Note: SpecFlow+ LivingDoc requires a SpecFlow+ license key to unlock. Without a license, only the first 10 entries in the documentation can be viewed.
SpecFlow+ LivingDoc is a VSTS extension for SpecFlow that allows you to view your Gherkin feature files directly in VSTS.
What is SpecFlow?
SpecFlow is an open source BDD/ATDD tool that allows .NET development teams to define, manage and execute automated acceptance tests. These tests are defined using the human-readable Gherkin syntax. Because these tests are written in a natural language, they can easily be understood by all stakeholders. SpecFlow provides the glue that binds these human-readable specifications to the application code, allowing tests to be executed automatically. SpecFlow+ is a series of paid extensions to SpecFlow that add additional features. SpecFlow+ includes SpecFlow+ Runner, a dedicated test runner for SpecFlow, SpecFlow+ Excel, which allows specifications or example data to be defined in Excel, and of course SpecFlow+ LivingDoc.
What is SpecFlow+ LivingDoc
SpecFlow+ LivingDoc is a VSTS extension that allows you to view the Gherkin files in your solution from within VSTS. The Gherkin files are formatted for readability, including Gherkin syntax highlighting, colour-coding and tables for example data.
Formatting includes the following:
Generating Documentation with SpecFlow+ LivingDoc
Generating living documentation from your Gherkin files with SpecFlow+ LivingDoc requires you to add the SpecFlow+ build step to your build process. This build step parses the Gherkin files in your solution and formats them for display in VSTS. A default build step is included when installing the extension. This build step only generates the documentation; it does not execute any tests or build your solution.
Note: You do not need to use TFS to actually build your application. You can simply add a build definition that acquires the sources and generates the documentation.
To add the build step:
To generate the documentation:
The number of scenarios in a project can grow very quickly, so finding the right feature file is important. SpecFlow+ LivingDoc allows you to search for tags and titles (features, scenarios, scenario outlines). To search for a feature file by feature or scenario title:
You can also optionally search in the contents of feature files (steps, descriptions). To include steps and descriptions in your search:
Previewing Scenarios with Data Values
Gherkin scenarios often use tables to store a series of test values that are referenced using placeholders in the Gherkin steps. You can see the placholder (“<project template”>) and a table containing the possible values of the placeholder in the following screenshot:
Use the preview check box in the first column to substitute the placeholders with the values in the corresponding row in the table:
You can use markdown code to embed images in your feature files. These images will then be displayed when viewing the feature file in TFS/VSTS.
When embedding images, the path to the image can be specified as a relative or absolute path. You can also embed images stored externally, such as on a website. Paths are relative to the location of the feature file.
Embedding an image in the same directory as the feature file
Embedding an image in a sub-directory
Embedding an image with an absolute reference
Embedding an image relative to the parent directory
Embedding an external image
SpecFlow+ LivingDoc is part of SpecFlow+, a set of extensions for SpecFlow. A SpecFlow+ license key unlocks all SpecFlow+ components. You can read more about SpecFlow+ and purchase a license from the SpecFlow website. More information on licenses can be found here
In evaluation mode, only the first 10 entries in the documentation can be viewed. You can request a trial key that removes this limitation here.
To register your license: