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Cypress vs Mocha: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Cypress and Mocha

Cypress and Mocha are two popular testing frameworks used for testing web applications. While both frameworks serve the purpose of testing, there are several key differences between them. Here are the top six differences:

  1. Integration and End-to-End Testing:

    • Cypress is a complete end-to-end testing framework, providing all the necessary tools to test your application from start to finish. It includes features like DOM manipulation, network stubbing, and interactive debugging.
    • On the other hand, Mocha is primarily a testing framework that focuses on unit testing. It provides a test runner and assertion library, but lacks built-in tools for end-to-end testing.
  2. Syntax and Test Structure:

    • Cypress uses a JavaScript-like syntax for writing tests. It provides a globally accessible cy object that allows you to interact with and control your application in the testing environment.
    • Mocha, on the other hand, uses a more traditional approach with a simple and flexible syntax. It allows you to structure your tests using the describe() and it() functions, making it easier to organize and categorize your tests.
  3. Direct Control vs. Abstraction:

    • With Cypress, you have direct control over your application's environment during testing. You can easily stub network requests, manipulate the DOM, and interact with the application in real-time.
    • Mocha, on the other hand, relies on external libraries like Chai and Sinon for handling assertions and stubbing. This provides a level of abstraction, but also means you need to include and configure additional dependencies.
  4. Browser Support:

    • Cypress is designed to work exclusively with Chrome and Electron. It provides a custom browser that runs your tests, allowing for deep integration and faster test execution.
    • Mocha, on the other hand, is agnostic to the test environment and can run in any browser that supports JavaScript. It does not provide any built-in features for specific browsers.
  5. Out-of-the-Box Features:

    • Cypress comes with several built-in features that make testing easier, such as automatic waiting and retrying of assertions, time-travel debugging, and a user-friendly dashboard for viewing and analyzing test results.
    • Mocha, on the other hand, focuses more on being a lightweight and minimalistic framework. It provides a solid foundation for running tests, but you need to rely on additional libraries for advanced features.
  6. Learning Curve:

    • Due to its comprehensive feature set, Cypress has a steeper learning curve compared to Mocha. It introduces new concepts and approaches to testing that might require additional time and effort to grasp.
    • Mocha, being a lighter framework, has a shorter learning curve as it follows more traditional testing patterns and is easier to understand for developers familiar with JavaScript testing.

In summary, Cypress is a powerful end-to-end testing framework with extensive features and direct control over test environments, while Mocha is a lightweight testing framework focused on unit testing with a more traditional syntax and broader browser support.

Advice on Cypress and Mocha
Yildiz Dila
testmanager/automation tester at medicalservice | 5 upvotes 路 251.7K views
Needs advice
on
CypressCypress
and
ProtractorProtractor

In the company I will be building test automation framework and my new company develops apps mainly using AngularJS/TypeScript. I was planning to build Protractor-Jasmine framework but a friend of mine told me about Cypress and heard that its users are very satisfied with it. I am trying to understand the capabilities of Cypress and as the final goal to differentiate these two tools. Can anyone advice me on this in a nutshell pls...

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Replies (2)
Kevin Emery
QE Systems Engineer at Discovery, Inc. | 4 upvotes 路 152.9K views
Recommends
on
CypressCypressProtractorProtractor

I've used both Protractor and Cypress extensively. Cypress is the easier and more reliable tool, whereas Protractor is the more powerful tool. Your choice of tool should depend on your specific testing needs. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each tool:

Cypress advantages:

  • Faster

  • More reliable (tends to throw fewer intermittent false failures)

  • Easier to read code (handles promises gracefully)

Cypress disadvantages:

  • Cannot switch between browser tabs

  • Cannot switch to iFrames

  • Cannot specify clicks or keypresses explicitly as if a real user was interacting

  • Cannot move the mouse to specific co-ordinates

  • Sometimes has trouble switching between different top-level domains, so not good for testing external links

  • Cypress is a newer tool with less extensive documentation and less community support

Protractor advantages:

  • More powerful because it is Selenium-based - it can switch between tabs, it can handle external links to other domains, it can handle iFrames, simulate keypresses and clicks, and move the mouse to specific co-ordinates within the browser.

  • More extensive community support and documentation

Protractor disadvantages:

  • Slower and more brittle - in general there is a higher likelihood of cryptic and/or intermittent errors which may cause your tests to fail even though there is nothing wrong with your application

  • For highly experienced automation engineers, the fundamental "brittle" nature of Selenium can be worked around - it can be reliable but only if you really know what you are doing

  • Less graceful handling of promises - relies on async/await or .then to manage the order of execution. Therefore it is a bit harder to read the code.

  • Harder to set up, and the method of setup impacts its reliability. For example, a hub/node configuration where the selenium jar is on a different physical machine than the browser under test will cause unreliability in your tests. Not everyone knows about this type of thing, so it's common to find Selenium frameworks that are set up poorly.

It's probably better to use Cypress if

  • you're at a smaller company and have a close relationship with developers who can help write hooks or stubs in their code to assist your testing

  • you don't need to do things like switch between tabs or test links to external top-level domains

It's probably better to use Protractor if

  • You might need to switch between tabs or test external links to other domains within the scope of your framework

  • You want to use a more accurate simulation of how a real user interacts with a browser (i.e. click at this location, type these keys)

  • You're at a company where you won't have any support from developers in writing hooks or stubs to make their code more testable in a less powerful framework like Cypress

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Jian Wang
Web Engineer at sentaca | 1 upvotes 路 181.7K views
Recommends

Please try Handow, the e2e tool basing on Puppeteer.

Gherkin syntax compatible

Chrome/Chromium orentied, driven by Puppeteer engine

Complete JavaScript programming

Create test suites rapidly without coding (or a little bit), basing on built-in steps library

Schedule test with plans and arrange stories with sequential stages

Fast running, execute story groups in parallel by multi-workers

Built-in single page report render

Cover page view, REST API and cookies test

https://github.com/newlifewj/handow

http://demo.shm.handow.org/reports

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Decisions about Cypress and Mocha
Shared insights
on
CypressCypressJestJest

As we all know testing is an important part of any application. To assist with our testing we are going to use both Cypress and Jest. We feel these tools complement each other and will help us get good coverage of our code. We will use Cypress for our end to end testing as we've found it quite user friendly. Jest will be used for our unit tests because we've seen how many larger companies use it with great success.

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We use Mocha for our FDA verification testing. It's integrated into Meteor, our upstream web application framework. We like how battle tested it is, its' syntax, its' options of reporters, and countless other features. Most everybody can agree on mocha, and that gets us half-way through our FDA verification and validation (V&V) testing strategy.

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Pros of Cypress
Pros of Mocha
  • 29
    Open source
  • 22
    Great documentation
  • 20
    Simple usage
  • 18
    Fast
  • 10
    Cross Browser testing
  • 9
    Easy us with CI
  • 5
    Npm install cypress only
  • 1
    Good for beginner automation engineers
  • 137
    Open source
  • 102
    Simple
  • 81
    Promise support
  • 48
    Flexible
  • 29
    Easy to add support for Generators
  • 12
    For browser and server testing
  • 7
    Curstom assertion libraries
  • 5
    Works with Karma
  • 3
    No other better tools
  • 1
    Simple setup
  • 1
    Works with saucelabs
  • 1
    Lots of tutorials and help online
  • 1
    Default reporter is nice, clean, and itemized
  • 1
    Works with BrowserStack
  • 1
    Simple integration testing

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Cons of Cypress
Cons of Mocha
  • 21
    Cypress is weak at cross-browser testing
  • 14
    Switch tabs : Cypress can'nt support
  • 12
    No iFrame support
  • 9
    No page object support
  • 9
    No multiple domain support
  • 8
    No file upload support
  • 8
    No support for multiple tab control
  • 8
    No xPath support
  • 7
    No support for Safari
  • 7
    Cypress doesn't support native app
  • 7
    Re-run failed tests retries not supported yet
  • 7
    No support for multiple browser control
  • 5
    $20/user/thread for reports
  • 4
    Adobe
  • 4
    Using a non-standard automation protocol
  • 4
    Not freeware
  • 3
    No 'WD wire protocol' support
  • 3
    Cannot test a promisified functions without assertion
  • 2
    No assertion count in results
  • 1
    Not as many reporter options as Jest

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What is Cypress?

Cypress is a front end automated testing application created for the modern web. Cypress is built on a new architecture and runs in the same run-loop as the application being tested. As a result Cypress provides better, faster, and more reliable testing for anything that runs in a browser. Cypress works on any front-end framework or website.

What is Mocha?

Mocha is a feature-rich JavaScript test framework running on node.js and the browser, making asynchronous testing simple and fun. Mocha tests run serially, allowing for flexible and accurate reporting, while mapping uncaught exceptions to the correct test cases.

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What are some alternatives to Cypress and Mocha?
Selenium
Selenium automates browsers. That's it! What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily, it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.
TestCafe
It is a pure node.js end-to-end solution for testing web apps. It takes care of all the stages: starting browsers, running tests, gathering test results and generating reports.
Puppeteer
Puppeteer is a Node library which provides a high-level API to control headless Chrome over the DevTools Protocol. It can also be configured to use full (non-headless) Chrome.
WebdriverIO
WebdriverIO lets you control a browser or a mobile application with just a few lines of code. Your test code will look simple, concise and easy to read.
Jest
Jest provides you with multiple layers on top of Jasmine.
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