Cross-Platform Mobile Test Automation Using Appium

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Mobile is very rapidly becoming the biggest medium to reach the consumers as the adoption of mobile phones is increasing. A Mobile App or Mobile web application is the platform which enables you to get connected with your desired audience. Consumers use various different platforms and devices to access your mobile apps. So in this age of multi-platform and mass adoption, are your apps cross-platform? Are your apps tested for cross-platform? Are you delivering the best experience to your users?

Appium is the cross-platform solution for mobile test automation.

Appium is an open source, cross-platform mobile test automation tool to automate the testing for native, hybrid and mobile web applications. Appium comes with support for Android, iOS on real devices as well as simulators and emulators. At core, Appium is nothing but an HTTP server written in node.js. In working, it almost acts same as Selenium which perceives http requests from selenium client libraries and it handles those requests in different ways depending upon the platforms.

Appium is one of the best options available today in the market and is widely adopted by the organizations for their mobile test automation needs. Also with growing supporter base and stronger community, it is getting easier for enterprises to adopt it. Appium lets you write the tests in any language which is supported by Selenium, using the WebDriver API. If you are trying to test the Andoird Apps then, Appium automates it using the UIAutomator library, which is part of the Android SDK. So the learning curve is a bit easier if you have already used Selenium. The ease of testing both Android and iOS apps makes it one of the best cross-platform tool. You can run your test either on Emulators or on Real devices with Appium using the WebDriver JSON Wire protocol.

Appium starts a test case on the device that spawns a server and listens for proxied commands. On iOS, Appium proxies commands to a UIAutomation script running in instruments.

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Source: Slideshare

The core advantage which Appium offers is the ability to write test in your favourite language. So you can choose your IDE and your language such as Java, Objective-C, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Clojure, or Perl. The support for automation frameworks like JUnit and TestNG is also the one of the benefit which comes with Appium.

If you look at the current competitors for Appium, they are calabash-ios , Frank, UIAutomation, ios-driver, KeepitFunctional if testing iOS apps and calabash-android, Monkeytalk, Robotium, UiAutomator and selendroid for Andoird Apps.

But Appium gives you the best solution for mobile test automation compared to all the ones listed above. The major benefit being the ability to test the same app you submit to marketplace. Most of the other tools require an extra agent to be compiled with the application code. So Appium gets an extra point above all the others. Also the thriving community which is there to answer all your queries and some strong backing by the likes of Saucelabs makes it the obvious choice.

Appium has some challenges when it comes to scaling up with continuous integration. Saucelabs has built a solution to counter this challenge. So if you already zeroed upon Appium for your mobile test automation, it’s a good decision to go for it. And if you are planning to evaluate Appium and need some expert help, feel free to Contact us.

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