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Testing / Best Practices for Successful Automated Testing with Appium

Best Practices for Successful Automated Testing with Appium

Appium is a highly regarded open-source tool that serves as an automation framework, facilitating seamless communication between the user's test script, the Appium Server, and the emulator or real device on which the script is executed.

Renowned for its versatility, this well-established framework is widely used for testing mobile, web, and hybrid applications. Appium's cross-platform capability enables users to employ the same API and develop test scripts that can be executed on popular platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows.

Moreover, the automation framework supports multiple programming languages, including Python, Ruby, C#, PHP, JavaScript, and Java. Appium was specifically designed as a mobile app testing counterpart to Selenium, the most widely used automation framework for web app testing.

What is Appium?

Appium is a versatile automation framework that is open-source and cross-platform, enabling testers to develop and execute automated tests for mobile applications on both iOS and Android devices. It leverages the WebDriver protocol to automate interactions with the application's user interface, enabling testers to simulate various user actions such as button clicks, text input, and screen swiping.

Best Practices: Appium Testing

Setting up a test environment:

It is a critical step in test automation. By creating a test environment that closely mirrors the production environment, you can ensure that the tests accurately reflect real-world scenarios and produce reliable results. Here are some important aspects to consider when preparing the test environment:

1. Device Selection: Choose the devices (desktop, mobile, tablets, etc.) that are relevant to your application. Consider the target audience and prioritize the most popular devices and operating systems. This will help ensure comprehensive test coverage.

2. Version Management: Identify the versions of the operating systems, browsers, and other software that are used by your target users. Install and configure these specific versions in your test environment to simulate the user experience accurately.

3. Network Configuration: Configure the network settings in your test environment to replicate the network conditions that your application will encounter in the production environment. This includes simulating various network speeds, latency, and bandwidth limitations to test the performance and responsiveness of your application under different conditions.

4. Software and Tools: Install the necessary software and tools required for test automation. This may include test frameworks (such as Appium), integrated development environments (IDEs), browsers, emulators, simulators, and any other dependencies specific to your application.

5. Test Data: Prepare the necessary test data and ensure it is available in the test environment. This may include sample user accounts, test configurations, and any other data required for executing the test cases effectively.

By investing time and effort in setting up a well-configured test environment, you can create an environment that closely resembles the production environment. This helps uncover potential issues and ensure the reliability and accuracy of your test results.


Test automation aims to make testing faster, more reliable, and more efficient. Running test scripts on a single device at a time can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Instead, it is recommended to run test scripts on multiple devices simultaneously to identify compatibility issues, obtain immediate results, and quickly address any identified issues.

Multithreading is a crucial concept for writing efficient programs with fast execution times. By utilizing multiple threads, tasks can be delegated and executed concurrently, significantly reducing the program's runtime. Imagine a scenario where one person builds a cabin, performing each task sequentially.

Parallel testing is an effective technique to speed up the automated testing process. It involves executing multiple test scripts simultaneously against different environments and device configurations, locally or as part of the CI/CD pipeline. This approach enhances testing and development agility, resulting in robust and high-quality test scripts. By avoiding sequential test execution, a considerable amount of time is saved without compromising test quality.

LambdaTest is a cloud-based digital experience testing platform, offering a comprehensive range of testing solutions. One notable feature of LambdaTest is its support for automated testing with Appium.

A standout capability of LambdaTest is the ability to parallelize Appium tests, enabling users to run multiple automated tests concurrently across various devices and browsers. By utilizing LambdaTest, users can execute their Appium test scripts on a cloud infrastructure consisting of real devices. This facilitates efficient and scalable testing of mobile applications.

Utilize Page Object Model

As applications evolve, updates and changes are inevitable. These modifications often involve updating locators that correspond to specific elements, causing previously written test scripts to become obsolete. This can be an uphill task for QA professionals, requiring extensive rework.

The Page Object Model (POM) design pattern can be employed when creating test scripts to mitigate this issue. With POM, the tests interact with the UI of a page using methods from the page object class. By adopting POM, only the code within the page object needs to be modified if there are changes to the page's UI. The test scripts themselves remain unchanged. This separation ensures that changes in locators do not necessitate extensive rewriting of all test scripts.

The benefit of using POM is that updates to support the new UI are concentrated in one location—the page object. Consequently, any necessary modifications can be easily identified and implemented within the page object, streamlining the maintenance process.

Utilize Wait Commands

The effectiveness of a test script relies heavily on its ability to accurately identify the elements of the application and automate various test cases as per the specifications provided by the software development team. If the script fails to locate the correct elements, it may lead to false negatives and unreliable test results.

One common reason for the failure to locate elements, besides using incorrect locators, is the absence of wait commands. In situations where the application has not fully loaded or experiences delays between pages, the script may be unable to locate the element using the given locator.

There are two main types of wait commands that can be employed:

  • Explicit Wait: The explicit wait command instructs the Appium driver to pause execution until the specified element is found before proceeding to the next line of code. This ensures that the script waits for the element to become available before performing any further actions.

  • Implicit Wait: The implicit wait command instructs the Appium driver to wait for a specific duration of time while continuously searching for the element. It keeps searching until either the element is found or the specified time limit is reached. When provided with a list of multiple elements, the command will continue searching until at least one element is found or the specified time limit is reached.

By incorporating wait commands into your test scripts, you can enhance their reliability and robustness. These commands allow the script to synchronize with the application's behavior and ensure that the necessary elements are available before interacting with them. This helps reduce false negatives and improve the accuracy of your test results.

Utilize Appium Logs

The Appium Server offers a comprehensive logging and reporting system that provides valuable information during test execution. While Appium logs may initially appear daunting, understanding and utilizing them can greatly enhance the testing process.

Learning to read and interpret Appium logs is a valuable practice. These logs contain important details, including:

  • Error Stacktraces: The logs often include stacktraces related to any errors encountered during test execution. These stacktraces serve as a starting point for debugging and identifying errors that need to be addressed in either the application or the test script.

  • Desired and Default Capabilities: The logs display the desired and default capabilities specified in the test. These capabilities allow you to understand and modify the behavior of the Appium server, providing flexibility in customizing test execution.

  • Timestamps: By default, Appium logs do not include timestamps to keep the log lines concise. However, you can start the Appium server with the "--log-timestamp" option to append timestamps to each log line. This is particularly useful when investigating performance issues or identifying potential bugs, as you can easily identify lines with longer execution times.

Choosing Appropriate Locators

Selecting appropriate locators is a critical aspect of Appium automation. Testers should possess the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively choose and utilize the right locators. To facilitate this process, it is recommended to utilize the Appium Inspector for inspecting elements.

When incorrect or inefficient locators are used, the test scripts will fail to identify the desired elements, resulting in script failures. Therefore, it is essential to exercise caution and precision when selecting locators to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the test scripts.

Choosing the Right Device for Test Execution

Selecting the appropriate device for executing test cases can be a challenging task. To ensure the application's robustness and effectiveness in meeting customer requirements, it is necessary to test the application on various devices with different operating systems and versions.

In Appium, there are two device options available:

  1. Simulators or emulators: Simulators or emulators are virtual devices that provide an easy setup and allow testing on different operating systems and mobile versions. Testing on these virtual devices is cost-effective compared to testing on real devices.

  2. Real Devices: Testing on real devices provides the most accurate user testing experience. However, it can be time-consuming as it requires specific configurations and software installations on each real device. Despite the additional effort, using real devices is the best choice for ensuring the application's compatibility and performance.

Additionally, cloud technologies can be considered an alternative for mobile testing due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance. Testing on physical devices requires higher costs and investments, whereas leveraging a cloud-based platform can expand the test coverage and enhance the effectiveness of the testing process.

When it comes to executing Appium tests on a real device cloud, utilizing a cloud-based platform proves to be an effective solution. LambdaTest App Automate is highly recommended in this regard, as it provides access to a vast selection of over 3000 real device-browser combinations.

This extensive device coverage empowers QA teams to thoroughly test their mobile applications and ensure their functionality across a wide range of real devices. By leveraging LambdaTest App Automate, organizations can achieve comprehensive test coverage and enhance the quality and performance of their mobile applications.


When it comes to selecting the most suitable mobile app testing automation techniques for an organization, several factors come into play. Elements such as the range of features offered, integrations available, and ease of use all play a crucial role in narrowing down the ideal test automation tool that aligns with the organization's needs. In this regard, Appium emerges as the best option.

Appium stands out as a favorable choice for several reasons. Firstly, it is a cost-effective solution as it is available for free. Additionally, Appium offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy to learn and implement within the organization. Furthermore, it supports cross-platform automation, enabling testing across various operating systems and devices. Moreover, Appium allows for seamless integration with CI (Continuous Integration) tools, enhancing the overall testing process and promoting efficient collaboration.

Considering these advantages, Appium proves to be a valuable asset for organizations seeking a reliable and versatile mobile app testing automation tool that caters to their specific requirements.

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