Playwright vs Cypress: A Comparison
By Krishna Tej, Community Contributor - January 4, 2023
So, how does one go about choosing the best one? In this article, let’s compare Playwright vs Cypress and calibrate against the framework that best fits your automation needs.
What is the Playwright Framework?
Playwright framework is an open-source, Nodejs-based automation framework for end-to-end testing. It was 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 is that Playwright was explicitly made 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 framework 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
- Native input events for the mouse and keyboard
Playwright framework uses Browser Context, isolated environments built on a single browser instance. Using Browser Context, one can create concurrent tests entirely separate from each other and execute them parallel to the browser context.
- It can also be used with primary CI/CD servers like TravisCI, CircleCI, Jenkins, Appveyor, GitHub Actions, etc.
- You can also use a docker image to get started with the 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 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 more transparent when we make the comparison of Playwright vs Cypress.
Read More: Cross Browser Testing using Playwright
What is the 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. If you have some cases to be run outside the browser, Cypress leverages the Node.js server to handle it.
It provides more consistent results as it can understand everything that happens inside and outside the browser. This also gives native access to each object without dealing with over-the-wire protocols or object serialization.
Cypress Supported Capabilities
Cypress offers the following features:
- 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 excellent Debugging capabilities with dev 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
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 accessible.
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 cloud and remote servers|
Which to choose – Playwright or Cypress?
Functionality remains the core focal point when choosing the proper testing framework from Playwright or Cypress. 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.
Pros of choosing Playwright
- Easy setup and configuration
- Playwright framework, by default, comes with many valuable reporters like List, Dot, Line, JSON, JUnit, and HTML Reporters.
- Supports the execution of parallel testing through Browser Context
- Debugging options include Playwright Inspector, VSCode Debugger, Browser Developer Tools, and Trace Viewers Console Logs.
Cons of choosing Playwright
- Playwright doesn’t support Native Mobile Apps
- No Support for IE11
- Since Playwright is fairly new, the support from the community is limited.
- Since Playwright is new to the market user base is still growing.
Key Takeaway – If you are 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.
Pros of choosing Cypress
- Has excellent documentation.
- It captures snapshots during test execution.
- Cypress waits automatically for commands and assertions.
- Developers or QAs can use Spies, Stubs, and Clocks to verify and control the behavior of server responses, functions, or timers.
- Earlier Cypress supported only Chrome testing. Now, Cypress supports Firefox and Edge browsers.
- As the programmer writes commands, Cypress executes them in real time, providing visual feedback as they run.
Cons of choosing Cypress
- One cannot use Cypress to drive two browsers at the same time
- No support for multi-tabs
- Limited support for iFrames
Key Takeaway – Cypress is the way to go if you are a beginner looking for ease of installation and usage.
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.
- Emulators/simulators cannot offer real user conditions for testing software.
- Consider testing on a Real Device Cloud that offers the latest devices, browsers, and OS versions.
- BrowserStack’s real device cloud provides integrations with popular CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, and more.
- Additionally, in-built debugging tools let testers identify and resolve bugs immediately.
- BrowserStack facilitates both Cypress testing and Playwright testing with hassle-free parallelization.