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Jest vs Protractor: What are the differences?

Jest: Painless JavaScript Unit Testing. Jest provides you with multiple layers on top of Jasmine; Protractor: End-to-end test framework for Angular and AngularJS applications. Protractor is an end-to-end test framework for Angular and AngularJS applications. Protractor runs tests against your application running in a real browser, interacting with it as a user would.

Jest and Protractor can be categorized as "Javascript Testing Framework" tools.

"Open source" is the top reason why over 24 developers like Jest, while over 2 developers mention "Quick tests implementation" as the leading cause for choosing Protractor.

Jest and Protractor are both open source tools. Jest with 26.3K GitHub stars and 3.57K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Protractor with 8.24K GitHub stars and 2.23K GitHub forks.

Airbnb, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the popular companies that use Jest, whereas Protractor is used by PeopleKeep, Omaze, and Garlic Tech Ltd. Jest has a broader approval, being mentioned in 271 company stacks & 161 developers stacks; compared to Protractor, which is listed in 24 company stacks and 22 developer stacks.

Advice on Jest and Protractor
Yildiz Dila
testmanager/automation tester at medicalservice | 5 upvotes 路 141.2K views
Needs advice
on
ProtractorProtractor
and
CypressCypress

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. | 3 upvotes 路 60.8K views

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 89.6K 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 Jest and Protractor
Shared insights
on
JestJestCypressCypress

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 Jest
Pros of Protractor
  • 35
    Open source
  • 31
    Mock by default makes testing much simpler
  • 22
    Testing React Native Apps
  • 19
    Parallel test running
  • 15
    Fast
  • 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
  • 6
    One stop shop for unit testing
  • 6
    Promise support
  • 3
    Great documentation
  • 1
    Built in watch option with interactive filtering menu
  • 1
    Preset support
  • 1
    Assert Library Included
  • 0
    Can be used for BDD
  • 9
    Easy setup
  • 8
    Quick tests implementation
  • 5
    Flexible
  • 5
    Open source
  • 5
    Promise support

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Cons of Jest
Cons of Protractor
  • 3
    Documentation
  • 3
    Ambiguous configuration
  • 2
    Multiple error messages for same error
  • 2
    Difficult to run single test/describe/file
  • 2
    Ambiguous
  • 2
    Many bugs still not fixed months/years after reporting
  • 2
    Difficult
  • 1
    Bugged
  • 1
    Reporter is too general
  • 1
    BeforeAll timing out makes all passing tests fail
  • 1
    Unstable
  • 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
  • 3
    Limited

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

What is Jest?

Jest provides you with multiple layers on top of Jasmine.

What is Protractor?

Protractor is an end-to-end test framework for Angular and AngularJS applications. Protractor runs tests against your application running in a real browser, interacting with it as a user would.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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

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Blog Posts

What are some alternatives to Jest and Protractor?
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.
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.
AVA
Even though JavaScript is single-threaded, IO in Node.js can happen in parallel due to its async nature. AVA takes advantage of this and runs your tests concurrently, which is especially beneficial for IO heavy tests. In addition, test files are run in parallel as separate processes, giving you even better performance and an isolated environment for each test file.
Enzyme
Enzyme is a JavaScript Testing utility for React that makes it easier to assert, manipulate, and traverse your React Components' output.
Jasmine
Jasmine is a Behavior Driven Development testing framework for JavaScript. It does not rely on browsers, DOM, or any JavaScript framework. Thus it's suited for websites, Node.js projects, or anywhere that JavaScript can run.
See all alternatives