Webinar Recap: Unlocking the Power of Test Replay

August 17, 2023


By Jessamyn Sweet

Recently, Brian Mann, the visionary founder behind Cypress, unveiled an exciting new feature that promises to revolutionize debugging in Cypress: Test Replay! In this article, we've distilled the key takeaways from the webinar, and if you're curious for more, the full recording is available on YouTube. 🎉

Over the past year, the Cypress team has dedicated themselves to bringing Test Replay to life. This powerful feature aims to tackle the persistent challenges associated with debugging web applications within Continuous Integration (CI) environments. Let’s dig in!

Why did we build Test Replay?

Cypress provides powerful tools for debugging tests locally: you can time travel through commands, inspect the DOM, review network events, and leverage your browser’s DevTools. However, when transitioning tests to your CI environment, disparities in shared infrastructure, environment variables, and resources can lead to elusive test failures that are difficult to reproduce and resolve. Screenshots and videos, though helpful, lack interactivity and contextual information crucial for root cause identification.

Test Replay brings the robust local debugging experience into Cypress Cloud, dramatically accelerating time to resolution by improving root cause analysis for failures and flakey tests.

How does Test Replay work?

Test Replay captures all the essential events spanning Cypress, the browser, and the test code. These events are then stitched together to offer a seamless debugging experience in the Cloud. Developers can pause, play, rewind, and inspect their tests just like they would locally. Test Replay allows you to interactively explore the DOM, view network requests and responses, examine console logs, and scrutinize application behavior—recreating the exact environment in which the test was executed.

Early success from users

Hundreds of users who delved into the private beta—including our own engineering team—have reported saving hours of work debugging tests and increased developer efficiency.

Don’t take our word for it. Here’s Cypress Ambassador Murat Ozcan sharing his experience:


Murat Ozcan on Test Replay

The future beyond Test Replay

The Cypress app focuses on guiding users towards best practices in testing. Cypress Cloud focuses on running a large or growing test suite and managing test quality at scale.

With the bedrock of Test Replay's data infrastructure, Cypress can go beyond functional testing. It can automatically deliver pre-production insight into application quality, without any extra work from developers. The capability to navigate applications and uncover each permutation of application state uniquely situates Cypress to generate insightful reports—such as visual diffing, accessibility coverage, and more. Centralizing these functionalities within the Cypress toolkit simplifies tech stacks and expedites development workflows, streamlining the automated testing process.

Wrapping Up

Test Replay is set to debut soon with Cypress version 13. Stay tuned on our blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Community Discord for updates.

Test Replay will be available with all existing Cypress Cloud plans. Sign up for a free Cloud account today!

To make for a smooth migration experience, we encourage you to consider upgrading to Cypress version 12 ahead of the version 13 release. Check out this blog post for more information.