We are about to enter a battlefield where there’s no winner. Comparing Robotium and Appium may seem like a ridiculous idea, yet this step needs to be done at some point considering people are entering numerous projects. All those processes differ one from another and require a carefully considered touch, especially when it comes to automation. So, to make the long story short, we begin our battle royal here and now with…
…the Appium Framework
Appium is a splendid open source framework that is well spread and used by testers on all top mobile platforms. So, basically, we have a cross-platform tool at our disposal that even includes Firefox OS. Native testing works fine within Appium as well. Where does this lead us? You can test all following app types with Appium:
- Mobile web
Appium supports a variety of languages testers may write tests in like C#, Java, PHP, Ruby and Python and WebDriver interface is used.
This tool is clearly tailored for Android apps only. It is also open source just like Appium and is often referred to as “the Android Selenium”. Robotium basically covers all Android versions that are worth a while as well as Google’s favorite OS’s subversions – they are all there. Considering device variety unknown earlier Robotium sure packs quite a punch eliminating this issue from a tester’s busy day. As an addition Robotium is actually a real library of useful unit tests, yet it only understands Java.
Let the battle begin!
We will have several categories that will determine the victor in terms of testing thus ensuring your choice of automation tools for your next project will be based on solid facts.
- Performance: frankly both tools are not really strong in terms of record-&-play functionality. Yet Robotium adds to this nastiness by forcing testers to operate with source code while automating their tests. This, as we all know, requires additional time and efforts. Robotium does not provide screenshots as well nor does it successfully integrate with other software. Appium is not that perfect either. It generates really poor test reports, some even tend to be inaccurate. Secondly XPath support is barely present on mobile devices in Appium.
- App types: Appium can tests native, hybrid and mobile web apps, whilst Robotium can only be proud to handle only the first two. However, thanks rare, even remarkable support for numerous Android subversions and full versions Robotium nails droid app testing unlike any other solution. However Appium can test how applications handle themselves in Chrome and Safari for example.
- Programming languages: this was covered already, Robotium has the full might of Java at its disposal while Appium has an entire deck of tech that goes from Objective-C to Node.JS.
As far as I’m concerned Appium easily won this rumble, but what was the point in comparing these two solutions? Checklists of features mean nothing without content. You can compare an old rusty Toyota with a Cadillac and Toyota will be better as a vehicle because it has cup holders installed. But will this result be valid in terms of UI/UX? I think not. Same here. The moral of this tale is: any ultimate solution depends on the terms it will be used. Who’s your victor?