The mobile app market is flourishing tremendously. This calls for the requirement of quality testing in the mobile application platforms. Finding the right mobile automation tool which works on all platforms is becoming a significant challenge. As a beginner in the field of mobile automation testing, utilizing Appium automation can be overwhelming. However, with the right guidance and essential tips, you can make the most of this powerful tool.
Appium is a popular open-source automation framework for mobile application testing. It drives Android, iOS, and Windows applications utilizing the WebDriver protocol. Appium automation facilitates testers and developers to test their mobile applications on different devices, platforms, and operating systems. This makes it a preferred choice among testers. But to accomplish effective automation, it is paramount to have an in-depth understanding of the Appium framework.
This blog will discuss ten essential Appium automation tips that every beginner must know to get started with mobile automation testing. Whether you are a developer, tester, or automation engineer, these tips will help you explore the full potential of Appium and its capabilities.
So, let’s dive into the details and see what these tips are and how they can benefit you in your mobile automation testing journey.
Utilize Appium Desktop for Setup
Appium authorizes testers to write automated tests for native, hybrid, and mobile web apps. As a beginner, utilizing Appium can be overwhelming. However, it can be a lot easier with the suited guidance and tools. One essential tip for beginners is to use Appium Desktop for setup.
Appium Desktop is a graphical user interface (GUI). It furnishes a straightforward method to set up and run the Appium server. Appium Desktop authorizes testers to start and stop the Appium server, launch the app, and inspect elements efficiently. Testers can also see the logs and debug any issues with the tests with Appium Desktop. By utilizing Appium Desktop for setup, novices can facilitate the learning curve and focus on writing and running tests.
Inspect Elements with Appium
Inspecting elements is a paramount aspect of Appium automation testing. It is of utmost importance to understand how to do this advantageously. One valuable tip is to use the Appium Inspector. Appium Inspector is an effective tool that facilitates you to inspect the elements of your mobile application in real-time with ease and precision. Another tip is to utilize the Appium Desktop, which furnishes a graphical interface for inspecting elements. Also, it allows you to identify elements utilizing XPath and other locators easily.
Additionally, you may take advantage of the device emulator to assess your application’s functionality on multiple devices and operating systems. This will furnish you with a better understanding of how it will perform in different environments. By mastering the art of inspecting elements with Appium, you can develop more effective and efficient automation tests and guarantee the quality of your mobile application.
Parallelization is one of the highly effective techniques to quicken up the automated testing process. The technique is frequently utilized in automation testing and is relatively similar in conception to multithreading. Multithreading authorizes the programmer to delegate tasks to numerous different threads, therefore executing tasks concurrently and significantly diminishing the run-time of the program.
Parallelization encompasses the concurrent execution of multiple automated test scripts against diverse environments and device configurations. This may occur either locally or as an integral component of the developer’s CI/CD pipeline. The parallelization has led to increased agility in both testing and development processes, eventually resulting in the creation of more powerful and high-quality test scripts. Also, a considerable amount of time is saved without renouncing the quality of the tests by not opting for sequential testing.
Implement Page Object Model
Implementing the Page Object Model is a critical step in creating efficient and maintainable Appium automation scripts. The Page Object Model is a design pattern that diverges the test code from the application code, making it easier to manage and update. In this technique, a separate class is designed for each page of the application. All the elements and functions correlated to that page are defined within that class.
This creates an unambiguous separation between the page and test scripts, making them more leisurely to read and maintain. By implementing the Page Object Model, you can enormously enhance your automation framework’s scalability and reuse. This will make it more efficient and effective in the long run.
Choose the Right Locator Strategy
When it comes to mobile testing, choosing the right locator strategy is crucial for successful test automation utilizing Appium. A locator strategy is a way to pinpoint an element on a mobile device or emulator. The Quality Assurance team needs to have the skill of diverse Appium locator strategies to effectively test all preferred components of an application. If the test scripts are incapable of detecting the required elements, then the whole automation process is rendered futile.
The most egregious error made while documenting test scripts is the overutilization of XPath locators. The XPath locator can be used in two different ways; absolute XPath and relative XPath. Out of these two options, relative XPath is a better choice for Appium test automation. Nevertheless, XPath is not always advised for use in test scripts because it is quite sluggish at locating the element in question at execution.
Accessibility IDs are an effective alternative to XPath selectors. These locators are favorably utilized in test scripts for iOS and Android applications. They are much easier and quicker to utilize when compared with XPath. Eventually, choosing the suited locator strategy will rely on the specific requirements of your application and the elements you need to locate.
Use Implicit and Explicit Waits
When building automation scripts using Appium, it is paramount to ensure that the script waits for the elements to load before proceeding to the next step. This is where implicit and explicit waits come into play. Implicit waits instruct Appium to wait for a particular amount of time for an element to emerge on the screen before flinging an error.
On the other hand, explicit waits are more specific and authorize the script to wait for a particular condition to be met before moving on to the next step. Utilizing both implicit and explicit waits in your script can immensely improve its reliability and diminish the chances of errors. It is imperative to utilize these wait types judiciously to bypass prolonging the test execution time unnecessarily, which may affect the overall performance of the automation suite.
Utilize Appium Logs
The Appium Server possesses the capability to create a comprehensive information log and reporting system. Numerous testers consider Appium logs to be fierce. On running a test script, there is a rambling stream of logs that gives details about the test script in progress. Nonetheless, the details are often vague and perplexing. That is why testers need to know how to read and utilize Appium logs.
The Appium logs are quite informative. They have stack traces related to errors that took place during test execution. Also, the desired and default capabilities determined in the test script are visible in the logs. It can be utilized to understand and alter the behavior of the Appium server. The Appium log does not provide timestamps to keep the log lines brief. When trying to identify the causes of potential bugs or slowness, the timestamp helps to efficiently identify lines with longer execution times.
Run Tests on Multiple Devices
When it comes to mobile app automation testing, running tests on multiple devices is a crucial step that cannot be neglected. This is where Appium comes in handy. It facilitates testers to run automation tests on various mobile devices, including Android and iOS. Running tests on multiple devices is vital as it assists in pinpointing device-specific issues, such as performance and compatibility. These issues can affect the overall end-user experience.
By running tests on multiple devices, testers can ensure that the app functions correctly on all supported devices, reducing the risk of negative user reviews or ratings due to device-specific issues. Therefore, running tests on multiple devices using Appium is an essential tip for beginners in mobile app automation testing to ensure that the app is fully functional on all supported devices.
Run Tests on Real Devices
Numerous mobile devices exponentially get released every year. This circumstance is known as device fragmentation. Device fragmentation stands out as the main objective of the testing team when conducting application testing. To maximize end-user reach, it is indispensable to ensure the functionality and reliability of the application across multiple device/OS/browser combinations.
There are two viable alternatives to perform tests across multiple devices:
- Utilizing Simulators and Emulators: Generally, emulators/simulators are more leisurely to set up and are believed to be cost-effective. However, they are not a suitable choice to ensure the functionality of an app. It should be noted that emulators may not always replicate the behavior and functionality of a real device accurately. Therefore, the execution of test scripts on said devices does not assure their functionality on the specific device in question.
- Utilizing Real Devices or Real Device Cloud: An essential consideration when conducting device testing is the potential need for significant time investment in device configuration and software setup. However, an efficient alternative is available through the use of a cloud-based platform. One of the most used cloud-based platforms is LambdaTest, an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform. Its real device cloud allows you to run tests across 3000+ devices and OS combinations. You can also leverage the Appium test by executing the test in LambdaTest. Its integration with Appium helps you run parallel tests, ensure the working of applications across multiple platforms, and help in easy debugging.
Implement TestNG Framework
Implementing the TestNG framework is a crucial step for beginner Appium automation engineers. TestNG is a testing framework designed to streamline a wide range of testing needs, from unit testing to integration testing. It delivers advanced features such as annotations, test grouping, and parallel execution.
By implementing TestNG, you can effortlessly organize your test cases, run them in a precise order, and generate test reports. TestNG furnishes extensive support for data-driven testing, making it leisurely to test your application with different sets of data. Overall, TestNG is an indispensable tool for any Appium automation beginner looking to improve their testing efficiency and effectiveness.
Appium is an automation framework that enables testers to pinpoint bugs early in the development cycle and diminishes manual testing endeavors. Mastering Appium automation requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn. To get the best out of Appium, one must follow the best practices outlined above. These practices offer suggestions to make mobile automation testing more reliable and effective.