If you’re in mobile app development, you know it’s no secret that you need to be automating mobile testing. And even if you’ve never used it, you’ve probably heard about the open-source test automation platform Selenium. In fact, you might’ve heard so much about Selenium, you don’t know what to think. For example: Will Selenium work for my organization? Is Selenium outdated? What are Selenium’s advantages and disadvantages? What Selenium alternatives are available today?
But perhaps the most important question about Selenium is what else is out there? Understanding the testing landscape is the first step to success. In no specific order, join us in taking a look at six popular Selenium alternatives.
Appium uses the WebDriver protocol which allows it to control and automate mobile interactions, the same interactions that a user may make
By leveraging the mobile app interface, it can even interact with device features like GPS, camera, and sensors. With Appium, you can also automate testing across multiple devices, all without requiring any changes to the app code.
- Appium offers significant flexibility and support for multiple languages.
- Complex Setup: Setting up Appium can be complex. You may need to configure it to work with different devices, operating systems, and versions. This can make setup times vary considerably, depending on your situation.
- Integration Challenges: Appium is used in conjunction with other tools, such as different testing frameworks, reporting tools, and CI/CD pipelines. There’s no easy, native integration with these tools, and so Appium can require additional configuration and maintenance.
Named after a type of fruit, Calabash is another open-source tool that allows testers to write test cases using a natural language called Gherkin (yes, just like the pickle). Gherkin is based on the principles of Given-When-Then (GWT) and is used to describe the expected behavior of a system.
Here’s an example of Gherkin in action:
Feature: Search Functionality As a user I want to be able to search for products So that I can find the products I am interested in Scenario: Search for a product Given I am on the home page When I enter "smartphone" in the search field And I click on the search button Then I should see a list of smartphones And the list should include the "Samsung Galaxy S10" And the list should include the "iPhone 11"
As you can see, the test instructs the user to search for smartphone and verify that certain items appear.
Calabash relies on a behavior-driven development approach to testing, which focuses on defining the behavior of the application from a user’s perspective rather than losing the purpose with technical language.
- With Calabash, you can write automated test cases in plain English.
- Smaller Community: Calabash’s open-source community is relatively small compared to other mobile testing frameworks. This can make it more difficult to find resources and support when you encounter issues.
- Limited support for hybrid applications: While Calabash is designed to work with native mobile applications, it may not be as effective at testing non-native applications or hybrid applications that use web technologies.
Robotium is an open-source testing framework for Android mobile applications that uses a set of APIs so testers can simulate user interactions with the application, like text input, tapping buttons, and swiping.
Unlike Appium, Robotium is not cross-platform. Since it is a dedicated Android testing tool, it can provide slightly better performance than other cross-platform tools. For example, it can easily interact with Android activities, making it much faster to create test cases than cross-platform alternatives.
An additional benefit of Robotium is that it can be integrated with Maven so you can manage your library in the same build environment, making it easier to manage.
- Robotium provides support for black-box testing.
- Limited To Android: Robotium is limited to Android. As a result, it’s not ideal for cross-platform testing.
- Better Suited for UI Testing: Robotium is ideal for UI testing. You may need to use additional frameworks for service-level testing.
Developers use Smartbear’s TestComplete for desktop and mobile testing and offers a wide range of features to help automate the testing of mobile applications across multiple platforms.
Unlike Appium, TestComplete offers a scriptless testing environment so that you can write test cases. This is an attractive feature if you don’t have consistent access to the right dev resources.
TestComplete’s ability to recognize objects makes it easy to create effective tests that involve interacting with the UI. It also has a good range of debugging features that let you quickly address testing issues.
You can also leverage scripting languages for some edge cases that can’t be handled with no-code. These languages include Java, Python, and VB Script.
- Advanced object recognition
- Limited Community Support: Like many non-open-source platforms, TestComplete provides limited community support.
- Limited No-Code: You may need to revert to writing code for complex test cases.
XCUITest sits on top of the XCTest Framework, developed by Apple to support testing iOS devices. This native integration means that XCUITest fully integrates with Apple’s development tools and can access all the native iOS controls and elements.
XCUITest provides support for testing on real iOS devices. You can integrate with a device farm, like AWS Device Farm, or connect to a real device.
- Native Apple testing tool
- Limited language and platform: With XCUITest, you are limited to automating iOS device tests. So if you develop hybrid and Android applications, XCUITest may not be the solution for you.
Finally, let’s discuss our obvious pick: Sofy. Based in Bellevue, Washington, Sofy is a scriptless mobile testing platform that allows you to automate test cases on real—yes, actual—devices.
With a simple drag-and-drop interface, Sofy empowers you to create complex and reusable test cases automatically supported across platforms, devices, and versions.
Using Sofy’s virtualized device lab, you can acquire a real device, record a manual test case, and automate it. You can then run the test case across hundreds of other live devices.
Other Sofy features include:
- Native integration with popular CI/CD Tools like Jenkins and CircleCI
- Fine-grained log details and the ability to monitor app performance issues in real-time
- Run dozens of tests concurrently across dozens of different devices
- Modular and composable means that tests are written granular enough to avoid failure but can be arranged together so that they can be used flexibly across test cases
- Smart regression catches code changes and recommends changes to test scripts if they are impacted
- Access hundreds of real Android and iOS devices to test your apps or mobile websites. Free your team from the uncertainty and guesswork of emulators and simulators.
Sofy leverages Artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand the intent behind your code. So, even if your UI changes, your tests won’t break.
- Most notably, Sofy is a 100% no-code mobile testing platform
Are you on the fence about Selenium? Considering some Selenium alternatives? Good! It’s important to consider alternative testing frameworks. As you can see, there’s no lack of alternatives. Depending on your organization’s skill sets and testing strategy, you may favor one framework over another.
But it’s worth keeping in mind that we’re in the middle of a No-Code Revolution. Have you taken a look at how you can automate test cases without writing test scripts? If not, there has never been a better time. We invite you to try Sofy for free today!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official beliefs or positions of Sofy.