Cypress.IO Shortcomings — Pattern or Die

Digging into Cypress.IO in a sprint to replace my almost-completely-useless stack of Selenium IDE tests for Store Locator Plus, I’ve run into some issues that seem to go beyond my lack of knowledge with the tool.

Yes, it is a great step in the right direction and it can be man-handled to do what I need.  For now.   But tools should not be forcing you to do things a specific way. That are supposed to make you more efficient, no re-train you or add extra steps.

Cypress.IO has shortcomings when it comes to doing real-world end-to-end testing of web apps.   Order of tests is one of them.

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Cypress.IO Data List Processing — Testing A WordPress Plugin

Testing Store Locator Plus with lots of locations is a chore.  Thankfully Cypress.IO data list processing makes this a lot easier.

It turns out that the old-school Selenium IDE scripts that we’ve been using to test Store Locator Plus for years will no longer work.   We already knew Firefox versions beyond 54 broke things — but we kept an old install on hand so while we port 500+ test scripts to a new system.   What finally broke the old-school Firefox bandaid was moving Store Locator Plus towards a reactive application using Vue.

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Running A Linux Server? Check etcd

If you are running your own Linux server — an AWS EC2 instance, perhaps, you may want to check that your etc daemon I’d not accessible.

Read this ARS Technica article for more info:

Thousands of servers found leaking 750MB worth of passwords and keys

CypressIO Simplifies Web App Testing

After discussing projects over the past week, one of the guys at Automattic brought up CypressIO.   If you’ve been following the recent posts on Lance.Bio you know that the path to running automated web testing has run from Selenium IDE, the QA tool of choice for the past few years for Store Locator Plus, to recent forays into Selenium Webdriver.      Webdriver is powerful but difficult to code and soon led to the discovery of WebdriverIO, then Mocha and Chai on top of that.      The new stack makes it easier to write more advanced tests than we could in Selenium IDE — but it was like pulling teeth to get all the right pieces installed and working.

More info, less pain

That is what CypressIO promotes on their home page.   “Test your code, not your patience.” and “No more async hell.”  — if you’ve gone through the Selenium Webdriver setup you’ll understand what both of these mean.   It takes several false starts to understand all the pieces you MUST install to get Selenium Webdriver working.  CypressIO has made it easy; it is even easier than they promote on their website with the most recent builds.

The CypressIO Test Execution Window

The Cypress Test Execution Window

I’ve only started simple test writing but in less than 20 minutes I had a fully functional test running with all the extras from a completely “clean” install base.    If you have NodeJS and NPM up-to-date and a faster Internet connection than we have in tech-orphan Charleston South Carolina, you can be up and running in 5 minutes.
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WebdriverIO and Mocha For Better Test Reports

In a continuing series on using WebdriverIO with Selenium we are going to focus on getting better reporting output now that our environment is setup.  The previous article on setting up WebdriverIO should have you up-and-running with basic tests.   Now it is time to use some of that “Mocha flavoring” to get useful reports out of our tests.   WebdriverIO and Mocha gives you the tools to group together tests and report the results in plain text.

Adding Mocha to a test

Mocha adds a ways to group together our test units and send meta information out to the report modules that are employed by WebdriverIO and the default test runner, conveniently named “TestRunner”.   Nothing special needs to be added if you’ve setup the project and employed the Mocha framework as shown in the prior article.

Since we are using the BDD test style with Mocha we have two primary functions we want to employ.

BDD = Behavior Driven Development,  in case you were wondering.

describe()

This is the Mocha syntax that is used to group together tests.   The first parameter in that function is the plain text that will be used to describe what tests are being run.   The second parameter is a standard JavaScript anonymous function that will include the test code.    Typically you use a series of it() functions within.

it()

This is the Mocha syntax that describes each individual thing to be tested.    The first parameter is again the plain text of what is being tested and the second is the function that contains the code.

A simple example

This test is going to open the home page for the website that was configured in the wdio.conf.js file when we setup our wdio configuration.

This does nothing more than make sure it can open the site URL.

When the test is run we now get a more detailed report of what happened.

Here is a video showing how the test run looks compared to the standard non-Mocha version.

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