15 Tips For Getting Started With Cypress For Beginners

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Cypress For Beginners

The online shift of the marketplace has increased web application usage and for a better user experience, these apps should be bug-free and deliver the promised results. This is why web testing has become a crucial part of the software industry.

There are many testing tools available in the market that helps the users to fulfill the high demand and provide stable test results. No doubt Selenium is on the top of the list, but there are some emerging tools like Cypress that are providing efficient and faster outcomes. Cypress is gaining good popularity as it is resolving fundamental issues like scalability, performance, and security faced by the new web application. It is even faster than Selenium.

As a beginner, you must be curious about knowing all about Cypress. Well, then you have landed at the right place. In this article, we are going to cover the following topics :

  • What is Cypress?

  • Features of Cypress.

  • Tips for getting started and getting better results.

  • Knowing LambdaTest Cypress Automation testing cloud

What is Cypress?

Cypress is a front-end testing tool designed to help developers and QA engineers to write flexible and powerful test cases for their web applications. It is used to solve modern test problems such as synchronization issues or inconsistency of the test because of the invisible or hidden element.

 


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The major advantage of Cypress is, it is written in Javascript and is built on Node.js. Javascript is a universal language used by almost all web developers to enhance web app functionality. Also, it has in-built commands that will ease your work of writing the test cases. Cypress also provides advanced testing options for unit and integration tests with benefits such as convenient reporting, easy test configuration, and more.

This end-to-end testing framework does not have any driver, servers, or any other dependencies to install or configure making the test process faster. Because Cypress does not have any intermediate dependency, it is much faster than Selenium. With the visual interface, you can check all tests and commands that are running, passed, or failed.

Writing the test with Cypress is more readable and understandable as their API is fully baked on the top of tools that the developer is already familiar with. You can watch your test run as fast as your browser can render content.

Features of Cypress

Here are some features of Cypress that make it a unique and quickly adaptable choice for web automation.

  1. Architecture design: The architecture of the tool is such that it does not involve any intermediate component such as selenium, or web driver. This makes Cypress faster, more consistent, more reliable, and flake-free as compared to other automation testing tools.

  1. Automatic Waiting: Cypress automatically adds waiting time to commands and assertions, removing the async issues. So you do not have to add wait or sleep time to your test.

  1. Debugging: You can directly debug your code using tools such as Chrome Devtools with accessibility to readable errors and stack traces.

  1. Real-time reloads: You can see commands executed in real-time in your application as it automatically reloads whenever you make any changes to your test.

  1. Screenshots and Videos: Screenshots in Cypress are taken automatically. So you can track your result whenever you fail, or check out the video of your entire test suite.

Tips for getting started and getting better results

Before getting started with Cypress, you need a basic understanding. Here are some of the tips that you need to keep in mind before getting started with Cypress. After following these tips, surely you’ll get better results.

TIP 1: Knowing the architecture

Before starting with the framework, we need to know about the architecture. Testing tools such as Selenium executes remote commands and operates outside the browsers. But Cypress runs and operates inside the browser. It seems like the browser is executing your test cases.

This feature allows Cypress to alter the behaviour of the browser at run time by modifying DOM and the network requests and responses on the fly. You can perform unit, functional, integration, end-to-end testing using Cypress. The below image shows that in Cypress all the commands are executed within the browser.

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TIP 2: Understanding the node installation process

As discussed above, Cypress is built on Node.js. This is why we need to pre-install Node.js on our system. It is an open-source server-side runtime environment that runs on a V8 engine and executes Javascript codes. It is free of cost.  It is a prerequisite to install Node.js before starting building your application.

Choose your operating system and version from the provided list. You can also download from the given link – https://nodejs.org/en/download/

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TIP 3: Get to know about Cypress installation and Project Setup

After you have completed all the prerequisites. You now need to install Cypress. It can be installed using two approaches :

  • Via npm

  • Via direct download

  1. Via npm

npm install cypress

This will install Cypress locally on your system. To ensure that Cypress is installed in the right directory, you have to run npm init or have a node_module or package.json file in the root of your project.

Also, you can install via yarn

yarn add cypress

  1. Direct Download

In case you are not willing to use npm or node in your project. Then, you can always choose the direct download option. Click here to install directly (A zip file will be downloaded)

The direct download option will let you install the latest available version by detecting your platform automatically. Then you can unzip and double click. Cypress will run without the need for any dependencies.

NOTE: The direct download feature is just a quick fix for trying Cypress. You will not be able to record runs on dashboards. For that, you’ll have to install Cypress as an npm dependency.

TIP 4: Understanding Test Runner

A test runner is a library or tool that picks up the source code directory, executes them and writes the results into the console or the log files. Cypress provides a unique test runner that allows us to see the real-time run of the application under test. Also, we can see the commands as they are executed. The basis of Cypress is Chai and Mocha. Writing the test programs will be similar to that of any other JavaScript-based framework.

TIP 5: Writing your First Test

Once Cypress and test run are installed on our system, you need to understand and learn how to write your first test. Well, as Cypress is written in JavaScript, it is much easier to understand.

You need to keep in mind that we need to run a test to know its outcome. All the test scenarios that will be allowed and valid will be covered under the passing test cases and the invalid ones will be covered under the failing test cases. Here, understand how you can write your first test case.

TIP 6: All about the Locators

Like a cell is a building block of the human body, locators are the basic building block of a web page. Locators allow us to access the HTML elements from the web pages. They are like the backbone for all web-based applications. We use locators to perform automation operations on checkboxes, buttons, text-boxes, links, and other web applications.

Cypress supports CSS selectors which are very similar to JQuery Selectors. It also supports the XPath selector. To use the selector, we will need a “Cypress- Xpath” external plug-in.

We can even categorize the CSS Selector into categories. Take a look at the given below image.

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ID, class, attribute, sub-string, inner-text all these commands can be used to access their respective attributes directly.

TIP 7: Acknowledging the asynchronous nature

What if I tell you that all Cypress commands are asynchronous but they also behave synchronously. So confusing right!

When we talk about executing something synchronously, we are waiting for one task to be finished and then following up on the other. In an asynchronous manner, we are not waiting for the task to be finished, after one command we are presenting other commands. See the image for a more clear picture.

 

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Cypress uses multiple features of the asynchronous javascript such as Promise, Callbacks, etc. All the test steps are asynchronous but there is an in-built engine that makes sure all the tests are arranged serially. What happens is all the test commands do not do anything as they are invoked, they just enqueue themselves and run later on time. This is how all even though all the Cypress commands are asynchronous, they still run serially.

TIP 8: Handling the Assertions 

Assertions are the validation steps used to determine if the specified automated test case has succeeded or not. They validate the desired state of your application under test, elements, or objects.

Cypress integrates with multiple assertions libraries such as Chai, JQuery, Simon, Mocha. Broadly we can classify these into two categories :

  • Implicit assertions.

  • Explicit assertions.

The Implicit assertions are not independent, they are provided by the parent chain class. Commands such as “.should()” and “.and()” generally come under this category.

The explicit assertion is when we need to pass explicit subjects for the assertion. Commands such as “expert()” and “assert()” come under this category.

TIP 9: Purpose of Screenshots and Videos in Cypress

When we run a test and it fails, at that time we hope that we get some shreds of evidence that can show where we went wrong.

For similar cases, Cypress provides an in-built screenshot and video capturing option. Depending on your need, you can capture an entire or partial page screenshot. By default, Cypress captures the entire page. If you wish to capture a screenshot of a particular scenario, you can use the command.

TIP 10: Debugging made easy

As we have seen in our last tip that Cypress provides in-built video and screenshot options. Debugging the code by looking at those videos will help the QA testers to understand where things went wrong.

Cypress provides a time travel feature where you can see what process has taken place during execution. Just hover the mouse over the test runner logs to find out the answer. In addition to this, we can use the “Pause” command, which will pause the execution and we will be able to debug the previous steps.

TIP 11: Fixtures in Cypress

Mainly fixtures in Cypress provide two major features. Primarily, it separates the test scripts from test data. This means it helps us to get the data inputs from external files. The other function that it provides is it mocks the backend/third party request and tests the frontend independently.

We can also draw a comparison among the Data-Driven Frameworks. The implementation of the framework is a two-step process.

Step 1: We define a fixture file that will store the test data.

Step 2: We use the fixture file in test scripts and access the test data.

TIP 12: Meaningful custom commands

All the automation tools provide a set of commands that we use to perform particular tasks. But wouldn’t it be amazing if we can customize our commands as per our work? Cypress provides this feature where we can create our own commands depending on our test workflow.

These commands can be created to give a different workflow to the existing cypress code or can altogether change the command completely. You can find the “commands” option under the Cypressautomation section.

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TIP 13: Be close with HOOKS

Cypress hooks come into play when we need to handle the pre or postconditions for a test case or test suit. Sometimes multiple test scenarios can be seen where a specific test scenario has to be performed before or after a test case or test suit. In such cases, we take the help of Hooks.

The Hooks that Cypress provides are :

  • Before – It is used and executed only when the pre-execution of any test within the test block has taken place.

  • After – It is used and executed only when the post-execution of any test within the test block has taken place.

  • beforeEach – It is used and executed before the execution of an individual test case.

  • afterEach – It is used and executed after the execution of an individual test case.

 

TIP 14: Friendly Plug-ins

Plug-ins also known as add-ons or extensions are used to add extra functionality to the program code without changing the meaning of the code. Cypress provides many plug-ins options, here is an example of some of them.

To upload a file in Cypress, we need a plug-in with the command :

 npm install -dev cypress-file-upload

To work with frames, we need a plug-in. The command that we can use is:

npm install -D cypress-iframe

To enable themes, the command that we use is:

npm install –save-dev cypress-dark

Similarly, many plugins can be used with the help of simple and easy commands.

TIP 15: Do not  worry about the failures

It is quite practical that the true value of a test is not when it passes, but when it fails. So you should never be afraid of failed test cases. We have already seen that Cypress provides great features that can be used to resolve the matter.

Moreover, even if the test is passed, sometimes client-side errors may occur. These are not crashes, test errors, or fails. They just are meant to happen. Cypress is an end-to-end javascript framework in that we can fix all the issues. Failed cases are proof that you are learning and growing.

Knowing LambdaTest Cypress Automation testing platform

How great it would be if we could not only perform Cypress e2e testing online but also perform cross-browser testing at scale. All these are provided by the LambdaTest Cypress automation testing platform on cloud.

You can run the end-to-end tests on the test execution cloud platform on 40+ different browsers versions. It even includes headless browser versions.

You can run the Cypress test in parallel and cut down the execution time by 10X. Eventually, all these will help in delivering your product faster.

The get started you just need to install the LambdaTest- Cypress CLI. It will help you to get started with the running test on LambdaTest.

With 120+ integrations to choose from, zero test flakiness, 40+ environment, integration with the CI/CD pipelines, you can trust LambdaTest with your eyes closed.

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Conclusion

Cypress has emerged as the new test automation tool. It provides features that are not even available on Selenium. We have tried to explain all the features in a simplified manner for you. The world is moving at a fast pace and so do our work should. This is why automation is needed.

LambdaTest is a great platform that will help you to automate your  test scripts on the go. It is very convenient to use. You will not face any problems or difficulties while working with the tool. So what are you waiting for, start writing your first test case today!

Please comment down below if you have any suggestions or comments regarding this article. We will be thrilled to hear from you. Thank you for reading.