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Mobile Web Testing: Testsigma vs Appium

Mobile Web Testing: Testsigma vs Appium

| April 23, 2021

With the increased usage of smartphones in recent years, enterprises and the software industry now have to cater their applications to mobile devices for web testing in addition to desktops. Usually, there are three types of applications that are meant to be used in mobile phones. These are – 

i. Native Apps: Apps that are written and built using SDKs and native APIs. These can be downloaded from the official app stores.

ii. Web Apps: These are applications that are often written in scripting languages such as HTML, CSS, JS, etc., and are deployed using a web server. These can be accessed by navigating using web browsers.

iii. Hybrid Apps:  They are a mixture of the above two modes. They have a native “shell” with a fair amount of native UI along with a web view which is an embedded web browser.

Typically, Customers avoid installing native applications due to reasons like space restrictions, annoying notifications affecting the mobile speed, and sometimes a quick review of the application doesn’t essentially require installation. Thus, it becomes important that mobile web applications that often require no additional installations should also be receptive to mobile browsers.

Predominantly, there are two sets of tools that can cater to all your testing requirements when it comes to mobile web testing. The first one is a set of Selenium-based or web-driver-based tools and the other is the set of scriptless automation tools.

In this article, we are going to compare and discuss two tools – Appium and Testsigma, from each category, that are currently dominating their own share of the market. 

Appium

Let’s assume that a developer has developed a simple mobile web application. The developer then installs the application on the device (Android or iOS) and tries to run a quick test manually. Suppose, everything works well. Now, the developer has developed a new complex feature and tests the application again.

This time, it needs to be tested parallelly along with other features to ensure that the application is working well for all dependencies. With every new feature that is introduced, it’s essential that the developer performs thorough testing.

However, performing manual testing in such cases on all types of devices and browsers is extremely difficult and time-consuming. Moreover, suppose, if the application is hybrid (works both as native and on the web), it becomes quite difficult to identify the right platform and perform comprehensive tests manually. 

In such cases, developers can use Appium to automate their tests. Appium is a cross-platform tool that allows you to create and execute tests on multiple platforms, using the same APIs. It is widely used for regression testing on mobile web applications that are updated frequently with new features. 

It is an HTTP server written using NodeJs and drives Android and iOS sessions using WebDriver protocol. The Appium server can differentiate the test cases based on the platform defined using a set of key-value pairs (called DesiredCapabilities) used to define the desired test environment.

An Appium-based mobile web test is essentially the same thing as a Selenium test. It takes care of launching required browsers, gets you automatically into the web context so that you can get hold of features such as finding CSS elements, navigation, etc.

It is platform-independent meaning there is no difference in how you write your test cases for different platforms. Regardless of the browsers or the type of devices you use, the Appium tests remain the same. 

Advantages

  • It’s free and mostly open-source.
  • Very supportive community.
  • Supports native, web, and hybrid mobile applications.
  • Provides support for various programming languages such as Java, Python, etc.
  • Enables cross-platform testing on real devices, simulators, and emulators.

Disadvantages

  • It has no support for intelligent waits.
  • Lack of detailed reports.
  • Might be time-consuming and very slow at times.
  • Might be difficult for users with no technical background, to create test cases.
  • Limited support for gestures.
  • It allows you to access full control over your test cases, which might be difficult to manage.
  • Limited support for hybrid apps, since there is no option to test the switch from the web app to native mode. 
  • It does not provide support to run Appium Inspector on Windows.

Steps

It requires you to install several pre-requisites such as Android SDK, JDK, NodeJs, Eclipse, Selenium Server JAR, Appium Client library, Appium for Desktop, etc. After you are done with installing all the requisites, the way it works is described below.

  • After downloading and installing, it sets up a server on your machine that will expose a REST API.
  • Based on the requests that you specify in the API, the server receives the connection and command requests from the client and executes them on mobile devices.
  • It then responds back using HTTP responses. It uses mobile test automation frameworks such as Selendroid, Google UIAutomator, Apple instruments, etc. to drive the UI of the applications.

Due to such complex requirements, it becomes very difficult to customize the tests especially for conducting tests on complex applications. Nowadays, due to the ever-increasing competition, companies require quick and efficient methods to perform mobile web testing that can generate accurate results with in-depth reports.

That’s why they are rapidly shifting their testing processes to automated tools such as Testsigma, which can cater to all their requirements quickly and accurately.

Testsigma

In contrast to Appium, Testsigma is a scriptless, cloud-based test automation tool that allows you to create test cases for mobile web testing using simple natural language. that you want to test either manually or automatically using the recording tool provided by Testsigma.

Performing mobile web testing using Testsigma is quite easy when compared to complex Selenium-based testing tools like Appium. Its easy-to-use and unified interface allow you to create test cases easily incorporating all the UI and functional components that you want to test.

You simply need to upload the .apk or any other application file, create simple test cases, and choose the device and platform. That’s it. You are good to go. Testsigma provides 2000+ combinations of browser and device combinations so that you can perform thorough testing on all these devices simultaneously. 

Let’s consider a scenario. Suppose, you as a developer, have a testing requirement for a complex mobile web application that requires to be resolved during the development sprint itself. It requires to be tested on multiple device types on multiple browsers.

Now, since the application has complex requirements, performing manual tests multiple times becomes a hefty task. In such cases, you need an automated tool, which will allow you to create test cases quickly, and incorporate all UI and functional components that are critical to bugs.

It’s also essential that it doesn’t require you to have prior knowledge of all the programming languages so that you can perform testing quickly and efficiently.

This is where an automated tool like Testsigma rightly fits in. With access to a plethora of browser-device combinations available on-demand and features such as parallel execution of test cases, performing mobile web testing is just a matter of seconds. When exploring Appium, this is a tool you should definitely have a look at. 

With its latest release, Testsigma is set to change mobile test automation forever. Witness the change live on 11th August

Advantages

  • Allows you to perform scriptless automated testing by creating test cases using natural language.
  • You can embed UI and functional components hassle-free by using an automated recording tool.
  • Allows you to perform tests on 2000+ real devices and browsers available on-demand.
  • Requires no prior expertise in programming languages.
  • No need for additional test environment setup and maintenance.
  • Low-cost implementation.
  • Integration to advanced CI/CD and bug reporting tools.
  • Generation of comprehensive drill-down test reports.

Steps

You don’t need to set up any test environment or install any additional software to perform mobile web testing with Testsigma. You just need to have an account registered with Testsigma to get started.

  • Once you have access to your account, import UI Identifiers either manually or using an automated recording tool.
  • Upload the .apk or any other application file on which you want to perform your tests.
  • Create simple test cases incorporating all the critical UI or functional components using simple natural language.
  • Select all the types of devices and browsers from a list of 2000+ combinations available on-demand.
  • Run your execution parallelly and get hold of comprehensive and environment-specific test reports. You can also see the recordings and screenshots of the test executions.

Why should you choose Testsigma over Appium?

Most development teams today adopt agile methodologies to carry out project developments. This requires performing thorough and in-sprint regression tests throughout the development lifecycle. Performing such tests on huge test cases and complex applications require continuous monitoring and a lot of time and resources.

Thus, it’s essential that enterprises should shift their mobile web testing processes to a more robust and automated testing tool like Testsigma. Here’s a list of features and their comparisons with Appium, that allows Testsigma to sit right on top of the deck when it comes to mobile web testing.

Implement your mobile web testing without any hassles with Testsigma

TestsigmaAppium
Near-zero initial setup time and cost.Huge initial time and cost.
Test development at 5x faster compared to other selenium or WebDriver based tools.Test development is very slow.
AI to save the maintenance efforts cutting costs up to 70%.High maintenance.
Faster response to change.Slower response to change.
Increased automation coverage.Takes years to achieve good coverage.
Immediate payback (ROI).Longer payback time.
No additional resources required.You need a dedicated test automation team.
Easy to perform Agile testing.Difficult to perform in-sprint testing in Agile processes.
You can let your QA and SMEs automate testing.Your QA and SMEs can’t perform automated testing as it requires prior knowledge of programming.
Actionable results from immediate actions.Experts required for failure identification.
In-built collaboration for improved productivity.Very little or no collaboration at all.
Automate complex workflows.Difficult to handle design complexities.
Native integrations with all the essential tools are very easy.Need continuous efforts to integrate with other tools.
24×7 Support.Only a forum for help.

Bottom Line

No doubt, both these tools have their own share of advantages when it comes to mobile web testing. However, with the changing requirements and introduction to complex features, enterprises need to be on top of their game in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Thus, faster delivery of software products is essential which can only be ensured after quick and thorough testing of applications. Performing tests on such complex applications manually is a hectic task and require continuous monitoring. 

Moreover, selenium-based or WebDriver-based tools don’t fit well in the agile development environment which is the go-to methodology for most software development teams today. Hence, it’s very essential that enterprises now shift their testing process to a complete automated environment that would help them to test and deliver applications quickly.

Tools like Testsigma allow you to get access to automated test environments with easy-to-access real mobile devices hosted on the cloud. With access to a plethora of features, it would surely make your testing experience seamless.