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How to Perform Cypress Automation Testing


How to Perform Cypress Automation Testing

Automation testing is one of the primary requirements for the modern application development process. Using test automation, the developers can not only quickly finish the testing process but also maintain the quality of the final application. For a long time, Selenium was a dominant competitor in the test automation framework industry. However recently many alternatives have arrived in the market intending to challenge the domination of Selenium. 

Cypress is one such competitor that has gained a lot of popularity in a short period.  The main reason for the popularity of Cypress is it's easy to set up and use in nature. In this article, we will discuss everything that you need to know to begin automation testing with Cypress. We will also discuss some factors that the developers must consider for improving their Cypress automation testing standards. 

The Base of Cypress

The Cypress framework is a modern test automation tool that is based on NodeJS. Currently, Cypress allows developers to write test cases in either JavaScript or typescript programming languages. The easy-to-use nature of Cypress makes it the favorite of almost all automation testers. It is also very easy and quick to set up Cypress for first-time use. 

The official website has various documentation describing all the features available with Cypress. It also has various sample test files to help the developers get a basic understanding of these test automation features. The developers also have the option to integrate Cypress with other libraries and tools to further elevate the testing standards. 

One thing that the developers must remember is that Cypress specializes in testing applications that are developed according to modern web development standards. Therefore, it is not ideal to use Cypress for testing legacy or outdated applications. Let us take a brief look at two of the most important features of the Cypress framework:

1. Automatic Waiting:  The automatic waiting feature of Cypress allows it to wait for certain pre-requirements to complete before executing the test cases. This means the test script will wait for certain elements to become visible, for DOM to load, for the completion of animations, for AJAX calls and XHR calls to be finished, and many others. This feature is very important as it will eliminate the possibility of any false errors in the Test report. Moreover, this feature also eliminates the need to define explicit and implicit wait. 

2. Real-Time Reloads: The intelligent framework of Cypress can understand that after saving a test file, the developer will access it and run it again. So, it will automatically trigger the run button beside the browser as soon as the developer saves the test file. Therefore, the developer does not have to manually trigger the test button to run it.   

Some Common Features of the Cypress Framework

Let us take a quick look at some of the common features that are available with the Cypress framework:

  • It will automatically wait to execute the test command and enact the assertions. These assertions will be enacted before the next command that needs to be run.
  • The Cypress framework will automatically capture screenshots during the test execution phase. These screenshots are highly essential during the bug debugging processes and data reporting stage.
  • Cypress can efficiently debug the test execution process. This is because it has an interactive test execution feature with the help of the test runner and test logs.
  • Cypress can provide users with a better, faster, and more reliable test execution process. This is because the code framework of Cypress is highly different from its competitors.   

Major Components of the Cypress Framework

Now let us discuss some of the major components of the Cypress framework that play a critical role during the automated test execution phase:

  • Page Object File: It will list all the methods that consist of the test business logic. These methods also comprise the Cypress commands that can interact with the application you are testing.  
  • Spec File: The Spec file will consist of the It{} blocks. These blocks are the areas where the test execution will begin. In the Cypress test code, each block will comprise a describe block which in turn will store all the different blocks.
  • Page Selector File: It will consist of the location for all the user interface elements that are present in an application.
  • Constants File: This file is used to contain all the constants that you might use during the test execution phase.

Introducing Cypress Automation Testing

Unlike its competitors, the Cypress test automation tool can perform different kinds of test cases. For instance, the developers can use it for performing integration testing, unit testing, end-to-end testing, API testing, and many others. It also offers various inbuilt features that help to improve the testing experience for the developers and automation testers. 

Some of the unique features offered by Cypress are time travel, screen capture, video recording, easy debugging, and much more. Using Cypress, the developers can also perform cross-browser testing on popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

The Cypress test automation framework uses Chai and Mocha assertions by default. So, the developers can avail this from the integrated library. Many developers believe that the reporting feature is one of the most used features in the application development industry. Internally, Cypress will use the Mocha reporter. So, the developers can configure the spec reporters or Mocha reporters according to their preferences.

Cypress comes with the Cypress CLI which stands for command line interface. Using this feature, the developers can integrate the automated test cases with CD/CI tools. Some of the common examples include Jenkins, Azure DevOps, and many others.

The Set-up Process for Cypress

The developers must remember that they have to set up the Cypress test cases and execute them on real browsers to get accurate results. There are various cloud platforms like LambdaTest that help developers to verify the functioning of their applications on real devices and browsers using their cloud servers. We will learn more about the role of these platforms in the latter part of this article.

The developers have to follow the following steps to set up Cypress for automation testing:

  • The first step is to download and install the latest version of Node JS.
  • It is also important to download and install the latest version of Visual Studio.
  • After this, the developers have to create a new project with the desired name according to their requirements.
  • The next step is to open the project folder in the Visual Studio code. For this process, the developers have to use the open folder wizard.
  • After opening the desired folder, the developers have to create the package.json. For the creation process, the developers have to open the terminal window from the Visual Studio code menu and enter a specific command.
  • Now it is time to install Cypress as an npm package. Although the developers have the option to download Cypress as an installer, we would recommend proceeding with the npm method.
  • Now, it is time to open the Cypress folder and create the spec folder in it. The spec folder will allow the developers to organize the test cases according to their requirements.
  • Finally, it is time for the developers to write their first Test case and execute it with the help of the Cypress terminal window. Cypress also provides specific commands that help the developers to automatically execute the test cases and pop up their results.

Some Important Folders for Cypress Test Automation

While creating and executing Cypress automated test cases the developers will come across certain unique folders. Let us discuss the individual functions that these folders perform:

  1. Integration Folder: The integration folder is an important part of the test execution phase. This is because all the test cases must be present inside this folder.
  2. Fixtures Folder: This folder will store all the data files. The system can directly read all the data files in the test script and execute them respectively.
  3. Plugins Folder: This folder helps the developers to modify or extend the internal functioning of the Cypress framework. It can be modified beyond the default configurations of Cypress.
  4. Support Folder: The support folder will consist of all the common files that you will require during the testing phase. The developers can access these files globally in the framework.  

Integrating Cloud Platforms with Cypress

Cloud platforms play a crucial role in improving the ease of testing. Considering the varieties present in the modern device industry, it is almost impossible for a company to maintain a physical device testing lab. Moreover, a physical device testing lab would cost a fortune for individual developers or small companies. So, cloud platforms are the best alternative to this problem. 

Using these platforms, the developers can verify the functioning of their applications on hundreds of real devices that are stored on multiple cloud servers. By paying a minimum license fee, the developers can gain complete access to all of these devices. We can further improve our understanding of cloud platforms by using LambdaTest as an example:

To understand the basics, LambdaTest is a cloud-integrated platform that helps developers ensure that their web applications are cross-browser compatible. Cross-browser compatibility test cases checks whether the application can maintain its optimal performance irrespective of variations in browser versions, operating systems and device specifications. 

LambdaTest allows the developers to run their Cypress test cases on more than 40 different browsers and browser versions. Using parallel testing LambdaTest can further accelerate the execution time for Cypress automation test cases. Using parallel testing, the developers can execute different test configurations on multiple systems simultaneously. Lastly, LambdaTest improves the accuracy of the test cases by combining different reports from real devices, emulators, and simulators.

The Conclusion

The massive advantages of Cypress have made it quite natural for the quality assessment teams to prefer this test automation framework. Cypress might indeed seem quite complicated at first glance. But proper knowledge and following all the details provided in this article will help the developers to quickly get along with it. There are also multiple documents and setup guides that are available on the official website of Cypress. The developers also have the option to consult various tech enthusiasts that are present in the Cypress developer community. 

Lastly, application development companies need to spread proper awareness regarding the importance of automation testing. The proper balance between automation and manual testing is one of the driving factors to maintaining a company's position in this competitive industry.  

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