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Cathal Mac Donnacha šŸš€
Cathal Mac Donnacha šŸš€

Posted on • Originally published at cathalmacdonnacha.com

Cypress vs Playwright: Which is best for E2E testing?

Cypress was our go-to end-to-end (E2E) testing tool, and we were pretty happy with it, up until recently that is. Lately, we've run into a couple of testing scenarios where Cypress support has been limited, notably around multiple domains/tabs and iFrames. This caused us to re-evaluate the available E2E tools and it ultimately came down to two options; keep Cypress or switch to Playwright.

In this article, I compare both tools in the format of an ADR, which should help us decide which tool to go with. Let the battle commence!

Cypress

https://www.cypress.io/

  • Good, because it's very easy to learn and get set up with basic tests.
  • Good, because it has a nice dashboard to view test reports, analytics and recordings.
  • Good, because it supports Chromium and Firefox.
  • Good, because it has a very slick Test Runner UI.
  • Good, because it's built specifically for end-to-end testing.
  • Good, because you can edit your test code in the browser and instantly see it run as you change the code.
  • Good, because it's mature and has good community support.
  • Bad, because it doesn't support multiple domains.
  • Bad, because authentication requires a lot more setup due to lack of multi-domain support.
  • Bad, because it doesn't support Webkit (Safari)
  • Bad, because you cannot run tests against multiple browsers at the same time.
  • Bad, because iFrame support is limited.
  • Bad, because there is no "hover" support.
  • Bad, because the chaining command syntax can quickly get out of hand for more complex tests.
  • Bad, because you have to pay a premium to get access to some dashboard features (e.g flake detection)
  • Bad, because to do parallelization well, it requires vendor-locked software.

Playwright

https://playwright.dev/

  • Good, because it supports Chromium, Firefox and Webkit (Safari).
  • Good, because it supports multiple domains and tabs.
  • Good, because it supports 5 language bindings (Javascript, Typescript, Java, Python, .NET)
  • Good, because it'sĀ fast.
  • Good, because you can run tests against multiple browsers at the same time.
  • Good, because it fully supports parallelization, even locally.
  • Good, because it supports parallel tests within a single test file.
  • Good, because it's Javascript first, so feels more natural.
  • Good, because it has "hover" support.
  • Good, because iFrames are natively supported.
  • Good, because it supports reuse of authentication state to speed up tests.
  • Good, because it lets you choose your test runner (e.g. Jest but the default one is advised)
  • Good, because signing in is simple, you just fill in the form.
  • Good, because it's completely free.
  • Good, because it has few dependencies.
  • Bad, because it's still quite new, so possibility of a smaller community.
  • Bad, because 3rd party tutorials are out of date due to changing API.
  • Bad, because it's a mix between an automation and testing framework.
  • Bad, because it has a steeper learning curve.
  • Bad, because it does not have a dedicated dashboard so would be harder to debug tests remotely.

Common features between both

  • Good documentation
  • API testing
  • Point & click test recording
  • Test debugging tools
  • Test retries
  • Automatic waiting
  • Video and screen capture
  • Mobile emulation
  • Regularly updated and well maintained
  • Run only a subset of tests
  • Network monitoring

Conclusion

In the end, we decided to go with Playwright, mainly because of its native support for multiple domains, tabs and iFrames. I will say that I found Cypress' debugging to be more developer-friendly and in general "slicker", but that wasn't enough to make us stay put.

Want to see more?

I mainly write about real tech topics I face in my everyday life as a Frontend Developer. If this appeals to you then feel free to follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmacdonnacha

Bye for now šŸ‘‹

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