Exploring the Key Features and Benefits of Selenium and Appium

Appium and Selenium

The agile approach to software development is being adapted a lot recently with the fast pacing environment and the continuous evolution of technology. With the progress that technology is making, organizations must get a hold of all the ways in which efficiency and productivity increase and the overall cost decreases. Hence, automating test cycles are now compulsory for testing teams.
With the help of automation testing, new features for apps and web apps are released faster and test automation foundations like Selenium and Appium are very rightfully highly popular in the test community.

What is Selenium?

Simply put, Selenium is an open-source using a test automation structure that enables QAs to
easily automate web application testing.
Providing a single interface lets you write programming languages like Java, Ruby, NodeJS, PHP, Python, etc. Selenium has a tool chamber that consists of four main components:

  • Selenium IDE: It is used as an extension for Firefox, delivering record and playback utility on the test scripts which allows testers to export those recorded scripts in many languages

The scope of selenium IDE is limited which is why the test scriptures that are produced are not very sturdy or mobile.

  • Selenium RC: Herein the testers are enabled to write automated web application UI test in any of the supported programming languages including HTTP proxy server, allowing the browser to presume that web application being tested comes from the domain provided by the proxy server.
    Selenium RC is considered more effective for testing AJAX based web user interfaces.
  • Selenium WebDriver: It is a successor to selenium RC and is the most important component of the tool suite. It provides a programming interface for the creation and execution of test cases. The identification of web elements of web pages is done by writing text scripts and then the desired actions are performed on those elements.
    It performs more rapidly than selenium RC by making direct calls to web browsers.
  • Selenium Grid: It is a crucial segment of the selenium suite as it allows us to run the tests on different machines against different browsers correspondingly. Tests can be run simultaneously on different machines running different browsers and OS.

This tool suite enables QAs to verify their web applications for cross-browser compatibility on both desktops and mobiles in an automated manner. Let’s understand this with an example.

End-to-End Testing on real iOS, Android Devices & Browsers

With the tool suite, QAs can verify their web applications for cross-browser compatibility on desktops and mobiles in an automated way. For example –

Use Case Scenarios:

A QA has to verify the functional test scenario of your e-commerce websites which involves the following process:

  • Click on the search bar
  • Search for a specific product
  • Add the product to the cart
  • Click on Proceed to checkout
    The above user scenario is tested manually on multiple browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, This consumes a lot of time and is also inefficient. Hence, Selenium Grid is used which is a tool from the selenium tool suite, it simultaneously runs cross browsers tests on multiple machines and operating systems.

Now, let’s have a look at Appium.

What is Appium?

Appium was built on the idea that there shouldn’t be any requirement of SDK or application recompilation while testing native applications. It is an open-source project which makes designing and tool decisions encourage a vibrant contributing community. The goal for appium is to automate any mobile app from any language and any test framework, with full access to back-end APIs and DBs from test code. You can write your tests with dev tools of your choice, using programming languages(Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, etc. ). The Appium server is scripted in Node.js and is compatible with leading client libraries like Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, and a few others. Appium is the most popular open-source framework for mobile app automation testing.

Key Benefits of Selenium and Appium


  • Selenium is Open Source and is very simple to start with
  • Provides compatibility with multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Gives developers or QAs the flexibility to write scripts in a programming language of their choice ( Java, Ruby, Python, etc.)
  • Supports leading browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Enables parallel testing
  • Offers firm documentation support
    Try Selenium Testing on Real Devices for Free


  • Appium is free and open-source
  • Enables automated testing of native, hybrid and mobile web applications,
  • Provides support for multiple programming languages (Ruby, Java, Python, etc.)
  • Enables cross-platform (Android & iOS) testing on real devices, emulators, and simulators
  • Enables cross-platform (Android & iOS) testing on real devices, emulators, and simulators

Key-Value Pairs: Selenium and Appium

Let’s assume, the app developer has developed a simple mobile application. The developer then installs the all on the android or iOS device and then runs a manual test. It works perfectly fine. Then the developer starts to develop the next big feature for the app. After developing the new feature, it has to be tested alongside to ensure perfect functionality.
Every new feature requires thorough testing. However, manually testing the mobile app on both iOS and Android devices is extremely inefficient. To avoid inefficiency teams use Appium to automate tests for the mobile apps or either android or iOS devices. The Appium server differentiates the tests based on the platform defined in the DesiredCapabilities, a set of key-value pairs used to define the desired test environment in both Selenium and Appium.

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