In the Available Packages dialog box that opens, select the cucumber package.
  4. Select the Options check box and type -g in the text box next to it.
  5. Optionally specify the product version and click Install Package to start installation.

Installing Cucumber.js in a project

Installing the test runner in a specific project restricts its use to this project. To run project installation, do one of the following:

Run the installation from the command line:
  1. Launch the embedded Terminal by hovering your mouse pointer over /help/img/idea/2016.3/show_tool_window_bars.png in the lower left corner of PhpStorm and choosing Terminal from the menu (see Working with Embedded Local Terminal for details).
  2. Switch to the directory where NPM is stored or define a PATH variable for it so it is available from any folder, see Installing NodeJs.
  3. Type the following command at the command line prompt:
    npm install cucumber
Run NPM from PhpStorm using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
  1. Open the Settings / Preferences Dialog by pressing Ctrl+Alt+S or by choosing File | Settings for Windows and Linux or PhpStorm | Preferences for OS X, and click Node.js and NPM under Languages&Frameworks.
  2. On the Node.js and NPM page that opens, the Packages area shows all the Node.js-dependent packages that are currently installed on your computer, both at the global and at the project level. Click /help/img/idea/2016.3/new.png.
  3. In the Available Packages dialog box that opens, select the cucumber package.
  4. Optionally specify the product version and click Install Package to start installation.

Project level installation is helpful and reliable in template-based projects of the type Node Boilerplate or Node.js Express, which already have the node_modules folder. The latter is important because NPM installs the Cucumber.js test runner in a node_modules folder. If your project already contains such folder, the Cucumber.js test runner is installed there.

Projects of other types or empty projects may not have a node_modules folder. In this case npm goes upwards in the folder tree and installs the Cucumber.js test runner in the first detected node_modules folder. Keep in mind that this detected node_modules folder may be outside your current project root.

Finally, if no node_modules folder is detected in the folder tree either, the folder is created right under the current project root and the Cucumber.js test runner is installed there.

In either case, make sure that the parent folder of the Cucumber.js test runner is added to the PATH variable. This enables you to launch the test runner from any folder.

Installing Cucumber.js as a development dependency

Because Cucumber.js is a test framework, which is of no need for those who are going to re-use your application, it is helpful to have it excluded from download for the future. This is done by marking the tool as a development dependency, which actually means adding the tool in the devDependencies section of the package.json file.

With PhpStorm, you can have the test runner marked as a development dependency right during installation. Do one of the following:

  • Run the installation from the command line in the global mode:
    1. Launch the embedded Terminal by hovering your mouse pointer over /help/img/idea/2016.3/show_tool_window_bars.png in the lower left corner of PhpStorm and choosing Terminal from the menu (see Working with Embedded Local Terminal for details).
    2. Switch to the directory where NPM is stored or define a PATH variable for it so it is available from any folder, see Installing NodeJs.
    3. Type the following command at the command line prompt:
      npm install --dev cucumber
  • Run NPM from PhpStorm using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
    1. Open the Settings / Preferences Dialog by pressing Ctrl+Alt+S or by choosing File | Settings for Windows and Linux or PhpStorm | Preferences for OS X, and click Node.js and NPM under Languages&Frameworks.
    2. On the Node.js and NPM page that opens, the Packages area shows all the Node.js-dependent packages that are currently installed on your computer, both at the global and at the project level. Click /help/img/idea/2016.3/new.png.
    3. In the Available Packages dialog box that opens, select the cucumber package.
    4. Select the Options check box and type --dev in the text box next to it.
    5. Optionally specify the product version and click Install Package to start installation.

After installation, the test runner is added to the devDependencies section of the package.json file.

See Also

Last modified: 1 December 2016