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The Cucumber for Java Book by Seb Rose, Matt Wynne, Aslak Hellesoy

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Data Tables

Sometimes steps in a scenario need to describe data that doesn’t easily fit on a single line of Given, When, or Then. Gherkin allows us to place these details in a table right underneath a step. Data tables give you a way to extend a Gherkin step beyond a single line to include a larger piece of data.

For example, consider these steps:

 
Given ​a User ​"Michael Jackson"​ born on August 29, 1958​​
 
And ​a User ​"Elvis"​ born on January 8, 1935​​
 
And ​a User ​"John Lennon"​ born on October 9, 1940
 
...

Boring! We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of repetitive stuff in a traditional specification document, and we don’t have to tolerate it in a Cucumber specification either. We can collect those steps together into a single step that ...

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