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Cypress vs Jest | Top 15 Key Differences

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Cypress vs Jest | Top 15 Key Differences
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Testing has become an integral part of the development process, with numerous tools and frameworks available to help developers and testers build robust test suites. Two such prominent players in the testing arena are Cypress and Jest, each bringing its own set of features, strengths, and use cases to the table. Both are like Thor and Loki of the God world. Powerful yet distinct.

Cypress vs Jest

If you’ve ever found yourself at the crossroads of deciding between these two testing tools, fret not! We’ve got your back. 

In this blog, we will discuss the top 15 differences between Cypress and Jest, their pros and cons, use cases, and more.

What is Cypress?

Cypress is an open-source test automation framework designed for end-to-end testing of web applications. It is built using JavaScript, making it accessible and easy for developers who are already familiar with the language. It is specifically built for modern web development practices and aims to simplify the process of writing, running, and debugging tests. 

Cypress
Cypress

With Cypress, you can test the web application in the same browser that runs your application. Also, you can create end-to-end tests that simulate real-world user interactions, like test file upload, form filling, page navigation, handling alerts and pop-ups, executing drag-and-drop actions, and more.

It offers a powerful feature called “Time-travel debugging.” The time-travel feature allows developers to debug their tests. This means they can see what happened at each step of the test, helping to identify and resolve issues more effectively.

Learn more: Check out the difference between Cypress vs Selenium to know how Cypress differs from Selenium.

How To Write Tests With Cypress?

Before you start creating tests with Cypress, you need to be aware of the prerequisites required:

  • Install Cypress. You can do this using npm (Node Package Manager). Open a terminal and run the below command:
  • After you install Cypress, open the Cypress Test Runner with the following command:
  • Now, you can start creating Cypress tests and execute them. You can use any JavaScript-based language to create tests.

What Companies Use Cypress?

Cypress is used by various countries globally, including,

  • CircleCI
  • Intuit
  • bitpanda GmbH
  • Revoult
  • Hepsiburada
  • Kevin, etc.

What is Jest?

Jest is a popular open-source JavaScript testing framework that is used for testing JavaScript code, particularly for applications built with React, Vue, Angular, Node, Babel, TypeScript, and more. It is widely used for unit testing. 

Jest

Jest is designed to be simple to set up and use while providing powerful features for testing. It was developed by Christoph Nakazawa in 2011 but is currently maintained by Meta. 

How To Write Tests With Jest?

A basic overview of how to write tests with Jest,

  • First, you need to install Jest as a development dependency in your project. To do so, run the below command:
  • Now, you can create and run tests using Jest. Create a test file with the extension “.test.js”. 

What Companies Use Jest?

Jest is one of the most widely used JavaScript testing frameworks that is used by many companies around the globe, including,

  • Airbnb,
  • Amazon,
  • Facebook,
  • Instagram,
  • Medium

When To Use Jest Or Cypress?

Jest and Cypress are both robust automation testing tools for front-end testing, each with distinct use cases and advantages. 

Jest is well-suited for testing the logic and functionality of your front-end code, including components, state, props, hooks, and API calls. It is solid for unit testing purposes where you want to test individual units of your code in isolation. Jest tends to be faster in execution, as it runs tests in a Node.js environment without the overhead of a real browser.

On the other hand, Cypress is designed for testing the behavior and appearance of your front-end code, focusing on aspects like user interactions, navigation, layout, and styling. It is powerful for end-to-end testing, allowing you to simulate user interactions and test your application. Cypress runs tests in a real browser, providing a more accurate representation of how your application behaves in a real-world scenario.

Both Cypress and Jest are tools that support script-based testing, which demands strong technical skills to use the platform. However, using a low/no-code testing tool would make the entire testing process more accessible to everyone on the team, improving the quality and speed of testing. Testsigma is one such tool that supports both script-based and scriptless testing in one place. 

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How Do You Use Jest And Cypress Together?

If you want to use both Jest and Cypress together, start by installing them as dependencies in your project. You can use npm or yarn to install them. To do so, use the following command in your terminal,

Then, you can configure them according to your project needs.

What Tools Integrate With Cypress And Jest?

There are various tools that integrate with Cypress and Jest. Let’s see what all tools do they integrate with:

Tools that integrate with Cypress:

  • LambdaTest
  • BrowserStack
  • Applitools
  • Knapsack Pro
  • Foresight
  • Mailosaur, etc.

Tools that integrate with Jest:

  • LambdaTest
  • SilverStripe
  • Vitest
  • Glamorous
  • Wallaby.js, etc.

Cypress vs Jest – Pros and Cons

Cypress vs Jest are both popular testing frameworks, but they serve different purposes and are often used in different parts of the testing process. Let’s look at their pros and cons,

Cypress: Pros

  • Cypress runs tests in a real browser, providing an accurate simulation of user interactions and behaviors.
  • Provides an interactive debugging experience with features like time-travel debugging, making it easier to identify and fix issues.
  • Initially developed only for Chrome, Cypress now extends its support to Firefox and Edge.
  • Automatically captures screenshots and videos during test execution, aiding in debugging and issue analysis.
  • Since it is open-source, it is available for free.
  • User-friendly and simple to use

Cons

  • Supports only code-based testing, so demands strong coding skills
  • Not the best choice for unit testing
  • Limited customer support via community
  • Cypress isn’t compatible with browsers like Safari and IE.

Jest: Pros

  • Jest is known for its fast test execution, especially when compared to Cypress.
  • Provides snapshot testing, making it easier to track changes in the UI over time.
  • Comes with a built-in test runner, reducing the need for additional configurations.
  • It is open-source and available for free.

Cons

Jest is primarily designed for unit testing and may not provide the same level of support for browser testing as Cypress.

Only community support is provided

Cypress vs Jest – Table Comparison

Here’s a detailed comparison that shows the key difference between Jest vs Cypress,

CypressJest
It uses JavaScriptIt uses JavaScript
It is a front-end testing framework It is a front-end testing framework
Supports end-to-end testing, integration testing, and unit testing of web applicationsSupports unit testing
Cypress can test any application that runs in a browser and verify how the application works from start to finish from a user perspective.Methods, UI element actions, properties, and any front-end functionalities can be tested easily.
It can test the back-end behaviors of an application using cy.task() commandBack-end server behavior can also be tested with Jest, like front-end behavior
Excellent for UI testing with a real browserFocused more on logic and functionality testing
It is open-sourceIt is open-source
It has in-built fixtures capabilities. For example, the command “cy.fixture(filePath)” will load a fixed set of data from a file.Jest also supports fixtures. For example, beforeEach, afterEach, beforeAll, afterAll.
Limited support for snapshot testingSnapshot testing support for UI components
Supports group fixtures using “cy.fixture” commandSupports group fixtures
It is quite slow due to real browser useFaster execution when compared to Cypress
MIT LicenseMIT License
Supports mock testingSupports mock testing
Active community supportStrong community support
Developed by Cypress.ioMaintained by Meta

Best Alternative Tool For Cypress And Jest – Testsigma

The best alternative to both Cypress and Jest is Testsigma. Testsigma is a powerful low-code, cloud-based AI-driven test automation platform that allows testers to automate web, mobile, and desktop apps and API testing in one place. 

Cypress and Jest Alternative

Using Testsigma, you can test both your front-end and back-end functionality. It supports both scriptless and script-based test automation in a single platform. It makes your testing 5x faster, thereby helping ship products at an 8x faster rate.

Scriptless Testing: With Testsigma, you can automate even complex workflows using the NLP approach. That is, you can create test steps using plain English commands. Also, it provides a Record feature where users can easily record user interactions on an application and later run them as automated tests on the cloud.

Script-based Testing: It allows you to customize your tests using Java if required.

Automate Different Types of Tests: You can automate different types of testing in one place, like UI testing, regression testing, API testing, cross-browser testing, integration testing, compatibility testing, etc.

Supports Different Application Types: Unlike other tools, Testsigma supports web, mobile, and desktop app testing in one place.

Testsigma provides various pricing plans and offers a 14-day free trial. 

Start automating your tests in less than 2 minutes

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Check out the comparison of Testsigma vs other test automation tools to get an ultimate overview of the tools that provide a comprehensive testing solution.

Conclusion

Cypress and Jest serve different purposes and excel in their respective domains within the testing realm. Cypress is a robust end-to-end testing framework designed for testing the entire application from the user’s perspective. Jest is primarily a unit testing framework, although it supports integration and end-to-end testing. 

In some cases, a combination of both Cypress and Jest might be beneficial. Using Jest for unit testing and Cypress for end-to-end testing can provide a comprehensive testing solution that covers different aspects of your application.

Yet, the decision between Cypress and Jest should be based on your project requirements, the type of testing you need, and the familiarity and preferences of your development team. Whichever tool you choose, the key is to establish a robust testing strategy that ensures the reliability and stability of your application throughout its development lifecycle.

Find more Cypress Alternatives in this blog

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use both Cypress and Jest together?

Cypress and Jest serve different purposes in the world of testing, and they are typically used for different types of tests. However, it’s not uncommon for developers and testers to use both Cypress and Jest together in their testing setups, as they can complement each other to provide comprehensive test coverage.

Is Cypress an alternative to Jest?

No, Cypress and Jest serve different purposes in the testing ecosystem. Cypress is primarily used for end-to-end testing of web applications, while Jest is a JavaScript testing framework commonly used for unit and integration testing. They can complement each other in a testing strategy, but they are not direct alternatives.

Is Cypress better than React Testing Library?

It depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you require a more comprehensive testing tool, consider using Cypress. Cypress provides advanced features like time-travel debugging, network stubbing, and visual testing for end-to-end testing of web apps. Reach Testing Library (RTL) is used for testing React applications.

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