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Comparison Of Cypress And Selenium 4 to Test Browser Operations

By: SmallBizClub


testing browser operations

Selenium and Cypress are test technologies that automate browser operations to perform functional testing on online applications. Selenium has been around for a long time, but Cypress is a relatively new test community.

Even though Cypress was just recently released, it has already garnered momentum, with 22k+ Github stars and 530k+ downloads each week. With Cypress’s popularity skyrocketing, it’s only natural for testers to compare the two before deciding on the best tool for test automation. So, how does Cypress do in comparison to Selenium? Is Cypress a superior Selenium substitute?

Examining the benefits and drawbacks of each instrument is a simple method to answer these concerns.

What Is Selenium?

Selenium is a web-based application test automation tool that is free and open-source. Due to its cross-browser compatibility, simplicity of use, and extensive feature set, Selenium has been the de facto standard for automated testing since its inception in 2004. Selenium is made up of three key components:

  • WebDriver is a framework for running cross-browser tests.
  • Grid – A tool for distributing test workloads over several environments in order to perform numerous tests at the same time.
  • IDE- The integrated development environment (IDE) is used to capture and playback test cases. It comes as an extension that may be used to generate test cases that are repeatable.

Why Should You Use the Selenium Test Automation Framework? 

You should incorporate the Selenium automation framework due to the following reasons:

  • There are many reasons to use Selenium, the most important of which being that it is an open-source technology.
  • We can develop automation scripts in whatever language we choose using this technology.
  • It runs on practically every browser and is supported by a wide range of systems.
  • We do not have to be locked into or reliant on a tool’s unique language.

Advantages of Using the Selenium Test Automation Framework

  • Selenium supports a variety of programming languages, including C#, JavaScript, Python, Java, and Ruby, allowing developers to construct test cases in their favorite language.
  • Because Selenium’s WebDriver is now a W3C standard, it can interface directly with compatible browsers.
  • Selenium delivers a complete toolbox for every test automation requirement, from complex user input simulation to workload allocation, including WebDriver, Grid, and IDE components.
  • All major operating systems and mobile devices are supported.
  • Due to the platform’s maturity, Selenium has a large user base. This may lead to a plethora of Selenium information from both official and community sources.
  • To improve or expand automation capability, Selenium may be linked with a wide range of third-party products and platforms.

Disadvantages of Using the Selenium Test Automation Framework

Selenium has the following limitations:

  • It only works with web-based applications. Selenium is unable to automate Windows.
  • When it comes to discovering dynamic web items, Selenium isn’t particularly good
  • Selenium can only assist with application user interface testing; it cannot assist with unit testing, integration testing, or database testing.
  • Selenium’s reporting functionality is poor since it relies on TestNG or Cucumber.
  • Selenium is unable to automate captcha and barcodes.
  • Selenium supports screen capture, but it does not allow image, video, or audio testing.
  • To utilize this tool, you must have a strong understanding of programming.
  • Selenium isn’t very good at dealing with page load and sync problems. It’s also not very good at dealing with popup windows. Selenium can only assist with application user interface testing; it cannot assist with unit testing, integration testing, or database testing.

What Is Cypress?

Cypress is an open-source automation testing tool that attempts to make web application testing easy and developer-friendly. It makes use of DOM manipulation and communicates directly with browsers, eliminating the need for additional browser-specific drivers. Cypress is built entirely in JavaScript, with a focus on frontend testing. Additionally, it has a built-in test runner GUI that allows interactive testing.

Frontend developers have begun generating their test cases using the agile technique. JavaScript is a popular programming language for frontend developers. The fact that Cypress is entirely built on JavaScript demonstrates how this tool was created with frontend developers in mind. Naturally, before beginning Cypress testing, one must be familiar with JavaScript.

 Testers may now do Test-Driven Development (TDD) with comprehensive end-to-end testing thanks to architectural enhancements in Cypress. Cypress was created with the goal of making development and testing run in parallel.

Why Should You Use the Cypress Test Automation Framework? 

You should incorporate Cypress due to the following reasons:

  • Because of its architectural design, Cypress provides a faster and more reliable test execution than other automation solutions.
  • Cypress features a feature that allows you to take screenshots while the test is running.
  • If the test suite is executed through the command-line interface, it may also capture video
  • CI tools [Continuous Integration tools-Jenkins] may be utilized with Cypress.
  • In the Developer Tools area, there is a debugging option that allows developers to debug quickly and easily.
  • Unlike other tools that employ wait and sleep to ensure synchronization in test runs, Cypress has an inherent feature that waits for future actions by default and also waits before going on to the next phase.
  • It provides excellent documentation, which aids developers and testers in writing essential tests.
  • We can monitor the reaction time of activity in Cypress, which is quite helpful for unit testing.
  • Cypress can test the responsiveness of a web page using the Viewport sizing function.
  • This automation framework gives test case status in an easy-to-understand format, including a tally of succeeded and failed test cases.
  • Cypress offers excellent error logging capabilities, which clearly indicate the cause of each issue or failure.

Advantages of Cypress Test Automation Framework

The Cypress Test Automation Framework is a developer-focused testing platform that allows you to get up and run fast. It has the following benefits.

  • Browser-specific drivers do not need to be installed or configured.
  • Support for current JavaScript frameworks like Angular, Vue, React, and others are excellent.
  • Capability to take snapshots of tests while they run (Time Travel)
  • Built-in support for CI tools, Github, and Slack integration.
  • Support for automatic load balancing and parallelization.

Disadvantages of Cypress Test Automation Framework

Cypress has the following limitations:

  • Because Cypress is written in JavaScript and only supports JavaScript for test automation, it becomes a limitation; one must be well-versed in Javascript because no other language is supported.
  • When compared to other tools like Selenium, cross-browser testing is restricted.
  • Cypress is unable to automate mobile browser testing or native application development.

Key Difference Between Cypress And Selenium

Read below to know more about the differences between Cypress and Selenium:

  • One of the most significant distinctions between Cypress and Selenium is that Selenium runs in a process separate from the browser or device we’re testing. Cypress runs in the same browser as the device under test and in the same run cycle.
  • There is no network latency since Cypress performs most of its actions inside the browser. Commands drive and execute your program as quickly as it can render. Assertions are used to inform Cypress what the expected state of your application is while dealing with current JavaScript frameworks with sophisticated UIs.
  • Before going forward, Cypress will wait for your application to achieve this status. You will never have to deal with manual delays or retries again. Cypress will never give you stale items that have been disconnected from the DOM since it waits for them to exist. This is the essential point to remember. By running Selenium in the same run loop as the device, Cypress has solved the major challenge with Selenium. Waiting for DOM elements to materialize is handled by Cypress.
  • The goal of the test automation determines the target audience for test automation; for example, if the goal is to automate unit, integration, and end-to-end testing, Cypress is the sole option, and the audience for Cypress includes both developers and quality assurance personnel. However, if the goal is to just test the application’s UI and functionality in a web browser, Selenium is the ideal option. The one disadvantage of utilizing a Cypress is that it is entirely built on JavaScript, which may be tough for testers to understand since most testers are familiar with programming languages but not scripting languages.
  • Selenium test cases connect with the Browser Driver through the WebDriver component, which then interacts with the real browser to perform the instructions. All of the components in this route communicate in two-way mode, allowing information to flow back to the WebDriver from the real browser. Developers will also need distinct Browser Drivers for various browsers. Simply said, Selenium operates outside of the browser and uses the network to execute instructions.

Cypress, on the other hand, runs test cases directly in the browser. Cypress is powered by a server process that allows it to perform code in the same run loop as the application. Cypress and the server process frequently interact to complete tasks, allowing Cypress to react to application events in real-time. This connectivity also enables Cypress to interface with OS components for activities not related to the browser, such as snapshots.

Although Cypress and Selenium are both meant to automate browsers for testing, their architecture and performance are vastly different. Cypress is not just an alternative for Selenium, but it is also an excellent tool for teaching developers about test automation. This is why Cypress is one of the world’s fastest-growing automation tools. Selenium, on the other hand, is a more general-purpose tool aimed at a larger audience. 

Needless to say, before deciding on an automation tool, one must assess the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. Spend some time automating a few test cases using a cloud-based platform such as LambdaTest, which supports both Cypress test automation  and Selenium testing. With LambdaTest, you will be ensured that your website is compatible with 3000+ desktop and mobile browsers on cloud grid.

Published: March 14, 2022

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