Cypress testing: a quality tool for easy testing of web applications

Want to get an overview of the most widely used automated testing tool today? What is Cypress, what are the advantages of using it and how to get started with using it for testing web applications, you can find out in the article.

What is Cypress.io?

Cypress is an open source testing framework for web applications that uses the JavaScript programming language. It is currently one of the most popular tools for automated testing of web applications and its popularity is constantly growing (read also the articles Automation Testing Process and Automation Testing Tools). It allows writing end-to-end and component tests and is designed to be easily and quickly implemented in any project.

Main advantages of Cypress testing

Cypress is designed to be easy to use, even for beginners in testing. It does not require complex knowledge of Javascript, which means that you can use this tool without any deeper knowledge of programming. It offers an easy-to-understand syntax and API that is designed to be accessible to developers and testers with different levels of knowledge.

One of the key advantages of Cypress is that it is compatible with popular frontend frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue, and allows you to run tests directly in the web browser, eliminating the need for an external WebDriver. This leads to faster and more efficient tests.

In terms of features, their range is wide and they are specifically designed for testing modern web applications. You’ll find a variety of advanced debugging tools, a time-travel option for reverting to previous application states, and easy integration with Continuous Integration (CI) systems.

Cypress vs other testing tools

Cypress offers several advantages over other test automation tools. One of these advantages is that Cypress runs in the same browser as the user application. This means it can accurately simulate user actions such as button clicks, input fields or page scrolling. Cypress also provides the ability to test in real-time and display visual checkpoints, allowing developers to monitor and diagnose bugs.

In addition to the testing features, Cypress includes a number of other features that can be useful to developers, such as the ability to record and replay tests and create screenshots or videos of test runs.

Cypress vs Selenium

Cypress and Selenium are both popular automated testing tools, but they have a few key differences. Here are some of the main differences between Cypress and Selenium:

Architecture – Cypress vs Selenium

Cypress is built on a newer architecture that allows it to be a fast and reliable tool. It runs directly in the browser at the same time as your application. On the other hand, Selenium was originally developed as a browser extension whose performance can be affected by various factors such as browser and operating system version.

Syntax and API – Cypress vs Selenium

Selenium supports multiple programming languages such as Java, C#, Python, Ruby and JavaScript. However, Selenium is not a tool suitable for API testing. Extension to API testing is possible here, but will require the help of other tools or libraries.

Cypress uses Javascript as its main language for writing tests. In addition, it provides a simple and powerful API that is specifically designed for testing web applications.

Speed

Cypress is considered a faster tool for automated testing of web applications. Tests are faster because they run directly in the browser and you can monitor the application’s behaviour in real time.

Debugging

While debugging in Selenium relies on traditional techniques such as breakpoints, logging, and the use of browser-specific developer tools, Cypress provides various advanced features for test debugging (debugging via test runner, “time-travel” option to return to previous application states), which makes it easier to troubleshoot test issues.

Support for web browsers (web browsers)

At this point Selenium has a clear advantage because it supports all known browsers including Edge, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, even IE (Internet Explorer). Cypress is limited to the use of Chromium browsers and Firefox. So if you need to test your application e.g. in Safari or IE (even though it’s been replaced by Edge), you’ll have to decide for a different testing tool.

In choosing between Selenium and Cypress, it depends on specific needs and preferences. Selenium is an established framework with an extensive ecosystem and support for a variety of languages. Cypress offers a modern and developer-friendly environment with built-in tools for easier test writing and debugging.

Best practices

When using Cypress, it is important to follow a few proven principles so that tests are more efficient and can give you immediate feedback on the status and quality of your application. Here’s a list of some of the guiding principles when working with Cypress:

1. Using data attributes in element selection

Using data attributes like data-cy or data-test id will save you a lot of trouble. This is because your application can use dynamic classes or identifiers (IDs) that can change periodically. In contrast, data attributes are created directly for testing purposes, so they are resistant to CSS and JS updates.

Cypress code using the
Code sample from Cypress with attribute “data-cy”

2. Writing atomic and specifically targeted tests

Splitting tests into separate scenarios helps keep the code clear and easy to edit. Each scenario should test a specific functionality or feature of the application. When organising tests, use describe blocks to improve their readability.

Want to get an overview of the most widely used automated testing tool today? Find out what Cypress is, what are the benefits of using it and how to get started using it for web application testing in this article.What is Cypress.io? Cypress is an open source testing framework for web applications that uses the JavaScript programming language. It is currently one of the most popular tools for automated testing of web applications and its popularity is growing steadily (read also the articles Automated Testing Process and Automated Testing Tools). It allows you to write end-to-end and component tests and is designed to be easily and quickly implemented in any project. Key benefits of Cypress testing Cypress is designed to be easy to use, even for newcomers to testing. It doesn't require a complex knowledge of JavaScript, which means you can use this tool even without a deeper knowledge of programming. It offers an easy-to-understand syntax and an API that is designed to be accessible to developers and testers with different levels of knowledge. One of the key advantages of Cypress is that it is compatible with popular frontend frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue and allows you to run tests directly in the web browser, eliminating the need for an external WebDriver. This leads to faster and more efficient tests. As for the features, their scope is wide and they are specifically designed for testing modern web applications. You'll find a variety of advanced debugging tools, a
Code sample from Cypress with “describe” blocks

3. Using Custom Commands and fixtures:

Define your own commands to simplify repetitive tasks, such as logging in or filling in forms.

Using fixtures allows you to save test data to external files such as JSON, CSV or XML. You will be able to reuse the test data in different tests or scenarios. Another advantage of using fixture commands is the ability to generate dynamic test data, such as random emails or passwords.

4. Using integrated tools for debugging tests

Learn how to use commands like cy.log() to dump messages to the Cypress console, cy.pause() to pause the test and open the Test Runner, cy.debug() to open the browser debugger, and cy.screenshot() to capture a screenshot.

Cypress tutorial

If you are intrigued by this test tool, but need more detailed information and examples to understand and use it, the official Cypress documentation can be found on the Cypress website. In addition, the development team contributes regular updates and provides decent support to its users.

In addition to the official documentation, there is also an active Cypress community where you can find tutorials and answers to questions from other users, in addition to more examples.

Cypress is an increasingly popular choice for automating web application testing, not only in the open-source community, but also in commercial environments. Its flexibility, performance and ease of use make Cypress an important tool in the arsenal of developers and testers who focus on quality assurance of web applications. With its help you can test the quality of your web applications, improve code quality and save time during testing.

About the author

Katarína Kučáková

Software Test Engineer

Moja cesta k testovaniu softvéru sa začala v roku 2019 až po štúdiu ekonómie a pracovných skúsenostiach v iných odvetviach. To mi pomohlo vnímať IT svet v rôznych súvislostiach. Ten totiž ponúka neustále nové výzvy, pre ktoré rada hľadám riešenia. Obľubujem oddych pri čítaní, turistiku alebo lyžovanie. LinkedIn

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