Best practices to automate mobile app testing using Appium

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Introduction

Today, mobile applications are an integral part of every business. Without thorough testing, simply designing an application does not address any issues. Your application should go through a carefully thought-out automated testing procedure to improve its effectiveness and speed. Because of the many benefits that appium automation testing offers, it is chosen when it comes to testing native, web, and hybrid mobile apps for iOS and Android. Open-source test automation tool Appium enables app performance optimization on real devices and offers a wide range of other features at almost zero cost. 

Why is Appium always the first choice for mobile app automation testing?  

Appium is the go-to tool for all your mobile app automation needs because it is affordable, user-friendly, secure, and efficient. Let’s see how it compares with other tools:

> Appium is a free, open-source, cross-platform testing tool to test your mobile apps that interact with the application using Selenium WebDriver and JSON wire protocol.

> It performs server-like functions in the background. 

>Appium targets tests developed with the Selenium WebDriver API and language-specific client libraries, regardless of the programming language used, 

>Databases are completely under your control and easily accessible to you.

> You can automate mobile apps built using different programming languages and frameworks.

Best Practices to be followed for mobile app automation with Appium are:

> Feasibility and Concept Study: For successful mobile app testing, it is always recommended to execute a pilot project to gain an understanding of the costs and its feasibility for execution and planning, as well as to discover any issues.

To automate various OS and application categories, keep in mind the following pointers: 

  • Think about implementing appium automation in crucial scenarios to determine its scope and the time it takes to automate different types of OS and applications.
  • Implement it with essential and unique components relevant to various OSs.

>Estimate Efforts: 

The team should determine the total amount of work required to produce the OS-Device compatible scripts, analyze the data, develop the system, and provide scenario-specific unit tests. It should also count the effort in setting up the environment. 

>Identify Elements: To enable Appium to locate the UI elements in the minimum amount of time, a proper plan must be in place. Any changes to the element hierarchy should also be able to be detected by the UI locator.

>Effectiveness of the framework: For simple element tracing and portability to any drive location for various types of programs, there should be a defined folder structure. A proper procedure for managing error and recovery should also be in place. Before moving on to the script, the mistake should be fixed in the framework itself.

 > Adopt Cloud Integration: Using cloud based technologies is usually advised due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance. A physical device lab is an expensive investment, thus the most practical way for the business to minimize manual work while increasing test coverage and effectiveness is to use cloud-based app testing platforms.

The company must make sure that its resources are qualified to pinpoint the problem, then customize and put the appropriate fixes in place to successfully execute automated mobile app testing with Appium. Even the framework you decide to build upon needs to be feasible.

Use the right Locators : QAs need to be skilled in implementing and using various Appium locator strategies. This enables the QA team to successfully test all the desired components of an application. Here human intervention is required because the testers manually rectify the bugs  if the scripts are unable to detect the required elements otherwise the entire automation process is rendered futile.

Also sometimes the testers tend to over utilize the Xpath. It’s a better practice to use Relative Xpath because of the following reason.

Absolute XPath: This is the absolute path of the element and very specific .It specifies the path from the root to the element in question. But the disadvantage of using this locator strategy is that any change in the application causes the absolute XPath of the element to change, hence the test script needs to be changed every time any change is made. Manually changing the test scripts is an extremely tedious and impractical strategy.

Relative XPath: the difference between absolute and relative Xpath is that the relative Xpath path doesn’t start from the root element and instead starts with the element desired. This helps to locate the element during any changes made in the element.

Hence, out of the two options, relative Xpath is always a better choice. XPath is not recommended for use in test scripts because of being very slow in finding the element in question at execution. This performance cost also varies across different browsers, with varying  test script execution speed from browser to browser.

Conclusion:

For any firm, selecting the ideal mobile app testing automation technology is crucial. Automation of mobile app testing becomes crucial when it comes to offering a practical, affordable, and adaptable method for testing mobile applications. Scalability is another important factor when considering different test automation frameworks. Most times having the right blend of offerings, integrations and ease of use play a vital role in narrowing down a test automation tool that works for you and your business. The best option for the same is Appium. It is free, incredibly adaptable, easy to learn, and supported by a sizable community. It facilitates cross-platform automation and is simple to incorporate with CI tools. It is the finest option for assisting teams in providing excellent user experiences and adhering to the Continuous Delivery methodology. To reduce errors and succeed in implementing Appium Mobile App testing successfully, the best practices described above should be carefully followed.

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