Detailed Comparison Between Protractor and TestGrid

Detailed Comparison Between Protractor and TestGrid 2

Protractor is one of the most widely used JavaScript end-to-end automation testing frameworks. Protractor’s first version, built with NodeJS, was released in 2013. 

Protractor uses JavaScript Selenium WebDriver bindings and began as a testing framework prototype. However, as AngularJS evolved, Protractor quickly gained popularity due to unique features such as open-source, ease of setup, and out-of-the-box support for all major browsers.

But over the years, there are tons of alternatives for Protractor that have come into the market. One of them is the TestGrid web & mobile automation tool, which is far superior, advanced, and offers end-to-end testing on a single platform. As a result, TestGrid has made testers’ jobs easier as testing now consumes less time from their schedule.

This is a complete in-depth article about what Protractor is and why it is used for testing. Then we will also understand what makes Protractor less relevant in and why TestGrid is a far better option than Protractor.

End-to-End Testing on real iOS, Android Devices & Browsers

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So read the article till the end and meet you at the conclusion.

What Is a Protractor?

Protractor is an automation and end-to-end behavior-driven testing tool that plays an essential role in testing AngularJS applications. It also works as a solution integrator, combining powerful technologies such as Selenium, Jasmine, Web driver, and others. 

Protractor Testing is used not only to test AngularJS applications but also to write automated regression tests for standard Web Applications.

It combines the power of various technologies such as NodeJS, Selenium Webdriver, Jasmine, Mocha, Cucumber, and others to provide a robust automation test suite capable of Cross Browser Testing for web applications.

Why Is Protractor Used?

Today the majority of web applications are developed using javascript. But as more and more features are added to the application, more and more updates are provided, and the size and the complexity of code written in JavaScript grows. 

It becomes difficult for the Testers to test the web application for various scenarios in such a situation.

Using JUnit or Selenium WebDriver to capture web elements in AngularJS applications can sometimes be challenging. 

Protractor is a JavaScript-based NodeJS program that works with Node to identify web elements in AngularJS applications and uses WebDriver to control the browser with user actions.

Google first introduced Angular, a Javascript-based framework for developing mobile and web applications; in 2009; Google rewrote and rereleased it in 2016 due to its growing popularity and usage.

Still, Angular is one of the most popular Javascript-based frameworks, and many high-traffic websites like Udemy.com, Hdfcbank.com, freelancer.com, etc., are using the Angular framework.

Protractor, which was also introduced by Google, has many users worldwide and is used by these people to automate tests for their angular websites.

Some Key Reasons Why Protractor Is Effective For Automation?

#01 Executes End-to-End Functional Testing

While other testing frameworks provide unit testing for Angular web apps, Protractor enables testers to perform automated functional testing on Angular web apps using Selenium WebDriver. 

In addition, it enables testing of all application layers, resulting in high-quality, functionally robust software.

#02 Functions Testing Across Browsers

Protractor simulates user interactions with browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Yandex.

It accomplishes this with the help of Selenium WebDriver Browser Drivers such as ChromeDriver, GeckoDriver, SafariDriver, and others. This provides more excellent coverage for Cross Browser Testing.

#03 Provides Flexibility By Supporting Multiple Api Binding Languages.

Protractor is compatible with WebDriver API bindings written in various languages, including JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, and others, providing flexibility.

#04 Asynchronous Test Execution Is Supported.

Protractor supports asynchronous execution via Callbacks, Promises, and Async/Await to improve performance and speed. Thus, comprehensive End to End Testing on Angular web apps can be completed in a short period of time.

#05 Supports Automatic Waiting

Protractor provides testers with the Automatic Waiting feature, eliminating the need for wait(s) and sleep(s) in the code. With the webpage completing the ongoing pending tasks, it can automatically execute the next step in the test. 

Therefore, there is no need to wait for the test and the web page to sync when using Protractor.

#06 Identify Web Elements With Advance Html Attributes

Web elements using advanced HTML attributes such as ng-controller, ng-repeater, ng-model, and so on cannot be easily tested for various Angular-based web applications, hampered overall functional testing. 

However, selenium cannot evaluate these HTML attributes because they are not present in the Selenium Locators. 

Using these attributes, Protractor aids in identifying and testing web elements. This is why, for automated end-to-end testing of Angular-based web applications, Protractor is used as a wrapper over Selenium WebDriver.

#07 Real Devices Cloud Support For Broader Coverage.

Protractors can be used to test Cross Browser Compatibility for a wide range of devices using a Real Device Cloud when running tests on a remote server. 

TestGrid’s real device cloud gives you access to a fleet of 2000+ desktop browsers and real mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, OnePlus, Pixel, Xiaomi, and Redmi, to name a few.

#08 End Of Protractor Development

According to the Protractor announcement on Github, the Angular team will discontinue the development of Protractor in conjunction with Angular v15 by the end of .

This means that users must migrate away from Protractor because the framework will no longer be updated. This also means that the Angular team will not consider any bugs or feature requests. As a result, users may experience disruptions in their automation scripts if they continue to use Protractor.

However, the Protractor team has established a timetable that allows users to investigate alternatives and migrate their tests accordingly.

Why has Protractor Deprecated?

Today, JavaScript has evolved significantly, and Protractor has difficulty leveraging newer technologies, but modern tools offer improved syntax and development platforms, such as IDEs, Debugging, etc. 

Given this, if the Protractor team continued to support the framework, they may have needed to reshape the current architecture and code, which would have impacted existing users and tests.

Protractor has not come up with the updates that would bring new features, frameworks, or fixing bugs, which is not a good sign as proper testing is not done in that case, and it leads to security issues that are not great for the application.

Protractor’s current state:  Protractor is dependent on the selenium-web driver and cannot upgrade to the new version without introducing a significant breaking change and forcing users to migrate all of their tests.

Web Testing Environment: There are various testing solutions available today, and they provide improved stability and support for features such as cross-browser testing. 

So as there are already several alternatives built on advanced JavaScript frameworks, the Angular team reasoned that it might be simpler to simply switch from Protractor to another tool. For example, before deciding on Protractor deprecation, the team surveyed automation tools, revealing that less than 20% of respondents used the Protractor framework for testing in their project.

5 Reasons Why Protractor Is Not Relevant In

#01 Protractor Is Overly Complicated.

The next issue with Protractor is its design, which is heavily influenced by Java and is overly complex for the JavaScript world. 

When something goes wrong, Protractor adds thousands of lines of code on top of a massive selenium-web driver library, and you have no idea why or where the bug occurred.

Protractor attempts to integrate Selenium-WebDriver, Jasmine, and Angular, but a highly complex setup with huge configs and difficult-to-read tests. A good Protractor setup requires at least a senior JavaScript developer.

WebElements are exposed in tests by Protractor. Instead of controlling a browser, you only control some HTML elements on a page. However, because your browser is executed externally, you can’t get direct access to those elements from a test.

Wrapping hundreds of elements, calling commands, and filtering and mapping them takes you out of the testing scope. You spend the majority of your time-fighting web elements rather than writing tests. 

#02 Angular Does Not Require The Use Of A Protractor.

Protractor began as an essential tool for the AngularJS framework. When there was no React or VueJS, it was the most popular framework for single-page applications. Angular is still widely used, but you don’t need Protractor to test an Angular application.

Protractor for Angular’s only distinguishing feature was synchronization. Before taking any action on the page, Protractor waits for Angular to finish rendering. This worked well in the AngularJS 1 era, but it is becoming less stable as Angular evolves. 

Modern Single Page Applications are built around components, and there is no single point of truth for determining whether or not a component has finished rendering.

#03 Protractor Is Out Of Date

For a few years, Protractor was not actively updated. There have been no significant enhancements, bug fixes, or documentation updates. However, there are a lot of old issues in the main repo, and there hasn’t been any movement in commits in a few months.

It also lost contact with its direct dependency, Selenium WebDriver JS. Protractor works on the official Selenium WebDriver library, which is used to drive browsers via the W3C protocol. 

However, Selenium WebDriver has not been updated in two years, and they are now on version 4.0. 

However, Protractor was not actively developed for those years so you may encounter outdated documentation and long-lasting unsolved issues. Instead, Protractor is almost ready to switch to this version, but end-users are still concerned as they might need to rewrite all their tests.

TestGrid Vs. Protractor: Why Use TestGrid As Protractor Alternative?

TestGrid offers an integrated set of tools that enables you to rapidly create, execute & continuously refine automated tests in a no-code environment.

TestGrid offers cloud-based automation, cross-browser automation testing, instruction, and reports in simple English so a person with even low knowledge of coding can conduct the website or mobile application testing.

TestGrid is more advanced than a protractor with tons of features, extensive reports, the maximum number of test cases, regular updates, excellent customer support, and tons of other features.

Let us see some of the features of TestGrid, which will show why TestGrid is far better than a protractor.

#01 No prerequisite

With TestGrid, you can begin your career in software testing without any technical background or programming or coding knowledge. You can learn it quickly and easily by testing it with TestGrid.

#02 Cloud Infrastructure + On-Premise Support

You can easily scale your software testing business with the help of the browser and mobile device’s cloud infrastructure and remote access for manual and automation testing that comes with TestGrid.

Moreover, if you are concerned about the security of your data TestGrid will help you set up your private infrastructure lab and even manage it for you to help you test in a no-code environment using the TestGrid AI platform capabilities.

#03 AI + No-code Automation

Automate test cases using simple keywords and use our AI to auto-heal and access the code.

#04 Robotic Test Automation

Robotic Arms is built on open source components that help automate POS devices, OTT devices, etc.

#05 Security

Auto generates a SAST report on every build execution and supports DAST reports as well.

#06 Integration Testing

Test mobile or web applications end to end with network assertions and their supporting APIs.

#07 Cost-Effective

Our solution eliminates the need for multi-SaaS provider subscriptions, different skill sets,

expensive infrastructure, etc. This saves enormous costs for our clients.

#08 Native Mobile Support

Supports scriptless automation test cases for Mobile. Generates  XCUITest Code,  Appium-Java Code, and Selenium-Java Code. Browser-based test case execution on real physical devices.

#09 Support Maximum Test Cases

Support different types of test cases; it supports visual testing, GPS Based Testing –

iOS, API Performance, Functional Testing, Interruption Testing, performance testing, GPS Based Testing – Android.

#10 End-To-End

This is your one-stop shop for all your automation testing needs. No more headaches of

maintaining multiple software, etc.

#11 Faster Ops

Typically it took teams somewhere between 6 months to a year for a full-blown ops setup.

With the introduction of TestOS, this has been significantly brought down to a few weeks.

Other Protractor Alternative

#01 Cypress

Cypress is a NodeJS-based open-source JavaScript-based test automation framework. Cypress was designed for the modern web and operated directly in the browser, making it simple for developers to use. It includes a plethora of unique DOM manipulation and debugging techniques.

Cypress runs tests (written in JavaScript) in its one-of-a-kind and interactive window. It supports a variety of testing methods, including end-to-end testing, unit testing, integration testing, and API testing. Because it is a NodeJS-based framework, testers must have Node runtime executables on their system in order to run Cypress tests.

  • Cypress runs in its own window and captures snapshots as the tests run. Hover your mouse over commands in the Command Log to see what happened in each step.
  • Debuggability: Cypress provides several debugging options, including logging, browser developer windows, and detailed stack traces.
  • Automatic Waiting: With Cypress, you do not need to specify an exact wait time. Before executing the following command, Cypress waits for commands and assertions.
  • Spies, Stubs, and Clocks: Cypress supports spies, stubs, and clocks, which aid in the verification and control of functions, server responses, and timers.
  • Network Traffic Control: Cypress provides several methods for controlling network traffic, allowing users to test edge cases. 
  • Consistent Results: Cypress employs its browser control strategy. It is comparatively fast, consistent, and runs flake-free tests.
  • Screencaptures and Videos: Cypress includes tools for taking screenshots and recording videos. This option is available on the command line, also known as the Cypress CLI.
  • Cypress Programming Language Restrictions: Cypress only supports JavaScript/Typescript.
  • Multiple Tabs: Cypress does not support multiple tabs or switching between Parent and Child windows.
  • Native Mobile Apps: Native mobile app automation is not supported by Cypress.
  • Iframe Support: Cypress’s iframe support is limited.
  • Cypress does not support parallel or concurrent execution of tests on the same or multiple browsers.
  • Single Origin Tests: Users are not permitted to create tests with multiple origins or URLs. Tests must always be performed in accordance with a single origin.
  • Selector Support: Cypress only natively supports CSS selectors, but there are third-party packages that can be plugged in to use XPath.
  • Assertion Libraries: Cypress only supports the assertion libraries Mocha and Chai.
  • Third-party authentication: When testing third-party authentication mechanisms such as SSO or Active Directory login, these functions cannot be automated. To create login sessions, QAs must use API calls.

#02 WebdriverIO

WebdriverIO is a free and open-source end-to-end automation framework for web and mobile applications.

WebdriverIO uses selenium bindings. WebdriverIo is managed by the OpenJS foundation and adheres to the architectural standards of the W3 framework.

Even though WebdriverIO uses Selenium bindings, it provides a ready-made framework with a simple setup and configuration. In addition, WebdriverIO allows testers to build a scalable, robust, and stable test suite.

  • WebdriverIO is extensible, allowing you to add helper functions or combine complex commands to create your own functions.
  • WebdriverIO supports multiple significant browsers, including Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.
  • WebdriverIO supports a wide range of operating systems, including Mac and Windows.
  • Support for Mobile Apps: This is a unique feature of WebdriverIO. It allows for the testing of mobile applications. Specific configurations can be used to test mobile applications.
  • Assertion Library: WebdriverIO supports a variety of assertion libraries, including Jasmine, Mocha, and others.
  • Multiple Window and Iframe Support: WebdriverIO can automate scenarios that include multiple tabs, windows, and iframes.
  • WebdriverIO provides language support, and only Javascript/Typescript are supported.
  • Setup: If the user configures a Typescript web driver, it may take some time.
  • Documentation: While there is good documentation, it may be insufficient for newcomers.
  • Syntax: Syntax can be perplexing if you’ve worked on other tools.

#03 TestCafe

TestCafe is a NodeJS-based open-source JavaScript test automation framework. It does not run tests with Selenium Webdriver or any other external tools. Instead, TestCafe is built on the Node.js platform and uses browsers already installed on the tester’s system.

TestCafe is primarily used for end-to-end testing, but it can also be used for API testing. It writes tests in Javascript and has its own set of assertions – third-party assertion libraries are not currently supported out of the box. 

Because TestCafe is based on NodeJS, it requires the installation of NodeJS runtime executables to run TestCafe scripts.

  • Simple installation: Installing TestCafe is simple and quick.
  • TestCafe does not rely on third-party libraries such as Webdriver or external jars.
  • Simple Test Script Creation: Command chaining techniques in TestCafe make testing simple. It employs friendly and straightforward syntax, allowing the number of lines (required by other frameworks) to be cut in half.
  • TestCafe tests are quick and stable compared to other frameworks because they are run inside a browser. It employs an internal simulation of events in Javascript to ensure that tests are relatively stable.
  • Request Mocking: Using TestCafe, you can simulate HTTP responses, feed sample data into the application, analyze connectivity issues, and detect downtime cheats.
  • Multiple Tab/Window Support: TestCafe includes features that automate the user action of switching between multiple windows/tabs.
  • Iframe Support: TestCafe supports iframes and allows users to navigate to and from them.
  • Parallel Testing: TestCafe tests can be run parallel by enabling concurrency mode.
  • There are no external waits because TestCafe waits for an element to appear before interacting, so it is unnecessary to use them.
  • Browser Compatibility: TestCafe is compatible with a wide range of browsers, including Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chromium-based browsers.
  • Debuggability: TestCafe includes a Live Mode that allows you to visualize individual browser actions.
  • Screenshots: TestCafe allows you to capture screenshots of your tests using the built-in screenshot commands.
  • Programming Language: Only Javascript/Typescript are supported by TestCafe.
  • Assertion Libraries: Only built-in assertion libraries are supported by TestCafe.
  • Support for CSS Selectors: By default, TestCafe only supports CSS selectors.
  • Test execution: Browsers are unaware that they are in test mode. As a result, there is a chance that automation control will be disrupted. However, it can be difficult to analyze or debug problems that arise due to such a scenario.

#04 Playwright

Microsoft Playwright is an automation testing framework that enables fast, dependable, and capable automation across various browsers, including Chromium, Safari (Webkit), Edge, Firefox, and others. Java, C#, TypeScript, JavaScript, and Python are among the programming languages supported by Playwright.

Although Playwright is still in its early stages, the framework has gained thousands of users due to existing features.

  • Browser Compatibility: Playwright is compatible with all major browsers, including Chrome, Safari (Webkit), Edge, and Firefox.
  • Safari Testing on Windows and Linux: WebKit open source builds for Windows, Linux, and macOS are supported by Playwright for testing the Safari browser in Windows. CI pipelines also support these capabilities.
  • Headless/Headed mode: Both headless and headed modes are supported by Playwright. The headed mode can be used for debugging, whereas the headless mode is better suited for CI/cloud executions due to its faster speed.
  • APIs for auto-waiting: The playwright waits for elements to be ready for interaction. This feature makes tests easier to run and reduces flakiness.
  • Parallelization: A single browser instance can be used for multiple parallelized, isolated execution environments through simple configuration.
  • Support for element selectors: The Playwright can rely on user-facing text content and accessibility labels to select elements.
  • Cross-domains, pages, and frames: Playwright has no restrictions on a domain, new windows, or iframes. The main disadvantage of Cypress is addressed in Playwright.
  • Stub and Mock Network Requests: Playwright supports network interception in order to stub and mock network requests.
  • Playwright supports a variety of methods for interacting with modern web components, including shadow-piercing selectors, geolocation, permissions, web workers, and other modern web APIs.
  • Playwright supports edge cases like file downloads and uploads, iframes, native input events, and dark mode.
  • Debugging tools: Playwright includes several debugging tools, including an editor debugger and browser developer tools.
  • Language Support: Playwright supports a variety of programming languages, including Node.js, Python,.NET, and others.
  • Selectors: Playwright supports a variety of selectors, including CSS and Xpath selectors.
  • The Playwright is a relatively new tool, so community support is limited.
  • Still Evolving: Because Playwright APIs are still evolving, writing end-to-end tests may present some challenges. For example, if you run into problems, you can file a bug or feature request in Git to have them fixed.
  • Inadequate Safari Browser Support: Playwright allows you to run tests on WebKit (open-source), which isn’t the same as Safari.

Conclusion:

We are sure after reading this article you will think seriously about shifting to a protractor alternative like TestGrid.

One of the best alternatives for a protractor is TestGrid, without any doubt. You get all the features one needs in the testing tool.

Features like cloud infrastructure, no/less code automation testing, cross-browser testing, supports maximum test cases compared to other tools in the market, cross-platform integration, and excellent community support. 

The list will go on and on as we at TestGrid have the best developers. They continuously add more features and provide regular updates, enhancing our clients’ automation testing experience. Our motto is to provide the best in value product for our clients, and we have done it successfully.

So don’t waste your time, money, and resources with the wrong testing tool switch to TestGrid 

To know more about TestGrid, click here.

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