Getting Started with Cypress

Table of Contents hide 1 Introduction to Cypress 1.1 What is Unit Testing 2 Benefits of Unit Testing 3 How to perform...

Written by Niel Patel · 7 min read >
Getting Started with Cypress

Writing tests for software code can be hard. Even the best developers don’t write testing code as well as they could. Writing a solid unit test for cypress automation testing requires knowing both the code and its context, which may require seeing it in action in an automated way. So good unit tests often mean seeing a piece of code in multiple contexts, and keeping those contexts straight in your head even though they seem quite different. Testing the Unit is the most important activity a developer performs. If code is not tested it is as good as untested. Hence unit testing becomes necessary for every developer. This is done by validating that all the unit’s properties are correct, proving that it works exactly as expected. Unit Testing has always been present in the development cycle, even before the Agile Methodology reached mainstream projects a decade ago.

The main benefit of this activity is that it enforces developers to write better and maintainable code. While writing unit tests, developers have to think hard and thus write cleaner code by abstracting common functionality into reusable modules and use interfaces wherever possible in order to reduce dependency on concrete classes. End to End testing is the testing of individual software modules or groups of modules. A module, in this context, is typically a small software application/class or a self-contained functionality and can be part of a system, application or enterprise-wide service. Unit Testing may be performed by white box or black box techniques, by testers or developers.

Introduction to Cypress

Cypress is an amazing solution when you wish to do automation testing for your front-end applications, especially if you’re working with a team of developers who are building products faster than your QA department can keep up with the Cypress Automation. It allows you to write beautiful tests in JavaScript that run on the Cypress web app or headless Chrome. 

  • It runs on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and embedded devices like Raspberry Pi’s. Taking the paradigm of traditional testing frameworks, Cypress makes it extremely effortless to develop efficient test suites rapidly. Cypress is an open-source testing framework for Web applications. 
  • If you are familiar with Selenium, Cypress is its successor. This open-source test framework builds on top of the WebDriver API, which means it works with any browser or operating system that supports it. Furthermore, it supports a native JavaScript syntax and commands to write tests in the most natural way possible.
  • Key feature of is the ability to run end-to-end tests on a real browser, without the need for downloading drivers for each platform, which is essential.  Advantages also include well-structured API and testing coverage and ability to test unit and integration tests.

The new testing framework, Cypress, is here to redefine the way of end-to-end testing. The source code is open source and available on GitHub. It comes with speed, accessibility to modern web applications, and simplicity & flexibility.

(Image Source: Cypress)

What is Unit Testing

Unit tests are commonly used in software development. They ensure that the software performs the tasks the users need it to perform. Another advantage of functional tests is that they are less boring to write and run than unit tests. This is because unit tests can be written without much knowledge of programming languages and libraries since they are based on simulating user interactions instead of checking code logic. 

  • If a unit test fails, you know there is a problem with your software’s UI, behaviour, or logic. In order to write unit tests, we need to employ a certain technique. This technique is called dependency injection. 
  • Dependency injection is providing an object with its dependencies such that it doesn’t construct them. In other words, a dependent object is provided with all the necessary interfaces or classes it needs in order to work, so that it can be instantiated without having to create or prepare further components on its own.

The only true way to work on unit tests is to actually write applications or systems that make sense and cover a wide range of scenarios. Usage of frameworks for the testing or implementing business logic does not guarantee effective unit testing. In some situations, it is better to write comprehensive test classes than unit ones; this is dependent on the given business context and will be reviewed in the next sections.

Benefits of Unit Testing

There are many benefits to using unit tests instead of other testing methods. First, unit tests are based on the ‘test pyramid’ principle. This means in general you will have more unit tests with fewer test cases per unit, than you will have functional (e.g. GUI) or integration (i.e. system) tests. Hence you get more assurance about the individual units, thus giving you confidence about the entire software package(s).

  1. Increases the code quality

Testing code is a technique used by the development process to ensure that the code works as expected. Unit testing is the one that increases the quality of the code. The idea is to change as little as possible during each iteration so that we only have to remember as many things as possible about the code. Unit testing frameworks also help to remove unnecessary dependencies between unit so that error can be eliminated and it is easier to identify errors and fix them.

  1. Developers get a safety net with it

The purpose of unit tests is to detect defects in the code, to make sure all of the scenario are covered by tests and that the code is still behaving correctly. By doing all these tasks, unit tests can assist developers in maintaining their software and provide a significant improvement in confidence on how well the system works. This helps programmers determine whether the currently testing system is working, which allows them to fix any bugs or unintended behaviors before it’s published into the wider market.

  1. Less Cost and Time

Unit tests can dramatically shorten development time while increasing agility and reducing the long-term cost of ownership. Sometimes they are even seen as a silver bullet for fixing defects, because they are ‘very’ effective. Testers know that code has been properly tested by reading and understanding the code. The code needs to be clean and easy to follow.

  1. It delivers promising application architecture

Regarding unit testing, some developers might argue that writing tests is an overhead and that they don’t write tests because they are lazy. If they just wanted to code something small, they could simply assume that the code is working properly. This is true to some extent but unit tests can be very beneficial also to the quality of a software.

  1. Easy Detection of Errors

Through Unit testing, one can identify possible defects in the code that does not work according to a defined unit test plan and schedule. As opposed to hardware, software can be changed liberally, meaning that any errors and problems can be fixed in a timely manner. If a programmer takes the time to create unit tests for the code they have written, then that code will be easier and less time consuming to fix if issues arise from it.

How to perform Unit Testing

Unit testing is a process of testing each part of your application separately from all the other parts of your application, and from the framework itself. The goal of unit testing is to ensure that one module of an app works correctly by itself. The test cases developed during this stage can be executed either manually or automatically, depending upon the developer’s preference or choice. This is the way Unit Test framework is designed; however, there are still pros or cons of using Unit Test framework versus manual testing in Software Engineering. 

  1. Creating Test Cases

In unit testing, the cypress automation is the main aim of it and it starts by creating the test cases for the code.  Unit tests show whether a piece of code meets a set of specifications and also gives an excellent indicator of how much error there is in the program, enabling developers to isolate bugs as they arise quickly. This can reduce the costs associated with shipping buggy software. It is traditionally seen as the first level of testing a system, performed by developers themselves to create a known working baseline prior to a larger system test. Furthermore, this step is important in the part of unit testing.

  1. Reviewing the Test Cases

Unit testing part of a process in which the smallest independent functionalities are tested. Developers write unit tests as part of the development process in the form of source code. Units can apply to either classes or even very small parts of a class’s function if they can be considered sufficiently separate. It is one of the key phases in the software development lifecycle. Unit test checks if each isolated piece of code, referred to as a unit, performs properly. This checking includes if each unit returns expected results and it is not affected by any other part in an application.

  1. Working on the Baseline

UnitTest Framework code is integrated into the programming environment, making it easy to add to the process. UnitTest tests can be written in any language, but are usually added using a special API or extension package. Test driven development is a software development process that relies on the repetition of a very short development cycle: requirements are turned into very specific test cases, then the software is improved until it passes these tests. The requirement is then re-written in a automate fashion to become the next test case. It is a part of test-driven development (TDD) that involves writing a test for a very small piece of functionality, and then writing just enough code to make the test pass.

(Image Source: QED42)

  1. Executing the Test Cases

The entire cycle is repeated as often as necessary until requirements are complete and considered satisfied. Unlike more familiar kinds of testing, like functional and integration tests, a developer’s code under unit testing is being executed in the same context that it will be run in production. It is an integral part of Extreme Programming and test-driven development, and a key part of agile software development. Use some sort of advanced compiler. You can automatically run unit tests for each compiled program and that provides assurance that the program does not interfere with other programs in the same environment. Furthermore, with the execution of the test cases, the testers can easily get to know where the problem lies. 

Cypress Automation With LambdaTest

LambdaTest’s Test Orchestration and Execution Platform offers a seamless way to run browser tests with a variety of mobile devices, browsers and operating systems. In addition to compatibility testing, the platform integrates with CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity and more. It also offers built-in debugging tools that enable testers to identify and resolve bugs quickly.

Final Thoughts

Automated unit testing frameworks allow the developer to create automated unit tests. Most of the time this is done by creating a mock object that replicates some specific class of an application. Mock objects are generally considered very valuable in automated unit testing as they make it possible to test code without running an entire real-world application. This makes automated unit testing fast, efficient and accurate without introducing any form of bias. Furthermore, with the cypress automation, the testers have got some unique testing methods for their software.

A unit test framework is a program or library designed to support the process of writing and running tests for individual units of source code.  The most common form these take is libraries which provide collection classes, assertions and helper methods for creating mock classes, functions and interfaces that are used in the application being tested. They also provide targeted tools for inspecting, manipulating and generating source code. Unit test frameworks may allow developers to use TDD, which involves writing tests before application components are implemented; this approach mirrors actual production programming more closely.

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