Automating Mobile Apps Using Appium
The proliferation of mobile apps across various geographies and age groups signifies that the world is moving towards a tech-savvy era. We have successfully revolutionized today’s apps to make better use of internet browsers and web technologies. The launch of mobile apps requires comprehensive testing, which involves varied frameworks and tools.
Looking at the recent trends followed by developers and testing teams, building an app is carried out using Agile methodology in which test automation plays a crucial part. For mobile test automation, you must rely on capable tools that have been persistent and carry a good reputation in the industry. Be it native, hybrid, or mobile web apps, the selected tool should be efficient in offering mobile testing on real devices and real browsers.
Appium is regarded as the most dependent test automation tool for mobile apps. Within the software testing domain, it is believed “Appium is like Selenium” but only when we are dealing with mobile apps and games.
Here is a quick analysis for a better insight into its practical usage and advantages associated with mobile app automation testing.
What is Appium?
Appium is a popular open-source tool for carrying out automated testing of native, hybrid, and web applications. It is primarily due to the cross-platform nature of Appium that permits the creation of test cases on iOS and Android platforms using a standard API. Essentially, Appium extracts its usefulness from Selenium and uses JSON Wire Protocol internally for actively interacting with iOS and Android apps with the help of Selenium’s WebDriver.
Going by its server-client architecture, a web server making use of REST API gets directly connected to the client, receives commands, and further executes them over a given mobile device. Since Appium is an HTTP server written in Node.js, the outcomes of executing a given command can be analyzed without any hassle. One significant advantage of Appium testing is saving the effort of recompiling the app for automation. With the extensive use of Selenium WebDriver, this tool extends its API combined with definite techniques of testing mobile applications.
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What makes Appium an Essential Mobile Automation Tool?
As we already know, Appium is a cross-platform tool that permits you to write tests over multiple platforms, including Windows, iOS, and Android, by making use of the same APIs. To add on, Appium allows running automated tests over actual devices such as mobile phones, tablets, etc.
Among mobile app testing service providers, Appium is popular since it helps simplify regression testing of mobile apps. This aspect is majorly focused on large mobile apps that are frequently updated regarding new features & functionalities.
Here are some essential pointers that highlight Appium as the most reliable tool for mobile automation.
- Appium operates as a server by running in the background similar to a Selenium Server
- This mobile test automation tool can easily match up with the TestNG testing framework
- Appium is efficient enough to automate any mobile app which is developed using different programming languages and different types of frameworks
- Appium comprises a built-in UI Automator; its function is to offer detailed information records and generate a comprehensive reporting structure
- With this mobile testing tool, you can gain control by getting full access over back-end APIs as well as databases from test code
How Does Appium Work?
Appium is an ‘HTTP Server’ which is written using a Node.js platform. It is capable of driving iOS and Android sessions with the help of Webdriver JSON wire protocol. It is essential to pre-install Node.js on the system before initializing the Appium Server.
As soon as Appium is downloaded and successfully installed, a server is arranged on the machine, which exposes a REST API. Its operation is to receive connection along with command requests directly from the client to execute that command over mobile devices. The result is that it responds via HTTP responses. Further, to execute this request again, the mobile test automation frameworks are used to operate the concerned apps’ user interface.
Benefits of Appium for Mobile Test Automation
Below mentioned are the most significant advantage of Appium when compared to other mobile test automation tools:
- Appium makes use of standard automation APIs covering all platforms; therefore, there is no requirement to modify the application under test
- Appium is compatible with almost all types of testing frameworks
- The mobile automation tool supports different programming languages, including Java, PHP, Node, Ruby, and Python
- There is no need to install Appium on mobile devices for making it operational
- Appium makes use of Selenium WebDriver JSON wire protocol for actively working with the native apps
Some of the general benefits of the Appium mobile automation testing tool are as follows:
1. Free of Cost
Appium is a free, open-source tool that can be downloaded easily. There is no need for additional installation on the device and manages extensive community support.
2. Simplified Operation
Since Appium is compatible with Selenium WebDriver, you get to access almost all selenium features. For getting better knowledge of selenium usage theories, Appium is very easy to understand and implement.
3. Cross-Platform Flexibility
You can run an Appium test on both iOS and Android without the need for a code change. Moreover, we can also run multiple tests covering multiple platforms simultaneously.
4. Integration with CI Tools
It is a great advantage that Appium can be incorporated with almost all CI tools; for example- Bamboo, Jenkins, etc.; this supports automated activation of tests during the release cycles.
5. Record & Playback
Similar to other automation tools, Appium offers the convenience of a record and playback tool. Testing efforts can be accelerated with the help of the record and playback functionality present in Appium.
With enough details already presented in this blog, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Appium does acquire a significant market share in mobile test automation. With multiple options available, Appium testing is the best that can run on various devices and OS versions. If you take the word from app developers and testers combined, creating Appium tests is easy and can be implemented flexibly.
To make good use of this tool for your testing projects, you can seek help from trusted mobile app testing companies.