Mastering Behat Testing: A Comprehensive Guide for Implementing BDD in PHP Projects

4 min readFeb 6, 2024

Behat testing is a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) PHP framework that focuses on describing the behavior of a web application in simple, human-readable language. It uses Gherkin syntax to define test scenarios, making it accessible not just to developers but also to project managers and business owners​​​​.

What is Behat?

Behat allows teams to write automated tests that describe how software should behave in various scenarios. This approach helps in bridging the communication gap between developers, testers, and business stakeholders, ensuring that all parties have a clear understanding of the application’s functionality and requirements​​.

When to Use Behat

Behat is versatile and can be used for various types of testing:

  • Unit Tests: Test individual units of code for correctness.
  • Integration Tests: Test how multiple units work together.
  • End-to-End Tests: Test the application from the user’s perspective, covering the entire flow of the application​​.

Implementing Behat Testing in your projects

Installation: Behat can be installed using Composer. You’ll start by adding Behat, Mink, and their extensions to your project. Mink is essential for web browser interaction during tests​​.

php composer.phar require --dev behat/behat
php composer.phar require --dev behat/mink-extension
php composer.phar require --dev behat/mink-goutte-driver
php composer.phar require --dev behat/mink-selenium2-driver

Configuration: After installation, you’ll configure Behat by initializing your project with behat --init, which sets up the directory structure and generates a basic configuration file (behat.yml). This configuration can be customized to your project’s needs, including specifying the base URL, browser settings, and more​​.

php vendor/bin/behat --init

Create a behat.yml file in your project root to configure Behat and Mink. Here’s an example configuration for testing with Selenium and Chrome: