Snappy sees the benefits of end-to-end tests and recommends Snaplet seed to speed up the process

Never end your end-to-end.

Why end-to-end (E2E) testing is great and how Snaplet seed simplifies test database setup.

There’s a lot of end-to-end activity going around lately in the Snapletosphere (not referring to Snappy our cat mascot showing their ‘true self’ on a daily basis). Many of our users have told us how thrilled they are to discover Snaplet seed and how it can be used in their E2E tests. We’ve been really busy making demos, writing docs, creating posts and crafting memes to tell everyone about Snaplet seed but we think it worthwhile to chat about end-to-end tests specifically. Let's dive into why E2E testing is useful and how Snaplet seed makes it a breeze.

Why E2E testing is great compared to other testing methods

Seamless system integration

End-to-end testing gives the whole system a thorough check, making sure every part works smoothly together. Let’s take an e-commerce platform undergoing a major update as an example. The update includes redesigned product pages, a new payment gateway, and a personalized recommendation engine. This intricate system requires thorough end-to-end testing to ensure seamless integration between all these different parts.

Validating real-world user workflows

E2E tests replicate your user journeys, guaranteeing your application behaves as expected in diverse scenarios. This helps you guard against unexpectedly breaking parts of your application that you thought would be unaffected by the changes.

Boosting confidence in releases

E2E tests catch issues that might slip through unit tests. Imagine your team develops a new feature for your e-commerce platform and during the development phase, everything seems fine. Unit tests check out, and the feature looks tip-top. But when you run an E2E test, you notice payment failures on mobile devices. It didn’t come up in the unit tests because they focused on specific components. The end-to-end test which replicated your entire user journey, caught the issue in the interaction between the feature and the mobile payment processing system: a specific API call missing for mobile transactions. With the E2E test you get to address vital issues before a feature rollout.

Ensuring cross-browser compatibility

E2E testing across browsers guarantees a consistent user experience, all the way from Chrome to Safari.

Meeting certain requirements

In regulated industries, such as banking and healthcare, compliance is mandatory and not doing so can lead to fines or lawsuits. E2E tests can simulate user interactions that involve data transmission, such as submitting forms or making secure transactions. If encryption is implemented incorrectly, these tests may reveal issues with data security during transmission. (It is important to remember though that E2E tests focus on the overall functionality and behavior of an application from a user's perspective, and while they can identify issues related to encryption in specific scenarios, they may not cover all aspects of encryption compliance.)

Where E2E testing sucks compared to other testing methods

E2E tests are slow and more technical to implement

End-to-end (E2E) tests pose greater technical challenges compared to unit tests due to their comprehensive scope, involvement with the user interface, handling of dependencies, data setup (writing seed scripts) cleanup requirements, execution environment complexities, and ongoing test maintenance. E2E tests simulate user interactions across the entire application, often requiring automation of UI actions and dealing with diverse dependencies, making them inherently more intricate than user tests.

Where snaplet seed helps

Snaplet seed uses generative ai to automatically generate and populate specified data in your testing database based on your declarative descriptions. This approach simplifies the process of managing seed data and reduces the need for manually creating intricate data scripts.

There are several automated testing platforms that aim to keep software developers like us sane. We decided to create some demos to show you how easy it is to use Snaplet seed for seeding your E2E testing databases. While we’re aiming to also create demos for other frameworks, we’ve decided to start with Playwright, since we’ve been using it extensively in our own tests. Watch this demo to see how Snaplet seed and Playwright take to the stage together. If you’re eager to use Snaplet seed in your projects, check out our docs.

Happy seeding, testing and shipping!

Almarie Stander
June 22, 2021