Thinking of visual regression testing using Chromatic or another tool?
It's time-consuming to compare each tool, so we gathered some useful info to make it easier to determine if Chromatic is right for you.
Read on for an overview of Chromatic vs other tools, including features, workflows, and pricing.
Modern view layers like React help you divide complex UIs into simple components. Visual regression testing at the level of components makes it easier to scope tests and identify regressions. Chromatic helps you test and maintain UI components and component libraries.
In comparison, existing visual regression testing tools like Percy, Screener, and Applitools were originally built to visually test pages. Testing at the page-level in a componentized app results in a flood of false positives and painfully sorting through the test failures. Not to mention the page-testing features that end up slowing down your workflow.
Existing E2E tools that happen to have screenshot testing are designed to verify flows not components. Unit and snapshot tests are great for code but not the rendered UI of the component.
With Chromatic, every UI component in your app is captured separately each commit so you can see how a component changes whenever you push code. Chromatic is in tune with how modern developers build app UIs.
It takes a team to build a full-featured app. Complexity grows and communication muddies the larger the team and project. Not all tools recognize that testing is a team sport. It's common to ask a designer: “does this looks right?” or a QA person: “can you break this?”
There are plenty of choices but few are designed for the team workflow. Open source libraries like BackstopJS, Puppeteer, and Webdriver focus on the solo developer experience. They’re scoped for testing on the local machine not the team.
Everyone can take part in the UI review process with Chromatic’s online merge manager. Different developers can work on multiple feature branches and merge UI components seamlessly.
Engineers, designers, and product managers can browse the component library online without needing to pull code, migrate, or maintain a dev environment. No more “this doesn’t work on my machine”.
Storybook is the most popular development environment for UI components. Chromatic piggybacks on your stories to automate visual testing. Just write stories as you normally do and Chromatic takes care of the rest.
As maintainers and sponsors of Storybook, we understand how integral Storybook is to app teams. That’s why we’re dead set on building a tool to improve your Storybook workflow without adding extra work.
Chromatic tests map 1-to-1 with your stories. Whenever you update a story your tests are synced. This means visual tests are painless to keep up to date.
Every time you push code, the components in your Storybook are uploaded to Chromatic. This means everyone on your team can participate in reviewing. No pulling code required.
Work on features together or separately. With branching and merging, you can make as many feature-branches as you need and seamlessly merge them back into production. It all happens behind the scenes, and just works. No configuration needed.
Chromatic doesn’t just capture an image of each component, it’s a living re-creation of component’s DOM, styling, and assets. Whenever you’re reviewing changes, you see high-fidelity components that are fully inspectable. This makes it painless to reproduce and confirm component changes because you’re seeing exactly what your users are.
The choices can be overwhelming. One one hand, open source libraries are free but require configuration, setup, and ongoing maintenance. On the other hand, existing paid tools are managed offsite but aren't designed for components. You'll have to put in overtime to bend them to your workflow.
With Chromatic testing you get seamless pull request and CI workflows starting at a reasonable price that scales with your business. We reckon it's the best value for professional developers out there.
If Chromatic’s work-saving features for web apps save just 3 dev hours each month then it pays for itself!
Finding the right visual regression testing tool can be . We hope this makes the case for Chromatic a bit clearer.
Trying Chromatic is easy, install the addon and setup your project in less than a minute. Free plan. No credit card required. Sign up now.