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Detox vs Jest: What are the differences?

Detox vs Jest: Key Differences

Detox and Jest are both popular testing frameworks used in the field of software development. However, there are several key differences between these two frameworks that developers should be aware of when considering which one to use for their testing needs.

  1. Testing Paradigm: Detox is primarily focused on end-to-end testing, which involves simulating user interactions and testing the entire app flow. On the other hand, Jest is a more general-purpose testing framework that can be used for unit testing, integration testing, and snapshot testing.

  2. Platform Support: Detox is designed specifically for mobile app testing and supports iOS and Android platforms. Jest, on the other hand, can be used for testing JavaScript code in a wide range of environments, including web applications, mobile apps (via React Native), and Node.js.

  3. Assertion Libraries: Detox uses the Jasmine assertion library by default, which provides a rich set of matchers for writing test assertions. Jest, on the other hand, has its own built-in assertion library and also supports popular libraries like Chai and Enzyme.

  4. Parallel Testing: Detox has built-in support for running tests in parallel on multiple devices simultaneously, which can significantly reduce the overall testing time. Jest also supports parallel test execution to some extent, but it requires additional configuration and setup.

  5. Mocking and Test Doubles: Jest provides powerful mocking capabilities, allowing developers to easily create mock versions of dependencies and control their behavior during testing. Detox, on the other hand, does not have built-in support for mocking, but it can be integrated with libraries like Jest to achieve similar functionality.

  6. Community and Ecosystem: Jest has a larger and more mature community compared to Detox, which means that developers can find more resources, tutorials, and community support when using Jest. Detox, being a specialized framework, has a smaller community but is still actively maintained and has a growing ecosystem.

In summary, Detox and Jest differ in their testing paradigm, platform support, assertion libraries, parallel testing capabilities, mocking capabilities, and community size. Developers should consider these differences based on their specific testing requirements and choose the framework that best suits their needs.

Decisions about Detox and Jest
Shared insights

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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Postman will be used to do integration testing with the backend API we create. It offers a clean interface to create many requests, and you can even organize these requests into collections. It helps to test the backend API first to make sure it's working before using it in the front-end. Jest can also be used for testing and is already embedded into React. Not only does it offer unit testing support in javascript, it can also do snapshot testing for the front-end to make sure components are rendering correctly. Enzyme is complementary to Jest and offers more functions such as shallow rendering. UnitTest will be used for Python testing as it is simple, has a lot of functionality and already built in with python. Sentry will be used for keeping track of errors as it is also easily integratable with Heroku because they offer it as an add-on. LogDNA will be used for tracking logs which are not errors and is also a Heroku add-on. Its good to have a separate service to record logs, monitor, track and even fix errors in real-time so our application can run more smoothly.

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Pros of Detox
Pros of Jest
  • 6
    Grey box testing
  • 3
    Automated testing
  • 36
    Open source
  • 32
    Mock by default makes testing much simpler
  • 23
    Testing React Native Apps
  • 20
    Parallel test running
  • 16
  • 13
    Bundled with JSDOM to enable DOM testing
  • 8
    Mock by default screws up your classes, breaking tests
  • 7
    Out of the box code coverage
  • 7
    Promise support
  • 6
    One stop shop for unit testing
  • 3
    Great documentation
  • 2
    Assert Library Included
  • 1
    Built in watch option with interactive filtering menu
  • 1
    Preset support
  • 0
    Can be used for BDD
  • 0

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Cons of Detox
Cons of Jest
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    • 4
    • 4
      Ambiguous configuration
    • 3
    • 2
      Many bugs still not fixed months/years after reporting
    • 2
      Multiple error messages for same error
    • 2
      Difficult to run single test/describe/file
    • 2
    • 2
    • 1
      BeforeAll timing out makes all passing tests fail
    • 1
    • 1
      Reporter is too general
    • 1
    • 1
      Bad docs
    • 1
      Still does't support .mjs files natively
    • 1
      Can't fail beforeAll to abort tests
    • 0
      Interaction with watch mode on terminal

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Detox?

    High velocity native mobile development requires us to adopt continuous integration workflows, which means our reliance on manual QA has to drop significantly. It tests your mobile app while it's running in a real device/simulator, interacting with it just like a real user.

    What is Jest?

    Jest provides you with multiple layers on top of Jasmine.

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    What companies use Detox?
    What companies use Jest?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Detox or Jest.
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    What tools integrate with Detox?
    What tools integrate with Jest?

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    What are some alternatives to Detox and Jest?
    Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps. It drives iOS and Android apps using the WebDriver protocol. Appium is sponsored by Sauce Labs and a thriving community of open source developers.
    JUnit is a simple framework to write repeatable tests. It is an instance of the xUnit architecture for unit testing frameworks.
    A framework makes it easy to write small tests, yet scales to support complex functional testing for applications and libraries. It is a mature full-featured Python testing tool.
    Behaviour Driven Development for Ruby. Making TDD Productive and Fun.
    It is a mocking framework that tastes really good. It lets you write beautiful tests with a clean & simple API. It doesn’t give you hangover because the tests are very readable and they produce clean verification errors.
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