Over the past few years, the unparalleled popularity of JavaScript Framework has driven everyone for it. The core reason behind this popularity is that there are a lot of web applications which are using technology like AngularJs and React, and thus, this is giving an opportunity to many JavaScript developers to become popular in this field.

JavaScript testing

Here, we are going to discuss various types of JavaScript tests which will enhance the quality of your product.

1. Unit Tests: In this type of testing, you need to test individual functions or classes by supplying input and you make sure that output is as expected. A unit test should cover all small pure units of the application- utils, services and helpers. Unit tests are one of the reasons to use functional programming and pure functions.

2. Integration tests: Integration tests can detect many unexpected failures where you can fix one thing and can break the other. Integration tests should cover important cross-module processes. Component snapshot tests also fall into this category. They provide the developers with a way to test how processes affect selected components without actually render them or using a browser or browser-like environment.

3. UI tests or functional tests: UI tests are always running inside a browser or browser-like environment. They simulate user behaviour on certain environments (clicking, typing, scrolling etc…) and make sure these scenarios actually work from the point view of a user.

Test tool types

JavaScript test tools or frameworks can be divided into the following functionalities. Some of the tools will give one functionality while some provide more than one.

Let’s check out the common test tools for JavaScript.

1. Provide a testing structure (Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, and Cucumber)

2. Give assertion functions (Chai, Jasmine, Jest, and Unexpected)

3. Generate display and watch results (Mocha, Jasmine, Jest, and Karma)

4. Generate and compare snapshots of components (Jest and AVA)

5. Provide mock, stub, and spies (Sinon, Jasmine, Enzyme, Jest, and testdouble)

6. Generate and give code coverage reports (Istanbul, Jest, and blanket)

7. Provide a browser or browser-like environment (Protractor, Casper, Nightwatch, and Phantom)

What are the top JavaScript automation testing frameworks?

Now, you have an adequate idea about different types of JavaScript testing tools. Below, we are going to mention top 8 essential JavaScript automation frameworks based on their GitHub Stars and NPM downloads numbers.

1. PhantomJS: Basically, PhantomJS is a headless WebKit which is scriptable with JavaScript. This is mainly used for unit level and front-end testing. This framework is easy to run from a command line and thus, you can integrate it smoothly with CI systems. The primary use of this framework is to run a battery of unit test against code changes. This will enhance the confidence of the developers because they feel that the code they are checking doesn’t make any impact on the current code base. Since the testing is headless, the scripts run much faster as compared to traditional browser-based approach. This is always good to use it before your functional test scripts run because it acts as a quick and dirty sanity test which will help you to detect any issue before you start regression testing. Undoubtedly, PhantomJS is most popular JavaScript automation framework in these days.

2. Jasmine: This is a behaviour-driven JavaScript framework for testing JavaScript code. This is a unit testing framework for many developers. Jasmine comes with assertions, spies, mocks, and many more things that you required to start developing your unit tests. Jasmine makes the initial setup easy and you can still add libraries if you really require unit functionality. Though there are many frameworks, still most of the developers consider Jasmine as their main JavaScript testing tool because of its simplicity, easiness, and getting things up and running. You can easily integrate this framework with Angular 1 and Angular 2 along with many other libraries.

3. Protractor: Protractor is an automated testing framework which tests only AngularJS applications in the browser. This is a framework which falls in between unit testing and end-to-end testing tool. The protractor is a layer which sits on top of Selenium. In this framework, Selenium runs in the background, and that’s why you will get all sorts of really cool hooks into your angular application. This enables you to start grabbing your data bindings and using some of the Angular goodness like ng-repeats, etc. You can easily grab those elements by the Angular semantics and even, can add to them, read from them and verify them whether your page has the right data or not.

4. NightwatchJS: This is an easy-to-use Node.js-based end-to-end testing framework solution for browser-based apps and websites. This framework uses the Selenium WebDriver API to perform commands and for front-end testing, it uses assertions on DOM elements. NightwatchJS is written in JavaScript and designed for all the web developers. Nightwatch.js gives you an API for writing your test. You need to test only node modules and the runner itself is a Node.js application. NightwatchJS has the capacity to execute tests in parallel. This framework also works with Selenium Grid and Sauce Labs, and moreover, it has good documentation. In NightwatchJS, the syntax looks the easiest and the most readable. But this library has a slightly less supporter as compared to other libraries.

5. CasperJS: This is an open-source navigation scripting and testing utility written in JavaScript. This tool is used for the PhantomJS WebKit headless browser and SlimerJS (Gecko). CasperJS is basically used on top of PhantomJS so that it can perform various things like running screen scraping utilities, automatic screen capture scripts, and functional test suites. The code of this tool is also readable which means you can easily creating functional tests. This tool is ideal for the novice developers who don’t have a sound and strong technical knowledge.

6. Mocha: Mocha is a flexible library which provides the developers with just the base test structure. You can add functionality for assertions, spies, mocks, and the like via other libraries. If you want a flexible configuration, then the additional set up and configuration required for Mocha is something you definitely need to check out. Mocha includes the test structure as globals and thus, you can save a chunk of time because you don’t need to include or require it in every file.

7. Jest: Jest is recommended and used by Facebook and it has a good supporter base. Jest also reports a very fast testing library due to its clever parallel testing. Though the developers commonly use Jest to test React applications, Jest can easily integrate into other applications. Jest usually comes with a wide API which means you don’t need to include additional libraries unless you feel necessary to add this. Jest improves continuously with every update that they have made.

8. NemoJS: NemoJS is an open-source and Node.js automation framework which was invented and developed by PayPal. Nemo.js gives a simple way to add Selenium automation to your Node.js web projects. This also provides the developers with plugin architecture to incorporate custom features into their tests. NemoJs has grabbed 165 in GitHub Stars and NPN downloads are 31,387.

9. BusterJS: This is a browser-based JavaScript testing toolkit which is designed for node and browsers. You can easily employ it to do browser testing for browser-based automation. You can even use this framework for QUnit-style HTML page testing as well as testing in headless browsers. Buster.JS is currently still in beta mode. BusterJS has gained 446 GitHub Stars and NPN downloads are 6545.

10. DalekJS: DalekJS is another open-source UI Test Automation tool which allows the developers to do cross-browser testing with JavaScript. DalekJS is currently a developer preview. According to the documentation, some features are missing, some things might change, and there’s a lot of optimization to be done. Many developers think that DalekJS has one of the coolest website designs among all the frameworks. DalekJS has gained 686 GitHub Stars and NPN downloads are 589.

These are the top 8 JavaScript automation frameworks. Though earlier JavaScript is considered ass a toy language, it’s popularity is increasing day by day. If you are involved in testing JavaScript-based web applications, then you will certainly get benefitted from learning one of these JavaScript automation frameworks. These frameworks will boost the productivity of your work and also help you to make a scintillating career in this field.