Concordion is a specification by example framework originally developed by David Peterson,[1] and now maintained by a team of contributors,[2] led by Nigel Charman.

Original author(s)David Peterson
Developer(s)Nigel Charman, et al.
Stable release
3.0.1 / July 4, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-07-04)
  • Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJava, .NET
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeSpecification by example tool
LicenseApache License 2.0 Edit this at Wikidata

Inspired by the Fit Framework, David states the following aims were behind Concordion:[3]

  • Improved readability of documents
  • More "opinionated" (scripting is actively discouraged)
  • Easier to use

How it worksEdit

Concordion specifications are written in Markdown, HTML or Excel[4] and then instrumented with special links, attributes or comments respectively. When the corresponding test fixture class is run, Concordion interprets the instrumentation to execute the test. Rather than forcing product owners to specify requirements in a specially structured language, Concordion lets you write them in normal language using paragraphs, tables and proper punctuation. This makes the specifications much more natural to read and write, and helps everyone to understand and agree about what a feature is supposed to do.[5]

The Markdown, HTML or Excel files are typically stored with the source code, which has the benefit that they can be under the same version control system as the rest of the code ensuring the specification and tests are branched and merged along with the main source code.

Concordion includes a flexible extension mechanism[6] for adding functionality, for example implementing new commands, listening to events, or modifying the output documentation. By providing functionality such as embedding screenshots,[7] storyboards[8] or logging output,[9] extensions provide confidence in what the test is doing without locking the test into a specific implementation.[10]

Concordion enriches agile processes[11] and has been successfully applied in industrial context.[12]


Markdown format specificationEdit
Before instrumentation
The greeting for World is Hello World!
After instrumentation
The greeting for [World](- "#name") is [Hello World!](- "?=greetingFor(#name)")

HTML format specificationEdit

Before instrumentation
        <p>The greeting for <b>World</b> is <b>Hello World!</b></p>
After instrumentation
<html xmlns:concordion="">
        <p>The greeting for <b concordion:set="#name">World</b> is
        <b concordion:assertEquals="greetingFor(#name)">Hello World!</b>

The fixture codeEdit
The fixture that works with the instrumentation
package org.wikipedia;

import org.concordion.integration.junit4.ConcordionRunner;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;

public class HelloWorldTest {

    public String greetingFor(String firstName) {
        return "Hello " + firstName + "!";

Integrated Development Environment SupportEdit

The Concordion Support plugin for the IntelliJ IDEA Integrated development environment (IDE) simplifies development of fixtures and specifications with features including autocompletion, navigation between spec and test fixture, renaming, running tests, inspections and quick fixes.[13]

The Eclipse (software) Concordion plugin is much more limited and hasn't been updated since 2011.[14] The original author has stopped using Concordion and Eclipse and is unable to accommodate the necessary time to extend and maintain the plugin.[15]


Concordion has been ported to other languages including:

  • C# (Concordion.NET)
  • Python (PyConcordion)
  • Ruby (Ruby-Concordion)


  1. ^ Gärtner, Markus (Jul 2012). ATDD by Example: A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development. Addison-Wesley Professional. ISBN 978-0321784155.
  2. ^ "concordion". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  3. ^ "Concordion FAQ". Retrieved May 2, 2011..
  4. ^ "concordion/concordion-excel-extension". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  5. ^ Riley, Tim; Goucher, Adam (October 2009). Beautiful Testing: Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software. O'Reilly Media. p. 350. ISBN 978-0596159818.
  6. ^ "Concordion | Extensions | Java". Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  7. ^ "concordion/concordion-screenshot-extension". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  8. ^ "concordion/concordion-storyboard-extension". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  9. ^ "concordion/concordion-logback-extension". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  10. ^ "David Peterson: Concordion Extensions". Archived from the original on 2016-09-11. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  11. ^ Besson, Felipe M.; Beder, Delano M.; Chaim, Marcos L. (June 2010). "An Automated Approach for Acceptance Web Test Case Modeling and Executing". Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming. 11th International Conference on Agile Software Development, XP 2010. Trondheim, Norway: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 160–165. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-13054-0_12.
  12. ^ Latorre, Latorre (2014-06-01). "A successful application of a Test-Driven Development strategy in the industrial environment". Empirical Software Engineering. 19 (3): 753–773. doi:10.1007/s10664-013-9281-9. S2CID 15196251.
  13. ^ "concordion/idea-concordion-support". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  14. ^ "Google Code Archive - Long-term storage for Google Code Project Hosting". Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  15. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 2016-09-04.

External linksEdit

  • Official website  
  • David Peterson: Concordion 1.3.1 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2017-08-31)
  • concordion on GitHub
  • on GitHub