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Capybara vs Cypress: What are the differences?

Developers describe Capybara as "Acceptance test framework for web applications". Capybara helps you test web applications by simulating how a real user would interact with your app. It is agnostic about the driver running your tests and comes with Rack::Test and Selenium support built in. WebKit is supported through an external gem. On the other hand, Cypress is detailed as "Better, faster, and more reliable testing for anything that runs in a browser". 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.

Capybara and Cypress are primarily classified as "Testing Frameworks" and "Javascript Testing Framework" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Capybara are:

  • No setup necessary for Rails and Rack application. Works out of the box.
  • Intuitive API which mimics the language an actual user would use.
  • Switch the backend your tests run against from fast headless mode to an actual browser with no changes to your tests.

On the other hand, Cypress provides the following key features:

  • Time Travel
  • Debuggability
  • Automatic Waiting

"Best acceptance test framework for Ruby on Rails apps" is the top reason why over 7 developers like Capybara, while over 4 developers mention "Open source" as the leading cause for choosing Cypress.

Capybara is an open source tool with 8.82K GitHub stars and 1.29K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Capybara's open source repository on GitHub.

Intuit, RELEX Solutions, and qcue are some of the popular companies that use Cypress, whereas Capybara is used by GrowthHackers, sQuidd.io, and Indiegogo. Cypress has a broader approval, being mentioned in 55 company stacks & 43 developers stacks; compared to Capybara, which is listed in 38 company stacks and 20 developer stacks.

Advice on Capybara and Cypress
Yildiz Dila
testmanager/automation tester at medicalservice | 5 upvotes 路 132.2K views
Needs advice
on
Protractor
and
Cypress

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 52.6K 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 81.5K 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 Capybara and Cypress
Shared insights
on
Jest
Cypress

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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Pros of Capybara
Pros of Cypress
  • 12
    Best acceptance test framework for Ruby on Rails apps
  • 2
    Synchronous with Rack::Test
  • 1
    Fast with Rack::Test
  • 25
    Open source
  • 18
    Great documentation
  • 17
    Fast
  • 16
    Simple usage
  • 10
    Cross Browser testing
  • 9
    Easy us with CI
  • 4
    Npm install cypress only
  • 1
    Good for beginner automation engineers

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Cons of Capybara
Cons of Cypress
  • 1
    Hard to make reproducible tests when using with browser
  • 19
    Cypress is weak at cross-browser testing
  • 12
    Switch tabs : Cypress can'nt support
  • 11
    No iFrame support
  • 8
    No file upload support
  • 8
    No xPath support
  • 8
    No multiple domain support
  • 8
    No page object support
  • 7
    Re-run failed tests retries not supported yet
  • 7
    Cypress doesn't support native app
  • 7
    No support for multiple tab control
  • 6
    No support for multiple browser control
  • 6
    No support for Safari
  • 4
    $20/user/thread for reports
  • 4
    Not freeware
  • 4
    Adobe
  • 3
    No 'WD wire protocol' support
  • 3
    Using a non-standard automation protocol

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

What is Capybara?

Capybara helps you test web applications by simulating how a real user would interact with your app. It is agnostic about the driver running your tests and comes with Rack::Test and Selenium support built in. WebKit is supported through an external gem.

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.

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

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

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