Cypress vs Selenium 4
The software testing community is abuzz with talk about Cypress and Selenium.
While Selenium has been around for years, Cypress has grown since inception.
This has left the testing community wondering whether Cypress is a better alternative to Selenium.
It is necessary to explore business objectives before choosing a tool for running tests across browsers and platforms
Drawing a comparison between the top contenders on the list of testing tools is also important.
So, here’s an article that talks about Cypress and Selenium in detail.
You’ll learn about the pros and cons of implementing them and how leveraging either one will help you with automation testing.
What is Cypress?
It is an MIT-licensed open-source project built for the modern web.
An end-to-end testing framework built on top of Mocha, Cypress helps you write integration and unit tests.
It runs in the browser, enabling asynchronous testing. Developing quickly, Cypress is backed by a strong community and a commercial enterprise.
This tends to close the most concerning gaps in the cross-browser testing space.
Cypress has a set of capabilities that make the automation framework easy-to-use for development and QA teams.
Features of Cypress
1. Time Travel:
Cypress takes snapshots as tests are run. Hovering over the commands in the ‘Command Log’ helps you understand the sequence of events at every step.
If your tests are failing, you can debug directly using developer tools. Readable errors and stack traces enable lightning-fast debugging.
3. Automatic Waiting:
Cypress automatically waits for commands and assertions before proceeding forward. You don’t need to add waits to your tests.
4. Spies, Stubs & Clocks:
You can verify and control the behavior of functions, timers, and server responses.
5. Network Traffic Control:
Cypress allows you to control, stub, and test edge cases without including your server.
6. Screenshots & Videos:
The automation testing solution enables you to take screenshots on failure. It also records videos on the entire test suite running on the command-line interface (CLI).
Advantages of Cypress
- It is easier to get started with as it comes configured with dependencies and libraries.
- Cypress has debugging capabilities that enable quick debugging of web apps, and support time travel, as well as real-time reload.
- Cypress automation comes with fast test execution time, i.e., less than 20 ms. This helps eliminate downtime and reduces the need to trigger the next test manually.
- It is an open-source framework that boasts of an active community on GitHub, StackOverflow, and Gitter.
- Cypress also helps you test APIs.
Disadvantages of Cypress
- Cypress has limited availability for cross-browser testing as it only supports the Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Brave, and Electron browsers.
- As per the ‘Permanent Trade-Off section’ on the Cypress website, it is unable to manage multiple browser tabs.
- It doesn’t allow you to visit two or more domains of different origins in the same test.
- Although Cypress helps you with data mining and web crawling, building a web crawler might make it look like it has limited principles.
What is Selenium 4?
It automates web browsers and enables quick web-app testing, facilitating new releases.
Selenium is made up of the following four components:
- Selenium IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
- Selenium WebDriver
- Selenium Remote Control
- Selenium Grid
The testing tool lets you write test scripts in Java, Ruby, PHP, NodeJS, Python, and C#. Using the Selenium WebDriver, QA can automate test cases for selected browsers.
This is one of the reasons why it has been a top-choice for testers for over a decade now.
Ever since Selenium 4 was introduced, it has been gaining traction for its features and functionalities.
Let’s take a look!
Features of Selenium 4
1. Enhanced Selenium Grid:
The new Selenium Grid has Docker support. With this enhanced version, developers and QA testers don’t need to set up heavy virtual machines. They can deploy the grid on Kubernetes for better scaling. The Selenium Grid has a user-friendly GUI. Also, it doesn’t need you to set up hubs and nodes separately.
2. Upgraded Selenium IDE:
Earlier Selenium IDE was available as a Firefox add-on only. In Selenium 4, it has been revived and is now available on browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Store. It comes with a new and improved GUI for intuitive user experience. Also, the SIDE (Selenium IDE runner) tool allows QA to run side projects on a node.js platform.
3. Relative Locators:
Selenium 4 helps in locating elements by including relative locators. Testers can now locate specific web elements using intuitive terms like ‘to left of’, ‘to right of’, ‘above’, and ‘below’. Therefore, you can now locate web elements based on visual location.
4. Improved Documentation:
The documentation section comes with improved UI for navigating to a specific section. Developers can find information relevant to a specific tool and language binding.
5. Better Tab Management:
In test automation, QA may have to open specific links to perform an action. This requires them to create a new driver object. Selenium 4 comes with a new API called ‘newWindow’, which helps users create and switch to a new tab without creating a new WebDriver object.
Advantages of Selenium
- Selenium is free, open-source software.
- It supports different programming languages to write test scripts and programs.
- It supports various operating systems. For instance, a test case created on MS Windows can easily be executed on Linux and Macintosh.
- Parallel test execution can be supported using Selenium Grid to reduce test execution time.
Disadvantages of Selenium
- Being open-source software, Selenium lacks reliable technical support.
- It only supports automation for web-based applications.
- As compared to vendor tools such as UFT, RFT and SkillTest, it is difficult to setup and configure test environments with Selenium.
- There is no tool available in the Selenium tool suite for test management.
Cypress vs Selenium
Cypress vs Selenium – Which One You Should Choose
Although Cypress and Selenium are designed to conduct automation testing, both of them are very different with regard to architecture and performance.
Cypress is ideal for introducing developers to test automation whereas Selenium is a more of a general-purpose testing tool with a very broad target audience.
The former is popular among developers trying to automate unit testing and integration testing. The latter comes across as the choice for cross-browser testing since it supports every browser.
If you want to measure the accuracy and speed of test automation, then Cypress is the winner because it is present inside the browser. Also, synchronization isn’t an issue in Cypress, unlike Selenium, which has scripts running out of the browser.
Adding to that, Cypress is growing popular in the automation testing market, whereas Selenium has already carved a niche for itself.
In a head-to-head comparison, neither of the two wins; rather, the best approach for selecting an automation tool is to weigh the pros and cons.
Review what fits the bill with your business, project requirements, skill-set, and how you can improve the test coverage of your project.
If you’d like to know more about figuring out the best testing tool for your project, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.