On iOS, Android, and Windows desktop platforms, Appium is an open-source tool for automating tests of native, mobile web, and hybrid apps. As a brief on types of applications, the iOS, Android, and Windows software development kits (SDKs) are used to create native apps.
Web applications that can be accessed on a mobile device are known as mobile web apps (Appium supports Chrome, Safari, and the built-in Default Browser app on Android).
A WebView, a native element of the kit that provides interaction with web material, is wrapped in a wrapper, in the hybrid programs. With the help of initiatives like Apache Cordova, it is simple to construct hybrid apps by combining web technologies with native wrappers.
Importantly, Appium is a “cross-platform” framework, it enables you to create tests for many platforms (including iOS, Android, and Windows) while still utilizing the same API. This permits code reuse between the test suites for iOS, Android, and Windows.
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Why choose Appium?
Mobility teams are still figuring out how to successfully automate tests using Appium, despite the enthusiasm it has generated in the business mobility space. Appium is the ideal tool for automating native, mobile web, and hybrid apps on their respective platforms because it is open source.
Here are some of the main reasons you could consider while selecting your automation tool…
- Appium is quite popular since it uses the common API across all platforms, therefore changing the code or recompiling your program is not necessary. Making tests for the iOS and Android platforms using the same API is simple with Appium. However, separate iOS and Android scripts are still required due to the different UI features on each platform.
- It is the greatest cross-platform mobile app test automation solution because it can test on both Android and iOS devices. Appium makes use of the JSON wire protocol in order to communicate with Android and iOS devices using Selenium WebDriver.
- In order to automate iOS apps, Appium uses the libraries that are made available by Apple with the aid of a program called Instruments. After v9.3, the Instruments API was deprecated in favor of the XCUITest framework in later versions of iOS. Similar techniques are used in Android, where Appium uses a proxy to send the automation command to the UIAutomator test case that is now running on the device. A native UI automation framework for Android called UI Automator allows JUnit test cases to be executed on the device straight from the command line.
- One of Appium’s biggest benefits is that it is an open-source testing framework, which supports testing on real devices, emulators, simulators, and, of course, native, hybrid, and web applications for iOS and Android. It is simpler for new automation engineers to get their questions answered thanks to Appium’s sizable and vibrant open community.
- Robotium, MonkeyTalk, KIF (Keep It Functional), Calabash, and Frank are a few of the well-known ones.
- Like a Selenium Server, Appium runs in the background and performs server-like tasks.
How does Appium do its job?
Appium is an “HTTP Server” created with the Node.js programming language. The Web driver JSON wire protocol can be used to drive iOS and Android sessions. Before starting the Appium Server, Node.js must be installed on the device. Appium is an “HTTP Server” created with the Node.js programming language. The Web driver JSON wire protocol can be used to drive iOS and Android sessions. Before starting the Appium Server, Node.js must be installed on the device.
A server is set up on the computer as soon as Appium is downloaded and successfully installed, and it exposes a REST API. Its function is to connect to the client and take connection requests for commands to be executed over mobile devices. It responds as a consequence using HTTP responses. Additionally, the relevant apps’ user interface is operated using mobile test automation frameworks in order to carry out this request once more.
Installation and Driver settings
Like other programs, this one requires some pre-installed programs and libraries in order to operate to its fullest capability. The following must be installed in the specified order.
- Homebrew (for missing packages).
- Carthage (for dependencies).
- Node & NPM.
- You will need Java and also set the environment variables.
- Eclipse IDE for Java.
- Appium and a mac computer macOS 10.11 or 10.12.
- A device with iOS 9.3 and above.
- XCode 11 (Any version of XCode 7 and higher will be good to go).
- XCUI test drivers.
- Android SDK should be installed first.
- Now you have to install the selenium server JAR.
- An app for the extraction of APK file information.
- Appium app on the host desktop/laptop/device.
Appium Testing on LambdaTest Real Device Platform
LambdaTest is a cloud-based online platform that is used to test applications on real devices. It comes with the support of all major automation frameworks including Appium, Selenium and Cypress through which you can run your automation tests on the cloud. Now, the question that might arise is why should you use only LambdaTest for Appium testing. So, here are some points that clearly place Lambdatest out of the queue!
- It is highly reliable and secure which helps in boosting up your execution process.
- You can test your native, hybrid, and web applications all in one place.
- LambdaTest provides a parallel execution process that will help in decreasing the execution time.
- It also resolves the complex tasks of looking at the bottlenecks in your test cases. With LambdaTest Test Analytics, users can easily find the errors in their code and resolve them.
- You can ditch your in-house device labs and can run your test cases on a real device from anywhere at any time.
Limitations of Appium
Although Appium has a vast variety of platforms and supported devices it is not able to execute its work on several devices that would have specifications like an Android version lower than 4.2 or an iOS version lower than 9.3. This means that devices running these versions of operating systems would not be tested by Appium.
Also, there is no support for the inspector to be run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Also, there are limitations on the hybrid testing as well, you can not switch the action of testing from native to web app or vice-versa.
As time passes, we must adapt and expand our field of knowledge as well as capabilities to up with the growing competition. Appium provides a stable and secure framework for testing both Android and iOS applications of the same application, with Appium in your skillset you won’t have to learn and experiment with different apps, because Appium would be sufficient for your testing and debugging process, making the app development smooth.
Many applications nowadays have complex frameworks and having to set measurements and specifications would be an absolute nightmare, so to avoid all of that you only have to learn Appium once and that would make your life easier as a Software developer.
Though there are some limitations and you may not be able to avoid them but there would be several ways of tackling those scenarios as well. In the upcoming future, Appium will surely prove to be one the best app developing software because of its versatile nature.