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Jest vs Rails Spring: What are the differences?

Developers describe Jest as "Painless JavaScript Unit Testing". Jest provides you with multiple layers on top of Jasmine. On the other hand, Rails Spring is detailed as "Rails application preloader". Spring is a Rails application preloader. It speeds up development by keeping your application running in the background so you don't need to boot it every time you run a test, rake task or migration.

Jest can be classified as a tool in the "Javascript Testing Framework" category, while Rails Spring is grouped under "Rails Testing".

Some of the features offered by Jest are:

  • Familiar Approach: Built on top of the Jasmine test framework, using familiar expect(value).toBe(other) assertions
  • Mock by Default: Automatically mocks CommonJS modules returned by require(), making most existing code testable
  • Short Feedback Loop: DOM APIs are mocked and tests run in parallel via a small node.js command line utility

On the other hand, Rails Spring provides the following key features:

  • Totally automatic
  • no need to explicitly start and stop the background process
  • Reloads your application code on each run

Jest and Rails Spring are both open source tools. Jest with 26.4K GitHub stars and 3.57K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Rails Spring with 2.51K GitHub stars and 275 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Jest has a broader approval, being mentioned in 273 company stacks & 161 developers stacks; compared to Rails Spring, which is listed in 6 company stacks and 6 developer stacks.

Decisions about Jest and Rails Spring
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 Jest
Pros of Rails Spring
  • 35
    Open source
  • 31
    Mock by default makes testing much simpler
  • 22
    Testing React Native Apps
  • 19
    Parallel test running
  • 15
  • 13
    Bundled with JSDOM to enable DOM testing
  • 7
    Out of the box code coverage
  • 7
    Mock by default screws up your classes, breaking tests
  • 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
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    Cons of Jest
    Cons of Rails Spring
    • 3
    • 3
      Ambiguous configuration
    • 2
      Multiple error messages for same error
    • 2
      Difficult to run single test/describe/file
    • 2
    • 2
      Many bugs still not fixed months/years after reporting
    • 2
    • 1
    • 1
      Reporter is too general
    • 1
      BeforeAll timing out makes all passing tests fail
    • 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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      What is Jest?

      Jest provides you with multiple layers on top of Jasmine.

      What is Rails Spring?

      Spring is a Rails application preloader. It speeds up development by keeping your application running in the background so you don't need to boot it every time you run a test, rake task or migration.

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

      What companies use Jest?
      What companies use Rails Spring?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Jest or Rails Spring.
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      Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

      What tools integrate with Jest?
      What tools integrate with Rails Spring?

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      Blog Posts

      What are some alternatives to Jest and Rails Spring?
      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 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.
      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 is a JavaScript Testing utility for React that makes it easier to assert, manipulate, and traverse your React Components' output.
      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