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With Protractor Being Phased Out, What Is The State Of End-to-end Testing With Angular?

When developers subject an application to end-to-end testing, they examine its functionality from start to finish to ensure it conforms to the specified requirements. Testing the entire product from end to end, as opposed to just one component, is known as end-to-end testing or E2E testing.

The Angular test team has relied on Protractor as their primary end-to-end testing tool for a long time. However, as of Angular 12, Protractor is no longer automatically included in new Angular projects.

Considering that Protractor, the tool that manages our end-to-end testing suite, will be unsupported after 2022, we need to evaluate our options. Here, we’ll discuss the best replacements for Protractor and how to maintain Angular testing confidence moving forward.

Why is Angular Phasing Out Support For Protractor?

While the Protractor GitHub issue announcing the deprecation plans provides extensive context for the decision and emphasizes that Angular did not make this decision lightly, the overarching rationale is that JavaScript has evolved significantly since Protractor’s inception in 2013; this was before the widespread adoption of popular end-to-end solutions like Cypress and Playwright, and hence WebDriver APIs weren’t standardized.

By 2021, developers could choose from a wide range of end-to-end testing solutions, providing teams with a means of ensuring that they meet their specific requirements.

After considering Protractor’s update costs and the migration effort for consumers, the Protractor team within Google concluded that it was more practical to direct those customers toward alternative options.

What alternatives to Protractor do we have available now?

Fortunately, the change should go well because there are several excellent Angular unit testing alternative tools with extensive documentation.


Cypress is a widely used tool in the JavaScript community. Cypress, whose API is similar to that of Playwright and Puppeteer, takes extra steps to improve the test-development process.

Cypress is the only one that, by default, provides its assertion library (Chai). Even if it’s a minor detail, it’s one less item to set up.

In addition, Cypress includes a testing UI that appears while running tests locally, allowing you to run only the tests you wish and view its results with the debugging options in real-time.


Microsoft’s Playwright is an integrated testing environment. It automates cutting-edge web applications in all major browsers, including Firefox, Webkit, and Chrome.

Some of the same core employees who designed and maintained Puppeteer came to Microsoft from Google to build Playwright; therefore, the two are very comparable.

Playwright fills the void left by Puppeteer, which only supported Chromium-based browsers, by adding support for all major modern browsers, including Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome and Edge, WebKit-based browsers like Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

Playwright allows us to specify which browser (or browsers) to use for testing and what simple instructions to provide Playwright.


Puppeteer, developed by Google, is a program with similar features to Playwright. As a follow-up to the first version of headless Chrome, Puppeteer now allows users to automate Chrome-based tasks utilizing the browser’s built-in tools; this helps avoid the instability that can affect other frameworks.

Selenium WebDriver

As a tool, Selenium WebDriver predates subsequent ones like Cypress, Puppeteer, and Playwright by a significant amount of time.

To communicate with a browser, Selenium employs the WebDriver protocol, which in turn communicates with the browser via a server, such as geckodriver for Firefox.


One of TestCafe’s selling points is that developers can use it to run tests immediately without installing or configuring anything, including WebDriver. Moreover, it can function in any current web browser.

Although similar to JavaScript, TestCafe’s syntax differs slightly from the others.

The browser testing automation tool is compatible with Chrome DevTools, and the WebDriver protocols. Because they are compatible with both, developers can pick whichever is best for their projects.

It can test native mobile applications in a simulator, an emulator, or on a real device, and it can test native desktop applications developed using frameworks like Electron.js.

Despite being built mainly on WebDriver, you may find the syntax of more familiar if you’ve worked with some of the more recent frameworks we’ve covered.


With no new versions of Protractor coming out, the Angular team will no longer be providing bug fixes or new feature requests to the community. By carrying on using Protractor, users risk having their automation scripts broken. The Protractor team, however, has established a schedule allowing customers to explore viable alternatives and migrate tests quickly.

Regardless of your framework, it would help if you prioritized testing on actual hardware and browsers above virtual ones. HeadSpin, a test automation platform, allows you to connect to real, SIM-enabled devices for comprehensive testing. You can leverage a global device cloud that you can connect from anywhere. The HeadSpin AI provides detailed insights after every test. These insights include actionable insights detailing the best steps to fix issues and build a robust app.

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