Cypress – How It Is Different Than Selenium

tudip-logo

Tudip

19 March 2020

Cypress – How It Is Different Than Selenium

The Cypress is an open source, front-end development framework used by developers and QAs for end-to-end testing, integration testing, and unit testing, while Selenium is an open-source tool used mostly for test automation. Developers and QAs use it. Selenium is a test automation tool which enables developers and QAs to automate testing of web applications.

An Overview – Cypress vs. Selenium

Cypress and Selenium are both platforms for the automation of web app development. Selenium is an existing remedy, with the advent of Cypress. Cypress supports JavaScript while many languages are sup01ported by Selenium. Cypress supports end-to-end monitoring. Selenium also does, but also provides safety testing and unit testing.

Undoubtedly, selenium is the de-facto test automation system for cross-browser research— and it has been for years. Now, however, Cypress gains traction. With hundreds of frameworks variations based on its WebDriver protocol, business traction for Cypress.io is rising.

I will break down Cypress vs. Selenium in this article and discuss some of the goals that can help.

Introduction to Selenium and Cypress:

To begin with the comparison, let’s describe what these two approaches are, and what practitioners are offering.

  1. What Selenium Automates:

Selenium is a platform for test automation that allows developers to automate testing of web browsers. The Selenium WebDriver protocol allows commands to be sent from the test environment (IDEs) to a selected desktop browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari) in various programming languages — such as Java, Java Script, C #, Python and others – from a chosen desktop browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari) to a test environment (IDEs).

Each browser has its own WebDriver which is a test dependence in order to communicate and execute the necessary actions (click, swipe, assert, etc.).

As a leading solution, Selenium serves as a base for popular test frameworks such as Protractor, WebDriverIO and others, as well as frameworks like Appium for mobile app development. Looking at market trends around adoption and downloading, it is evident that Selenium is a crucial enabler for automating browser tests.

We can also see the growth in the number of updates that WebDriverIO has gone through in adopting Cypress.

  1. What Cypress Automates:

Cypress is a web application JavaScript Test Automation framework. It helps the teams to build scripts for web test automation. This solution is designed to enable frontend developers and test automation engineers to write web tests in JavaScript, the de-facto web language.

Cypress also supports the Mocha test system so Java Script on top of Mocha is the key technology you’d build your web test automation into.

Pros and cons of Selenium vs Cypress.io

Selenium:

Pros

  • Cross-browser testing: One test case can be configured to run on different browsers and our test scope can be expanded.
  • Cloud execution: On clouds such as SauceLabs, BrowserStack, and Remote TestKit you can run your tests.
  • Parallel execution: Thanks to unit test frameworks such as TestNG and tools such as the Selenium Grid, we can significantly shorten test execution time.
  • Industry standard: Selenium becomes a W3C standard so you’ll be facing less browser inconsistencies. Since it is popular, there are plenty of online resources available for free.
  • Multiple language bindings: You should code the language of choice in your programming, whether it is C #, Java, Javascript, Python, Ruby or whatever.

Cons

  • Performance: Selenium is relatively slow compared to Cypress.io since it has several layers of code running between the test system and the browser.
  • Hard to architect right: If you don’t have enough experience building a Selenium system, after a while you’ll eventually have to rebuild it from scratch because upgrading test assets has become too painful. Learn more here on building a good structure for Selenium.
  • No Off-Browser Support: Without additional tools, you can’t interact with popups, site dialogs or desktop windows.

Cypress.io:

Pros

  • Fast: Cypress doesn’t have as many strata of architecture as Selenium. As with Chrome DevTools, it basically lives inside Chrome. That’s why we see a remarkable improvement in the pace of test execution as opposed to Selenium.
  • Time traveling: You can move time back to the point where the test failed to debug it easily because Cypress takes DOM tree snapshots at every test phase.

Cons

  • No cross-browser testing: This is the biggest complaint since it restricts the scope of the test. Besides Chrome you can not uninstall other browsers.
  • No parallel execution: Only one check can be performed at a time. The development team has no intention of introducing this feature any time soon. At “operating system point,” they advise us to parallelise, or use Docker containers.
  • Aid for one language only: either you like Javascript, or you are out. This does not cause much trouble to front-end developers since they are JS experts anyway; but that could be a problem for the rest of us who have a complex technical background.

Conclusion | Which Is Better — Cypress vs. Selenium?

There are many differences between the two on the surface, although the two tools Cypress and Selenium WebDriver — seem identical. In my view, the main reason for the differences stems from the two tools ‘ different requirements: Selenium was designed as a multi-language, cross-browser tool that suits multiple purposes, not just testing. On the other hand, for one thing, Cypress was designed, and for one thing alone, testing frontend developers quickly and consistently.

Cypress therefore seems so limited: it only supports one language (JavaScript), one framework (Mocha), and one browser (Chrome). Selenium WebDriver has no limits to these. It can not have such limitations because for multiple target markets it is a general purpose device. But for frontend developers, these limitations are mostly not a concern, and allow Cypress to give frontend developers the advantages they need: speed and consistency.

Request a quote