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Cypress vs Cucumber – Which One to Choose?

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Cypress vs Cucumber - Which One to Choose
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When it comes to test automation, businesses have multiple choices in terms of tools and test automation frameworks. One such choice is often between Cypress and Cucumber. Both are popular automation tools with certain benefits, limitations, and learning curves. Let’s see which one of them is better suited to your needs in the Cypress vs Cucumber debate. Only by comparing test automation tools will you be informed to make the right decision to elevate your testing efforts.

What is Cucumber?

Cucumber

Cucumber is a powerful testing tool that follows the principles of Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). It allows for collaboration among team members by enabling the creation of plain-text descriptions of software behaviors. One of Cucumber’s distinctive features is its use of the Gherkin syntax, which is a human-readable language that facilitates the creation of executable specifications. This approach enhances clarity in communication between technical and non-technical stakeholders. For instance, for checking the login process, the Gherkin syntax will look like this:

Feature: User Login

  As a registered user

  I want to log in to the application

  So that I can access personalized features

Scenario: Successful Login

  Given the user is on the login page

  When the user enters valid credentials

  And clicks the login button

  Then the user should be redirected to the home page

  And see a welcome message

Scenario: Unsuccessful Login

  Given the user is on the login page

  When the user enters invalid credentials

  And clicks the login button

  Then the user should see an error message

  And remain on the login page

Why Use Cucumber for Testing?

The simple answer lies in a human-readable format, which aids collaboration between technical and non-technical stakeholders. With features like Gherkin syntax, it is easier for testers to write executable specifications. It enhances clarity and facilitates effective communication across the development cycle. The human-friendly approach contributes to improved test scenario comprehension and collaboration.

What is Cypress?

Cypress

Cypress is a robust end-to-end testing framework designed for the modern web and stands out for its unique architecture. Unlike traditional testing tools, Cypress operates directly within the browser, providing a real-time view of the application during test execution and offering fast execution. It excels in providing a rich set of features, including automatic waiting, real-time reloading, and seamless debugging, making it a popular choice for developers seeking efficient and effective testing solutions.

Take the same example of validating the login functionality using Cypress.

// login_spec.js

describe(‘User Login’, () => {

  it(‘should successfully log in with valid credentials’, () => {

    // Visit the login page

    cy.visit(‘/login’);

    // Enter valid username and password

    cy.get(‘#username’).type(‘example_user’);

    cy.get(‘#password’).type(‘secure_password’);

    // Click the login button

    cy.get(‘button[type=”submit”]’).click();

    // Verify successful login by checking the resulting page or a welcome message

    cy.url().should(‘eq’, ‘https://example.com/dashboard’);

    cy.contains(‘Welcome, example_user’).should(‘be.visible’);

  });

  it(‘should display an error message with invalid credentials’, () => {

    // Visit the login page

    cy.visit(‘/login’);

    // Enter invalid username and password

    cy.get(‘#username’).type(‘invalid_user’);

    cy.get(‘#password’).type(‘wrong_password’);

    // Click the login button

    cy.get(‘button[type=”submit”]’).click();

    // Verify the display of an error message

    cy.contains(‘Invalid username or password’).should(‘be.visible’);

  });

});

Why Use Cypress for Testing?

The real-time nature of Cypress allows developers to observe test execution, facilitating quick issue identification. With automatic waiting, robust debugging tools, and an extensive command set, Cypress simplifies testing processes, which, in turn, ensures faster development cycles. The best part about the tool is its ability to run directly in the browser. This enhances test reliability and makes Cypress an ideal choice for web application testing.

But in all of this, how do you decide which test automation tool to select? The answer can be either Cucumber or Cypress, or it can lie somewhere else.

For the curious, Testsigma is the perfect blend of easy-to-create test cases and fast execution to deliver the right test results. The AI-powered capability of Testsigma makes it a popular choice for teams that are looking to go codeless while not compromising on the test quality.

Yet the focus at present is on Cypress vs Cucumber. So, let’s continue with that discussion.

Benefits of Cypress and Cucumber

The benefits and limitations of both tools will help guide your decision in choosing one for your business. Consider these points before arriving at a conclusion. 

Benefits of Cypress

  • Cypress offers real-time testing capabilities, allowing developers to observe the application’s behavior as tests run.
  • The tool is known for its fast execution speed with a high level of reliability, making it a preferred choice for developers aiming for rapid and accurate test cycles.
  • It simplifies asynchronous testing by automatically waiting for commands and assertions to complete.
  • Cypress provides a robust set of debugging tools, such as time-travel debugging to easily identify and rectify issues.
  • Cypress operates directly within the browser, enabling direct access to browser APIs.
  • The above benefits eliminate the need for external drivers and enhance compatibility with several web applications and frameworks.

Benefits of Cucumber

  • The Gherkin syntax employed by Cucumber aids technical and non-technical users in writing tests in plain English statements.
  • The BDD behavior of the tool promotes collaboration among developers, testers, and business stakeholders.
  • Developers and testers can easily create reusable step definitions using Cucumber, promoting modular and maintainable test scripts.
  • Cucumber supports multiple programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, Ruby, and more.
  • It is open-source and free to use. Not to mention, it has a huge community of existing users.

Limitations of Cypress vs Cucumber

Now, let’s look at the limitations of these tools to help you understand their characteristics better.

Limitations of Cypress

  • Cypress primarily supports Chromium-based browsers, which can be a limitation for teams requiring extensive cross-browser testing.
  • As of present, the tool lacks support for testing scenarios involving multiple browser tabs or windows.
  • Since Cypress runs within the OS, it cannot interact with elements outside the viewport.
  • While Cypress can handle file uploads, it may not fully support scenarios with custom-styled file input elements.
  • In larger test suites, Cypress can exhibit slower execution times due to its synchronous nature.
  • Handling dynamic elements that change rapidly during test execution might be challenging with this tool.

Limitations of Cucumber

  • Although minute, it is possible that the Gherkin syntax of Cucumber may pose a learning curve for non-technical stakeholders, such as business analysts or product owners.
  • Similar to Cypress, Cucumber may experience slower execution times for large test suites.
  • A poor quality of step definitions in Cucumber can lead to challenges in test maintenance and execution.
  • Teams may face integration challenges when using Cucumber with specific CI/CD pipelines, potentially requiring additional configuration.
  • Setting up an initial Cucumber framework can involve overhead, especially for teams new to BDD practices.
  • It may face challenges in testing highly interactive user interfaces or applications with intricate front-end components due to the primary focus on BDD.

Cypress with Cucumber BDD

You know the benefits they bring when used individually, but the same increases immensely when these two powerful tools come together. The merger harnesses the strengths of Cypress’s fast and reliable testing capabilities and Cucumber’s human-readable Gherkin syntax. The result is a testing framework that not only ensures the functionality of web applications but also enhances collaboration among diverse teams.

Why Do We Need Cypress with Cucumber?

Cypress with Cucumber presents a compelling framework for businesses seeking efficient and collaborative test automation solutions. The advantages of this combination include:

  • Leveraging Cucumber’s Gherkin syntax enhances scenario readability, promoting a shared understanding of test cases among team members.
  • Cypress’s real-time nature allows team members to observe test execution, facilitating quick issue identification and efficient debugging.
  • Cucumber’s human-readable scenarios, combined with Cypress’s execution speed, create a testing framework that’s both efficient and accessible to non-technical stakeholders.
  • The integration follows BDD principles, aligning testing efforts with business goals.
  • By combining Cypress’s end-to-end testing capabilities with Cucumber’s scenario-driven approach, businesses achieve comprehensive test coverage, addressing both functional and behavioral aspects.

How Do We Implement Cypress with Cucumber? 

Implementing Cypress with Cucumber is a strategic move for organizations aiming to enhance their test automation capabilities. This seamless integration combines Cypress’s prowess in end-to-end testing with Cucumber’s behavior-driven development (BDD) principles, creating a dynamic testing framework. The start of implementation begins with understanding the integration process, which is pivotal. 

In the following sections, we delve into the steps and code snippets that explain how to bring together the two tools, fostering collaboration, readability, and efficiency for automated testing.

How to Integrate Cypress and Cucumber?

Follow the below steps to integrate Cypress with Cucumber.

  • Install Dependencies

Install the necessary packages using npm (Node Package Manager). Run the following command in your project directory:

npm install cypress cypress-cucumber-preprocessor –save-dev

  • Configure Cypress

Create a cypress.json file in your project root and configure Cypress to use the Cucumber preprocessor. 

{

  “testFiles”: “**/*.feature”

}

  • Configure Cucumber

Create a cypress/plugins/index.js file and configure Cucumber with Cypress.

const cucumber = require(‘cypress-cucumber-preprocessor’).default;

module.exports = (on, config) => {

  on(‘file:preprocessor’, cucumber());

};

  • Write Feature Files

Create feature files in the cypress/integration directory with the .feature extension. Write scenarios using Gherkin syntax for human-readable descriptions.

Feature: Sample Feature

  Scenario: Sample Scenario

    Given I visit the application

    When I perform a specific action

    Then I should see the expected result

  • Write Step Definitions

In the cypress/integration directory, create a steps folder and add JavaScript files with step definitions for each scenario.

// cypress/integration/steps/sample_steps.js

Given(‘I visit the application’, () => {

  // Cypress code to visit the application

});

When(‘I perform a specific action’, () => {

  // Cypress code for the specific action

});

Then(‘I should see the expected result’, () => {

  // Cypress code for verifying the expected result

});

  • Run Tests

Execute your Cypress tests with Cucumber integration using the following command:

npx cypress open

Cypress vs Cucumber: How To Pick The Right Testing Tool For You?

There is no right answer to this question. Both the tools carry enough advantages and disadvantages to be on either side of your choice. But since you cannot choose both, maybe a look at the below points will help you make the right decision:

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Testing Capabilities

Cypress: known for real-time interactive testing and offers an immediate view of test execution, aiding in quick issue identification.

Cucumber: the BDD approach supports increased collaboration and a shared understanding of application behavior through human-readable scenarios.

Programming Language

Cypress: primarily associated with JavaScript.

Cucumber: supports multiple programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, and Ruby.

Support for Different Teams

Cypress: well-suited for developers and QA engineers due to its focus on end-to-end testing.

Cucumber: the Gherkin syntax makes it usable for technical and non-technical users, with a small learning curve for the latter.

Collaboration and Communication

Cypress: facilitates collaboration through its real-time nature.

Cucumber: enhances collaboration by offering a common language for expressing requirements.

Use Cases

Cypress: excels in end-to-end testing for modern web applications.

Cucumber: ideal for behavior-driven development.

Integrations

Cypress: has a growing ecosystem, but its plugin support is still evolving; the integration options may be limited compared to more established frameworks. It integrates with GitHub, CircleCI, Jenkins, Slack, and Visual Studio Code.

Cucumber: integrates seamlessly with various tools and frameworks, such as Jenkins, Jira, Selenium, Appium, GitHub, and IDEs.

Scalability and Parallel Test Execution

Cypress: supports parallel test execution, but setting up distributed parallel execution across multiple machines might pose challenges.

Cucumber: support for parallel execution is more dependent on the underlying test framework (e.g., TestNG or JUnit). 

Cost

Cypress: open-source, offering a cost-effective solution for automated testing.

Cucumber: open-source as well.

Cypress vs Cucumber vs Testsigma

Test run

In the three names presented here, you are aware of all of their capabilities and features. Cypress contributes to a fast execution speed with real-time testing ability. It is most suited for running web automation testing. Alternatively, Cucumber is popular for its easy-to-create test statements due to Gherkin syntax and BDD approach. Not to forget that the simplicity of writing tests is a boon for technical and non-technical users of Cucumber. Majorly, it is more suited for validating BDD-driven testing. However, if you wish not to compromise and require both web and BDD-driven testing approaches, may we present Testsigma. The no-code test creation with low test maintenance, easy test case management, multiple integration capabilities, and accurate reporting makes Testsigma a worthy contender. Did we mention how non-programmers can automate tests, web, mobile, and API because there is no need to write any test code?

Build and run tests 10x faster for web, mobile, desktop and APIs under Testsigma’s unified platform.

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Maybe this comprehensive blog on Cucumber vs Testsigma BDD can help you understand the differences better. 

Conclusion

The selection of the right tool is a major decision. Going with the popularity, Cypress and Cucumber can be on your priority list. They bring years of trust and an established market base with themselves. Not to forget that their features are ever-evolving to meet the current testing needs. On the other hand, Testsigma offers a unique approach to test automation with multiple benefits combined in one tool. The use of natural language processing, AI-powered test data and case management, and a wide integration list makes it another excellent choice. Yet the decision eventually rests on your testing needs, budget, and the level of technical expertise of your team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Cypress with Cucumber?

It is possible to use Cypress with Cucumber using plugins like cypress-cucumber-preprocessor. This integration allows users to combine Cypress’s powerful testing capabilities with Cucumber’s BDD approach.

Is Cucumber good for Cypress?

Cucumber can complement Cypress effectively. By incorporating Cucumber with Cypress, teams can leverage the clarity of Gherkin syntax for expressive test scenarios while harnessing Cypress’s real-time interactive testing and robust debugging features.

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