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Perhaps this story should be titled "BDD definitions for agile service stories"...

For our .NET-based stories (always vertical slices) we use definitions matching the well known BDD format.

Sometimes the story involves work explicitly in a dependent system (here this is SAP). When this happens it does not touch the user interface at all and often doesn't involve .NET in any way.

So far we have not been able to define these stories in BDD (gherkin format) and this makes it difficult for the stories to be broadly understood.

While many stories will have a technical detail section fleshed out with items referred to by the scenarios, how should a story which is essentially only technical bullet points be defined? Is there a gherkin syntax for defining service behaviour?

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    can you give an example of one of these stories? surely everything has behaviour – Ewan Sep 5 '18 at 11:42
  • BDD stories should be expressed in language that can be understood. So start from that perspective. Abstract the technical language away into business language, e.g. Given a Credit customer, When a customer goes overdrawn, etc. – Martin Spamer Sep 26 '18 at 19:16
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One way to think of it that might help is that Behavior-Driven Development is meant to describe automated test scenarios, not backlog items. It may be possible that your backlog item only has one scenario, and that is fine, but it is still describing the scenario. Therefor, there is no problem with a technical behavior being described with BDD like:

Given I have a client record X
And That client record already exists
And the existing record date is more recent
When I save the client record to SAP
Then record is not saved
And I receive a MORE RECENT RECORD EXISTS response

Now, I have no idea why this kind of thing couldn't be just one scenario in a broader user story that includes customer-facing behavior, but nothing says that every backlog item has to be a user story, so the direct answer to your question is that as long as you are testing application behavior with BDD, it doesn't matter how technical it is.

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You could write a gherkin parser and test harness in ABAP, or you could see if anyone has already done so. A quick search yielded https://help.sap.com/viewer/468a97775123488ab3345a0c48cadd8f/7.51.1/en-US/45ac9f19d9414b30b121c6e00f57433c.html , which indicates that at least some prior work has been done on integrating gherkin feature files within SAP.

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