Appium vs Robotium
This article compares and contrasts two automation testing tools, Appium and Robotium, to determine the pros and cons of each.
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Write once and run on multiple platforms (operating Sy) because as we all know, the software industry is running behind in mobile applications. If you have looked at the app store and Google Play store daily, there are thousands of apps being uploaded. But, we all know that each application's success totally depends on the user experience, or how easy it to use the app. But, this kind of success must be verified by Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers. In the last few decades, we can see the most popular development methodology is “Agile Methodology”. So, we do enough testing, but not enough to assure the quality in each release because of manual testing. In this case, we need automation testing tools such as opium, robotic, but even more so, we need to choose the complexity of the application.
Some advantages of automation include:
- Automated testing is the solution for a fast development cycle that maintains high quality.
- It is more efficient and reliable.
- It minimizes testing time and makes sure of the quality of the application.
- It ensures larger coverage in less time in the critical release of an application.
- It minimizes the risk of human error or negligence.
But, we should not forget we need some effort in the initial stage of the application, and QA Engineers must have some extent of coding skills.
I don't think I need to explain a lot about manual testing because we all face the following problems: time-consuming and a required deep understanding of the application. It totally depends on how a resource performs under a process of testing.
But, if you take ultimate goal testing, it is given a Quality Assured Application. But, automation or Manual Testing doesn't matter.
There are many open-source tools, which are available on the market for mobile application testing. The selection of the right automation tool depends on the specific needs of the project is QA’s responsibility. Initially, it takes time to evaluate automation tools for mobile application testing. Within a short time, the QA has to evaluate and pick the right one, according to the business needs of the project, which should support the advanced test frameworks to assess the look, feel functionality, etc. It depends upon the need and requirement of the application, for example, native app testing, cross-browser testing, web application testing, etc. We have several other mobile app test automation tools on the market today, such as KIF, MonkeyTalk, Calabash, and Frank. Most of these tools need an extra agent for compiling the code with core app code for the sake of interacting with the app.
Appium and Robotium are two great automation tools and are mainly used for Mobile App Testing. Using these two tools, we can verify and validate the overall functioning of the mobile apps. But, there are some differences in mobile testing frameworks, which differ from each other in terms of features, usability, functionality, and performance.
What Is Robotium?
Robotium is an extension of the Android test framework, and it is easy to write user interface tests for Android applications. Robotium tests inherit from ActivityInstrumentationTestCase2 and allow you to define test cases across Android activities. It supports Android API 1.6 and up. It’s listed under Apache Licence 2.0. It uses a simple API for all methods, which are available only in one Solo class.
Robotium supports Activities, Dialogs, Toasts, Menus, and Context Menus. It is a test framework created to make it easy to write powerful and robust automatic black-box test cases for Android applications. To test this, we don’t need any further information about the Android app’s structure or implemented classes. What we do need is the name of the main class and the path that links to it. Robotium tests inherit from ActivityInstrumentationTestCase2 and allow you to define test cases across Android activities.
What Is Appium?
Appium is an open-source test automation tool developed and supported by Sauce Labs to automate native and hybrid mobile apps. It uses the JSON wire protocol internally to interact with iOS and Android native apps by using the Selenium WebDriver. Appium supports Android SDK API >= 17.
Appium is an HTTP server written in node.js, which creates and handles multiple Web Driver sessions for different platforms like iOS and Android.
When you download the Appium app, you are basically downloading the Appium server. The server is written in Node.js. It is almost the same as the Selenium server, which receives HTTP requests from Selenium client libraries and handles those requests in different ways, depending upon the platforms. Each vendor like iOS and Android has a different way and mechanism to run a test case on the device. Some of them include:
- Receiving a connection from a client.
- Listening to command.
- Executing a command.
- Responding back to the command execution status.
Appium vs Robotium
Although both of these tools are great for mobile application testing, there are certain striking differences between these two tools.
Mobile Platforms Support
The Appium is cross-platform and it supports iOS, Android, and Firefox OS. QA’s can use Appium to test their applications on the targeted platforms easily. Appium comes with support for android and iOS on real devices, as well as on simulators and emulators. So, it is easy for QA’s to test their application on simulators or emulators if a device is not available, whereas Robotium supports Android application testing. It supports almost all versions and subversion of Google’s mobile operating system. The tests could either be executed on AVD, Android Virtual Device, or on a real device.
Most of the companies develop native, hybrid, and mobile web applications. Using Appium, we can test native and hybrid applications on iOS and Android devices. Also, we can check how mobile web applications work on different web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, whereas Robotium supports only native and hybrid applications; it doesn't support mobile web application testing.
Re-Compilation of Actual APK
Robotium requires you to recompile or modify the actual application under test to use standard automation API on all platforms. But, Appium does not require recompiling or modify the actual app in order to run the automation. The Appium uses standard automation API on different platforms. The standard automation APIs do not require mobile apps to be modified or recompiled during testing so users can test and then publish the actual app on the market.
Appium supports only Android 17+ API level versions. Otherwise, you need to use selendroid. Robotium supports Android OS version 1.6 and above.
Mobile Gestures Support
In Appium, some of the gesture supports are not implemented yet, such as double-clicking in the Java client library. However, they are implemented in other client libraries.
In a nutshell, Appium and Robotium both are cost-free and open-source. Robotium works well with Android and Appium works well with Android, iOS, and Firefox OS. But, according to business needs, we must evaluate the pros and cons of these open-source mobile testing frameworks.
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