Appium is an open-source test automation tool used for testing mobile applications. It allows users to test various types of mobile applications (such as Native, Hybrid and Mobile Web) using standard WebDriver library.
Types of Mobile Apps
- Native: Native apps built using iOS, Android, or Windows SDKs. They are platform-specific. They are built to work on a platform and/or device.
- Hybrid: Hybrid apps are web applications developed using HTML, CSS, and wrapper of a native application on top of UIWebView for iOS and “webview” for Android Apps.
- Mobile web apps: Mobile web apps are the apps ones accessed using mobile browsers.
With Appium creating a buzz in enterprise mobility, mobility teams are still finding ways to successfully automate tests leveraging Appium. Appium being an open source tool is the perfect choice for automating native, mobile web and hybrid applications on their respective platforms.
Major factors behind Appium being the best choice for mobile automation tool:
Use of standard API
Appium uses the standard API in all the platforms. Appium makes it effortless to create your tests against iOS and Android platforms with same API. But, separate iOS and Android scripts are still needed as the UI elements vary on both the platforms.
Use any WebDriver compatible language
Testing Framework easy to select
Appium gives flexibility to mobility teams to use testing framework of their choice.
Cross-platform test automation
Having the capabilities to test on both Android and iOS devices makes it the best cross-platform mobile app test automation tool. In order to interact with Android and iOS with Selenium WebDriver, Appium uses the JSON wire protocol. Appium makes use of the libraries provided by Apple with the help of an application called Instruments to automate iOS apps. In newer versions of iOS after v9.3, the Instruments api has been deprecated and now use XCUITest framework.
The method is similar in Android also where Appium proxies the automation command to the UIAutomator test case running on the device. Android has a native UI automation framework called UIAutomator which supports running JUnit test cases from the command line directly into the device.
Appium is open source and it supports Simulators, Emulators, real devices, and of course, native, hybrid and web application testing of iOS and Android. Appium having a large and thriving open community makes it easier for new automation engineers to clarify their doubts.
Teams who are getting started with Automation or are considering Appium as an option, must explore an alternative to go for a mobile device cloud with built-in Appium.