Dynamic API Tests Using Cypress-Each Plugin

How to generate separate Cypress tests from an array using describe.each helper.

Recently a friend of mine Murat Ozcan has asked me about using Cypress for performing API tests. Murat always goes straight to the source for Cypress answers.

Can Cypress be used for API testing? What about describe.each feature?

The second screenshot is giving an example of the ".each" feature Murat iz looking for. Given an array of items, it generates a separate describe block with the title formatted using the data.

Describe.each example

I am a big believer in using Cypress for API tests, see my blog post Post not found: api-testing-with-server-logs, but I do agree - jest.each does look nice. Every time you import a JSON fixture with lots of test cases, iterating over it to create a separate test sure is nice, see the post Dynamic Tests From Cypress Fixture. Of course, Cypress uses Mocha test engine, where .each is not built-in, instead it comes from a plugin mocha-each. Is it hard to implement it ourselves?

Note: Murat and I have done a very nice webinar together, check it out How Siemens SW Hub increased their test productivity by 38% with Cypress.

Own implementation

Making a helper like it.each is not difficult. Let's look at the example

1
2
3
it.each([1, 2, 3])('%d is a number', (x) => {
expect(x).to.be.a('number')
})

From the above code, you can guess the signature of the it.each method. It takes an array and must return a function. That function expects two arguments: a title string pattern, and a callback function. The string pattern needs the value "x" to become the final string (we can use the Node's util.format method for this). The callback function is almost like the standard it callback function, except it needs the argument x applied. Great. Here is our implementation (ignore multiple arguments for now)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
// standard Node module "util" has "format" function
const { format } = require('util')

if (!it.each) {
it.each = (values) => {
return function (titlePattern, testCallback) {
values.forEach((value) => {
// define a test for each value
const title = format(titlePattern, value)
it(title, testCallback.bind(null, value))
})
}
}
}

You can find my implementation at bahmutov/cypress-each. Let's try using it.

Example application

Let's take an example application with GraphQL API. We want to confirm the GraphQL endpoint is working correctly. Thus we want to hit it with our requests and confirm the responses.

🔎 You can find the source code for this blog post in bahmutov/todo-graphql-example repo.

First, let's add my API testing plugin cy-api and cypress-each helper.

1
2
3
$ npm i -D @bahmutov/cy-api cypress-each
+ [email protected]
+ @bahmutov/[email protected]

I have created each-api-spec.js where we create each item one by one

cypress/integration/each-api-spec.js
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
// adds "describe.each" and "it.each" helpers
// https://github.com/bahmutov/cypress-each
import 'cypress-each'

import { data } from '../fixtures/three.json'
import { deleteAll } from './utils'

describe('Creates each item', () => {
beforeEach(deleteAll)

// @ts-ignore
it.each(data.allTodos)('creates an item', (item) => {
// create the item using a network call
cy.request({
method: 'POST',
url: 'http://localhost:3000/',
body: {
operationName: 'AddTodo',
query: `
mutation AddTodo($title: String!, $completed: Boolean!) {
createTodo(title: $title, completed: $completed) {
id
}
}
`,
variables: {
title: item.title,
completed: item.completed,
},
},
})
// visit the page and check the item is present
cy.visit('/')
const classAssertion = item.completed ? 'have.class' : 'not.have.class'
cy.contains('.todo', item.title).should(classAssertion, 'completed')
})
})

The tests pass

Passing tests

We need a better title for each test. Currently we pass an object into the callback, but we really want to use the title property to name the test. Let's extract it and keep next to the object. Let's look the helper methods from Lodash bundled with Cypress to create pairs of values to be passed to it.each callback. The first value will be the title from the object, the second will be the object itself.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
const titles = Cypress._.map(data.allTodos, 'title')
const items = Cypress._.zip(titles, data.allTodos)

// @ts-ignore
it.each(items)('creates an item "%s"', (title, item) => {
...
})

Using the title property to name the test

Much better.

Api tests

We are using the cy.request command to execute the HTTP request. Let's use the wrapper provided by @bahmutov/cy-api plugin to make the same request, but output the request and response to the browser. This will make understanding the tests much simpler, especially as they run on CI. All we need to do is to replace cy.request with cy.api command

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
// adds the "cy.api" command
// https://github.com/bahmutov/cy-api
import '@bahmutov/cy-api/support'

const titles = Cypress._.map(data.allTodos, 'title')
const items = Cypress._.zip(titles, data.allTodos)

// @ts-ignore
it.each(items)('creates an item "%s"', (title, item) => {
// create the item using a network call
cy.api({
...
})
})

To better see the request and the response, let's Visit The Blank Page Between Cypress Tests.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
beforeEach(() => {
// visit the blank page
// to better see the API requests and responses
cy.window().then((win) => {
win.location.href = 'about:blank'
})
})

Now we should see each request going to the server, before visiting the page shows the web application. We can inspect the results by hovering over the "API" command.

Inspecting the HTTP request fired using the cy.api command

Nice.

Update 1: it.each example

Recently, I have recorded a video showing how to create multiple separate tests using it.each where each test checks if a particular selector is valid. Find the video at https://youtu.be/utPKRV_fL1E or watch it below.

See also