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Cypress Vs. Protractor: A Detailed Comparison

by Techies Guardian
Cypress Vs. Protractor: A Detailed Comparison

Cypress – Test automation has become a crucial component of ensuring the quality and dependability of web applications in the constantly changing world of software development. Choosing the best testing framework for your project can be challenging, given the abundance of options available. Cypress and Protractor are two well-liked web testing framework competitors. Although both frameworks are popular and have strong features, some key distinctions between them can have a big impact on how effectively and efficiently your test automation efforts work.

We’ll examine Cypress and Protractor’s advantages, disadvantages, and unique qualities in this article as we compare them in great detail. You will have the knowledge necessary to decide which framework best meets your particular testing needs if you are aware of the subtle differences between each.

What is Cypress?

Cypress is an all-in-one front-end automated testing framework specifically designed for modern web applications. It enables comprehensive testing of various components within a browser environment. Supported testing frameworks include Mocha, Jasmine, Karma, Chai, and QUnit, among others. However, Cypress has limited browser support, primarily Electron, Chrome, Chromium, and Canary.

One of the notable advantages of Cypress is its user-friendly nature, making it easy for testers to learn and execute tests.  It helps the testers to write end-to-end tests followed by integration tests and other unit tests. It also supports the Page Object Model (POM).

Before the emergence of Cypress in the software industry, end-to-end testing involved multiple steps, such as installing or choosing a Selenium wrapper. These steps often required additional libraries and the selection of suitable frameworks to execute tests. With Cypress, all of these processes are streamlined within a single, all-in-one testing framework. It eliminates the need for Selenium and provides built-in support for assertions, mocking, and stubbing, simplifying the testing workflow significantly.

Benefits of Cypress

Some of the common advantages of Cypress testing are mentioned in the points below:

  • It is Fast and Easy to Use

Cypress provides a fast and reliable testing experience for any web application running inside the browser. It boasts a user-friendly interface, making learning, using, and understanding the code easy. This simplicity translates to increased productivity and reduced learning curves for testers.

  • Simplified Test Scripting

One of the great things about Cypress is that it simplifies test scripting. You don’t need complex and explicit commands in your test scripts. Cypress automatically waits for common events and assertions, saving you from writing additional code. This streamlined approach makes test case creation less complicated and improves the stability of your tests.

  • Easy Debugging

Debugging is often a time-consuming aspect of testing. However, Cypress simplifies this process significantly. Its user-friendly commands and interface make it effortless to identify and resolve issues. Additionally, Cypress provides features like video recording and screenshots, even in headless mode, which prove invaluable in analyzing and debugging test failures.

  • Page Object Model

This supports the PageObject Model (POM). This design pattern helps reduce code duplication by creating a central repository for web elements.

  • Protection Against Data Loss

Cypress includes a special feature that automatically reruns the testing process whenever you save changes or update your test filter. This safeguard ensures that you don’t lose any progress or miss out on comprehensive test coverage when making updates.

  • Fast Process

Cypress testing eliminates the need for WebDriver, and it runs the Cypress tests directly inside the browser. This makes the entire process fast and reliable.

Drawbacks of Cypress

Despite having a significant level of advantages, there are certain limitations that are also associated with the use of Cypress testing. Some of the cons associated with Cypress testing are mentioned in the list below:

  • Limited Browser Support

Cypress supports a limited number of browsers, including Electron, Chrome, Chromium, and Canary. However, it lacks support for browsers like Safari, Firefox, and IE, which limits its usability across different environments.

  • Lack of Multitasking

Cypress does not have native multitasking capabilities. Due to restrictions in switching between tabs, it cannot run tests simultaneously on multiple browsers that it supports.

  • Poor Compatibility with Xpath Locators

Cypress does not have built-in support for Xpath locators. Xpath is a commonly used method for locating elements in web applications. Instead, Cypress provides an indirect approach for using Xpath by requiring additional dependencies, such as Node Package Manager or yarn.

  • Limited Support for Multiple Iframes

Cypress faces challenges when it comes to handling multiple iframes within a web page. This limitation ties back to its lack of multitasking capability. Iframes are HTML structures embedded within another HTML structure.

  • Restricted Navigation Control

Cypress testing restricts the ability to move the mouse cursor to specific coordinates, limiting fine-grained navigation control. Additionally, it does not provide built-in support for certain types of clicks or keypress events, which can further impede navigation.

  • Limited Troubleshooting Documentation

As Cypress is a relatively new testing tool, it may lack extensive troubleshooting documentation. This can make it challenging to overcome issues or problems encountered during testing, as comprehensive resources might be limited.

What is Protractor?

Protractor is an open-source end-to-end testing framework specifically designed for Angular and AngularJS applications. It was first developed in 2013 when the AngularJS framework was highly popular among software developers. Protractor allows developers to execute tests on their web applications within real-time browser settings, accurately simulating user behavior through interaction and commands.

The Protractor operates in a real browser environment, providing a more realistic testing experience. This testing framework supports Jasmine, Cucumber, and Mocha, giving developers flexibility in choosing their preferred testing approach.

Benefits of Protractor

Some of the benefits of the Protractor framework are mentioned below.

  • Parallel testing

Unlike Cypress testing, Protractor allows parallel testing with multiple browsers. This feature significantly speeds up the testing process, enabling testers to switch between tabs and perform tasks simultaneously.

  • Movements of mouse and keypress

When conducting end-to-end automation testing with Protractor, you have the freedom to easily move the mouse across specific coordinates and simulate key presses. There are no restrictions, giving you greater control over the testing scenarios.

  • Compatibility with Iframes

Protractor supports Iframes, making it a suitable choice for testing applications that utilize this feature. It has a strong community support base, which means you can find helpful resources and assistance from fellow developers.

  • Easy Installation

Installing and setting up the Protractor framework is straightforward compared to Cypress. This simplicity saves you significant time and doesn’t require extensive expertise, making it more accessible for developers of varying skill levels.

  • Seamless integration with Angular

Protractor is specifically designed for testing Angular and AngularJS applications. It offers seamless integration with these frameworks, allowing developers to write tests that align perfectly with the structure and behavior of their Angular-based applications.

Drawbacks of Protractor

Just like Cypress testing tools, end-to-end automation testing with the help of the Protractor is also associated with a certain degree of cons or limitations. Some of the limitations are mentioned below.

  • Special expertise in debugging

Debugging tests in Protractor requires specific expertise, and the overall process can be time-consuming. Identifying and fixing issues within the test scripts may require advanced troubleshooting skills, which can pose a challenge for less experienced testers.

  • Fragile

Protractor can be considered relatively fragile compared to tools like Cypress. The execution process of automation tests can be slower and more prone to failures. This fragility may result in longer test execution times and a higher likelihood of encountering test failures.

  • Poor compatibility

Protractor primarily relies on the await keyword and asynchronous order to manage the execution flow, which is specific to JavaScript. Additionally, it has better support for Chrome as a browser than other browsers. This limited compatibility can be a disadvantage if your application needs to be tested across a wide range of browsers.

  • Complex Execution

Protractor executes test cases quickly, making it challenging for human testers to identify failures visually. To pinpoint failures, testers often need to run test cases repeatedly or rely on logs and error messages, which can be time-consuming and inefficient..

  • No Dashboard

Protractor does not provide a built-in dashboard feature. This means that test results and reports may lack a centralized and user-friendly view. Without a dashboard, it can be more difficult to track and analyze test execution outcomes and trends, requiring testers to rely on alternative reporting methods or custom solutions.

Are you looking for a testing solution for your Cypress and Protractor projects?

Look no further! Let me introduce you to LambdaTest. It is a cloud-based automation testing framework that allows access to a large farm of browsers, versions, and devices. It seamlessly integrates with Cypress and Protractor framework, which allows you to have a comprehensive test environment for software applications.

You can effortlessly test your Cypress and Protractor scripts on a wide range of browsers and operating systems. Ensure your application functions flawlessly across different browser versions and platforms, delivering a consistent user experience to your audience.

LambdaTest offers real-time testing capabilities, allowing you to interact with your web application as if you were using it locally. Execute your Cypress testing and Protractor tests on real browsers and quickly identify and debug issues in real time.

A Quick Comparison Between Cypress and Protractor

Features Cypress Protractor
Nature of commands Does not demand high-end commands Demands high-end commands
Browsers it supports Very limited, and there are: Electron, Chrome, Chromium, and Canary It supports very limited browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
POG It supports the POG model It supports the POG model
Parallel testing of browsers No parallel testing Parallel testing of the browsers can be done
Move movements Movements of the mouse across coordinates are restricted Mouse movements are not restricted
Keypress Restricted Not restricted
Iframes It does not support Iframes Supports Iframes
Community support Less More
Debugging It is easy and does not take much time It is complex and takes a significant amount of time


After conducting a thorough comparative analysis between Cypress testing and Protractor testing, it can be concluded that Cypress testing offers greater stability and a superior developer experience. Angular developers widely prefer it due to its robust capabilities. However, when cross-browser compatibility is a requirement, Cypress testing may not be the ideal choice. In such scenarios, Protractor proves to be more advantageous as it allows for cross-browser testing, as well as the ability to simulate mouse movements and keypresses.

In conclusion, Protractor excels at cross-browser testing and offers extra testing capabilities, whereas Cypress testing shines in terms of stability and developer experience. The particular needs and requirements of the project at hand ultimately determine which of the two frameworks should be used. Before selecting a testing framework, developers should carefully weigh these factors.

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