Appium is an open source tool that enables you to create UI tests for various platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows, all with a unified API. This feature facilitates code reuse across test scripts or suites, promoting efficient development for Android, iOS, and Windows.
During the early years of the Internet, end users could access all the applications and websites only on the desktop platform. However, with the advancement of technology and the rising demands of customers, portability has become one of the most important factors in the application development sector. So various portable options like smartphones, tablets, and even smartwatches started to arrive in the market. While using these gadgets, the application developers can achieve desktop-like performance while being able to fit in their pockets. This is one of the primary reasons behind the popularity of the mobile app segment. So, the app developers started prioritizing the mobile app development process and integrating automation testing with it. Appium is one of the most efficient ways of conducting mobile automation testing.
With this article, we will discuss some of the most important Appium annotations and methods that will help application developers to massively improve the quality of their automation test cases.
The Prospect of Mobile Testing and the Integration of Automation Testing
The concept of mobile automation testing is much more complex than many people consider it to be. This is because the mobile segment is one of the most hugely spread markets that currently exist. For reference, we can consider the fact that more than 1000 new Android devices come on the market every year. Excluding the Android platform, iOS, and Windows are also equally popular platforms in this market. Moreover, these devices are highly different from each other. This means that every device will have a unique operating system, system configuration, screen resolution, or other parameters. So, it is almost impossible for application developers to generalize the test cases when they’re working with the mobile platform. It becomes very important for app developers to verify the functioning of applications on physical devices.
With the integration of automation testing with mobile app test cases, the application developers can massively improve the efficiency of the test cases. This is because automation test cases allow the app developers to initiate multiple test sessions on different test configurations and machines at the same time. Moreover, with the help of test automation, app developers can eliminate the expense of having a human testing team. The system will instead use a test file consisting of all the required data, parameters, and other statistics that will allow it to emulate human interactions while communicating with the app. Based on these test reports, the app developers can understand the stability and user interactivity of the app.
However, it is very important to consider the steep initial investment that comes with automation testing. It will cover the expenses of multiple tools, plugins, and libraries for the smooth test execution process. So, it is very important for app developers to not only have enough revenue resources but to also consider automation testing as a long-term investment. Automation test cases are very easy to reuse, store and maintain. It’s also possible to make significant changes in the test code to improve its accuracy.
We can define Appium as an open-source project and ecosystem that consist of multiple related software. It is designed to simplify the user interface automation testing of multiple app platforms, including mobile platforms like Android and iOS. This framework will use multiple native mobile applications to automate the test cases. The open-source infrastructure of Appium ensures that the application developers can access all of its features without worrying about any license charges. It also has a dedicated community of tech lovers who are always ready to help newcomers in this segment.
Key Appium Annotations and Methods for Mobile Automation Testing
While using Appium for mobile automation testing, the application developers can access multiple annotations and methods that will massively boost their app development capabilities. For the ease of the new application developers and testers, we have created a list of some of the most useful additions to this list. They are as follows:
- @BeforeTest: Using this annotation, the application developers can perform the setup process and other prerequisites before the initiation of the automation testing process. It can be repeated before the execution of each test method.
- @AfterTest: This annotation helps the application developers to perform the cleanup process after the execution of the test method. It also helps to prepare the system for the next testing process.
- @BeforeClass: Using this annotation, the application developers and testers can perform the setup operations before the test class is executed. It also allows the application developers to group their test cases according to their preferences and similarities.
- @AfterClass: Using this annotation, the application developers can perform the cleanup process after the test class has been executed. It also ensures that none of the elements belonging to the previous class are left behind before the execution of the next test class.
- @BeforeMethod: This annotation allows the application developers to perform the relevant setup and installation process before each test method execution. All the test methods must have their relevant data to ensure that the system has a target element for initiating and executing the test cases.
- @AfterMethod: Similarly, using this annotation, the application developers can perform the cleanup operations after each test method execution has been completed by the system. Then, the application developers and testers can proceed toward the next test method.
- driver.findElement(By by): This method is useful when the application developers have to find a single method on the current screen of the app undergoing the development process. For using this method, the application developers have to provide relevant locator strategies to locate the element.
- driver.findElements(By by): On the other hand, this method is useful when the application developers have to find multiple elements on the current screen of the app. It will also use the relevant locator methods previously provided by the app testers to find the elements.
- driver.sendKeys(CharSequence… keysToSend): This method is useful when the application developers need to simulate keyboard interactions on an application. Keyboard interactions are a very important part of verifying the user interactive capabilities of an app undergoing the development process. By simulating these interactions, it is possible to understand how the app deals with various forms of user interactions and prevents any unwanted crashes.
- driver.quit(): This method is useful when the application developers have completed all the relevant test cases, and it is time to close the session of the Appium test server. By implementing this method, the system will automatically close the session after executing all the test cases. It is an important parameter that helps to save the relevant amount of time when the app developers are working on complex applications consisting of thousands of different test sessions.
Other than these methods, the application developers also can access specific methods that can help them to simulate user interactions on the application. For instance, there are dedicated methods for simulating click, tab, rotate, swipe, and many others. These are highly essential for performing various actions, assertions, and interactions on a mobile application test session. The proper use of all these methods and annotations can help the application developers to efficiently perform test setup, cleanup, and execution of the test cases.
Integration of Tools and Platforms with Appium Testing
Since mobile automation testing is relatively new in the application development and testing segment, a lot is yet to be known about this process. Moreover, the new testers and developers might find it quite complex to implement automation testing practices. However, thousands of tools easily available in the market can help in this transition process. Moreover, multiple platforms integrate additional features to improve the quality of the app undergoing the development process. For instance, we can consider the example of cloud platforms and then remove the need to have an onsite device test lab. This is because while working with these platforms, the application developers can access real devices present on remote servers through the Internet.
Moreover, cloud platforms can allow application developers to initiate and execute automation test cases from anywhere in the world by removing geolocation barriers. Cloud platforms are also an excellent option in case the developers are trying to execute the automation test cases on legacy devices that are no longer available in the market. We can improve our knowledge about the influence of cloud platforms by considering LambdaTest as our benchmark discussion point:
For the sake of the new testers, we could introduce LambdaTest as a digital experience testing cloud that offers more than 3000+ environments, including real devices. that is helping 10000+ enterprises for fast test execution while ensuring quality release. LambdaTest offers unique features like parallel test execution to improve the efficiency of the test cases several times. LambdaTest can execute automation test scripts from well-known test suites and frameworks like Selenium, Cypress, and Playwright. This platform also helps the application developers to keep an activity log of the ongoing test cases and those that have been already completed.
While working with this platform, it is also possible to verify the proper performance of web pages that have local host servers. Finally, the integration of hundreds of real devices with already existing thousands of simulation software boosts the dependability of the test reports.
The primary motive of this article was to spread adequate awareness regarding some of the most popular Appium annotations and methods. These resources are some of the best practices that application developers and testers can implement to improve the quality of their mobile automation test cases. Moreover, it is also important for app developers to constantly update themselves regarding all the new additions and trends in the segment of automation testing and its practices. The app development companies can also help in this regard by conducting seminars and awareness campaigns to spread the required knowledge. It is also important to carefully choose the correct tool or platform depending on the requirements of the app undergoing the development project. Finally, app development companies must have adequate knowledge about the requirements of their target audience.