This past week I was able to participate in a Playwright Ask Me Anything that was hosed by Ministry of Testing. Over the hour we had a plethra of questions that came in that thought would be good to dive deeper on across a few articles.
Today I plan to keep it brief as an introduction, and will answer the following question.
Will Playwright replace Cypress? And what are the biggest challenges while using Playwright for web app automation testing?
Will Playwright Replace Cypress?
Why you ask? Well over the past 5 years there have been thousands of teams that have implemented Cypress as a test framework into their projects. The cost to convert those project to Playwright for minimal business value add, doesn't make sense for most teams/projects. More than likely the value the team would get out of switching frameworks is the ability to run tests in parallel and would directly impact the development/quality teams rather than add actual business value. Getting a project like that green lit would be difficult in most organizations.
As long as Cypress is providing value, and giving valuable feedback I don't see it going away. There are a lot of workarounds that are available that the community have built, including the ability to run Playwright/Selenium from within a Cypress test by using
Will More Teams Choose Playwright When Starting New Projects?
Yes, I do believe so! The advantages that Playwright brings over Cypress when it comes to the ability to run my tests where I want, how I want, and with what custom reporters I want, make the choice really easy.
For me there are a lot of unknowns with Cypress.io, we do know that they raised, $40,000,000 series B round, and I'm sure they are looking for ways to build a sustainable business (the time this is written it's been 3 years since the series B).
With Playwright being owned by Microsoft, there are still unknowns but when I look at the tooling they have built and provided for the developer community, I would put my bet on Microsoft. When I look at Typescript, VS Code, .Net Core, etc, I don't have many fears about the future of Playwright.
Will Any Tools Be Replacing Any Tools?
Well typically the replacing doesn't come until said tool gets abandoned or end-of-lifed! The most recent example of this is Test Project. The team announced an end of life to the tool and a way to migrate tests to one of their other tools the team owns. This tool started off as a free test automation platform for web, mobile, and API testing.
Well What About Selenium?
I couldn't finish this article without at least bringing up the the O.G Selenium. I actually think Selenium is a great project. It isn't a Test Framework like Playwright (TS/JS) and Cypress.io but rather a library that allows you to interact with web browsers. You have to bring your own test runner to the party if you want to use it as a Test Framework.
There are SOOOOO many projects that have 100s and 1,000s of tests that for the same reason in the first section, the business value isn't there to convert over 1,000 UI tests that are brining value to the organization, and therefore shouldn't be prioritized.
Are Your Tests Providing Value?
The big question that I've touched on is this.... Are Your Tests Providing Value? It doesn't matter what language or framework they are written in but rather if the are valuable.
If the answer is no, throw them away, if the answer is yes, find ways to maintain them, and continue to make them valuable.
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