Playwright vs Cypress: A Comparison
By Krishna Tej, Community Contributor - April 6, 2022
It is essential to test web apps and make sure it is functioning according to the user requirements for delivering a high-end user experience. There are a lot of tools and frameworks available in the market used to test web apps, such as Playwright, Cypress, and Selenium, to name a few. In this article, let’s understand Playwright and Cypress individually and then compare them to decipher when to use what.
What is Playwright Framework?
Playwright framework is an open-source, Nodejs based automation framework for end-to-end testing. It is developed and maintained by Microsoft. Its main goal is to run across the major browser engines – Chromium, Webkit, and Firefox.
It was forked from an earlier project called Puppeteer, but it is relatively different from it. The main difference being that Playwright was made specifically for end-to-end testing and was built for developers and testers. The team identified a gap in the ability to run automated end-to-end tests across multiple browsers.
Playwright Supported Capabilities
Playwright offers the following features:
- Create scenarios spanning multiple pages and domains
- Intercepts network activity for stubbing and mocking network requests
- Emulates mobile devices, geolocation, and permissions
- Used for downloading and uploading files
- Allows cross browser web automation
- Can tap into native input events for mouse and keyboard
Playwright framework uses Browser Context, which are isolated environments built on a single browser instance. Using Browser Context, one can create concurrent tests that are entirely separate from each other and execute them in parallel to the browser context.
Playwright can also be used with major CI/CD servers like TravisCI, CircleCI, Jenkins, Appveyor, GitHub Actions, etc. You can also use a docker image to get started with cloud deployment of Playwright when not using any CI/CD providers. It makes things easy right from the start by introducing intelligence defaults. It’s easy to install and has many capabilities required for more advanced scenarios.
Creating and running a Playwright script ensures that the UI is readied to execute the actions after running through a bunch of checklists. And all of this is done automatically without you having to code the tests manually.
A lot more features will be clearer when we do the Playwright vs Cypress comparison.
Read More: Playwright vs Selenium: A Comparison
What is Cypress Framework?
Cypress uses a different approach than the existing testing tools. When you run a script inside the browser, the script is executed in the same loop as your application. In case you have some cases to be run outside the browser, Cypress leverages the Node.js server to handle it.
In short, Cypress is capable of providing you with more consistent results as it can understand everything that happens both inside and outside the browser. This also gives you native access to each object without dealing with over-the-wire protocols or object serialization.
Cypress Supported Capabilities
Cypress offers the following features:
- Offers real-time debugging of apps by taking snapshots as your tests run
- Cypress network control allows you to control, stub, and test edge cases easily, without using a server
- API testing capabilities
- Mocking and stubbing capabilities
- Component testing capabilities
- Since Cypress doesn’t use Selenium or WebDriver, it provides fast, consistent, and reliable tests that are not flaky.
- Supports BDD/TDD style testing
- It offers great Debugging capabilities with developer tools. It gives readable errors and stack traces and makes debugging super fast
- Automatic waiting: Cypress automatically waits for commands and assertions before moving on.
- It is fast because tests run inside the browser like an app
Cypress only supports Chrome family browsers, Firefox & Edge. This makes Cypress unfit to run cross browser tests beyond Chrome and Firefox on browsers like IE, and Safari.
The Cypress test runner has no restrictions. Using Cypress, you can test cases, change the reporter, and even write a plugin that can yield a pass/fail – all of which are open-source MIT licensed and free.
Playwright vs Cypress: Core Differences
|Test Runner Frameworks Supported||Mocha, Jest, Jasmine||Mocha|
|Operating Systems Supported||Windows, Linux, and macOS||Windows, Linux, and macOS 10.9 and above|
|Open Source||Open Source and Free||Open Source and Free|
|Architecture||Headless Browser with event-driven architecture||Executes test cases directly inside the browser|
|Browsers Supported||Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit||Chrome, Firefox, and Edge|
|Support||Since Playwright is fairly new, the support from the community is limited as compared to Selenium||Strong community support from professionals across the world|
|Real Devices Support||Does not support real devices for Mobile Browser Tests but supports emulators||Supports real device clouds and remote servers|
Which one is preferred – Playwright or Cypress?
When it comes to choosing the right testing framework, functionality remains the core focal point. After gaining insights from the Cypress vs Playwright comparison, it is evident that Cypress offers extensive support with its well-drafted documentation and proactive community. This helps to overcome all the bottlenecks and issues through the help available.
If you are a beginner with testing and are looking for ease of installation and usage, then Cypress is the way to go. However, if you are more experienced and want to test Webkit browsers or your tests tend to have more coverage across multiple domains and pages then Playwright is the right choice.
It is important to note that choosing a testing tool for your web app is ultimately a choice based on usage and functionality and if the right testing tool is used, it can make the entire testing process streamlined.
No matter which test automation framework is chosen, cross browser testing is mandatory. It is the only way to guarantee that the website delivers seamless and consistent UX irrespective of the device and browser used to access them.
However, Emulators and simulators simply do not offer the real user conditions that software must be tested in. Consider testing websites and apps on a real device cloud, preferably one that offers the latest devices, browsers, and OS versions. This applies to both manual testing and automation testing.
BrowserStack’s real device cloud provides 3000+ real browsers and devices for an instant, on-demand testing. The cloud provides integrations with popular CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, and much more. Additionally, in-built debugging tools let testers identify and resolve bugs immediately. BrowserStack facilitates Cypress testing on 30+ browser versions with instant, hassle-free parallelization.