10 tips and tricks in usage of Appium with iOS and Python

10 tips and tricks in usage of Appium with iOS and Python

Here is collected the list of tips and tricks how to solve some issue during automation of mobile iOS app with Appium.

1. Hide keyboard. It’s a simple method that easy work for Android but not so easy for iOS. So, the ways how to hide keyboard for iOS devices:

– self.driver.hide_keyboard(‘return’) – for iPhone will simulate the clicking on Return button. But sometimes this method is not hiding the keyboard but just switching to another text fields.

– Also for iPhone possible to simulate quick swipe from the middle of the screen to the bottom. I will close keyboard. This method work for 95% of cases.

– For iPad need to tap by coordinates on the bottom right side of the screen (minus 30 pixels for height and width).

2. How to send some keys without using of the known methods like set_value or send_keys using UI Automation calls? You need to click on the TextField to open a keyboard and then execute:

– self.driver.execute_script(

‘var vKeyboard = target.frontMostApp().keyboard(); vKeyboard.setInterKeyDelay(0.1);vKeyboard.typeString(“some string”);’


3. How to set the date in the PickerWheel. You don’t need to swipe nothing. Just take the location of the correct PickerWheel and perform the method send_keys(‘value’) to this Picker element. After setting the date to this element – question: how to close it? Just click somewhere on the screen (not on the Picker).

4. Everybody knows that method send_keys() works very slow. So, You need to use method set_value(). It will set the value of Text Field immediately. Or, You can use trick from the list-item #2, just set keyDelay very short.

5. How to verify 10 elements on the page (let’s say just simple static text or labels)? Usually  – we call find_element_by_..() for each of elements. But it will perform the call to Appium server, getting XML for each element. It’s very long. So, You need to grab the page source using self.driver.page_source and look for each element in the already received XML document.

6. How not to fight with popup on iOS app. Usually popups are very painful question. Especially – how to close them if it’s unpredictable. If You don’t need to to verify the text on popup or something like this – You need to add the next capabilities:

‘autoAcceptAlerts’: True, ‘acceptAllAlerts’: True

7. But how to deal with popup if You don’t want to close everything automatically? You need to wrap such 2 methods:


The accepting of alerts is very unstable, so be ready to wrap it into try-except block.

8. How to handle some of alerts using direct call to UI Automation:

self.driver.execute_script(‘var target = UIATarget.localTarget();’)

9. How to minimise the time of searching elements for Your framework? For Android everything is obviously – need to use ID. But what to do with iOS. The better way to decrease the time of element’s searching is the using of accurate xpaths. It’s not very clear from the perspective of  clean code, but it’s faster. So, if You don’t care about quality but about speed use the full xpaths (e.g. //UIAApplication[1]/UIAWindow[1]/…)

10. How to use the last version of Appium every time? You need to pull the Appium code from GitHub, run the reset.sh file to build it and enable in the Developer Settings of Appium. Now You have the latest version of Appium.


“Specification by Example” in example. Java, Selenium, Concordion, Junit, Maven.

In this article I will try to explain, how to use approach “Specification by Example” on real project. What tool and framework You need for this. This example will include part of real automation testing framework (ATF) for testing of Web UI application. ATF is based on Java, JUnit, Maven, Selenium and Concordion.

Ok, so what You need to know to start with thing like this? First of all it’s good to have some practice with Java, JUnit and automation Web UI testing (I mean Selenium). If You know everything of it and if You know what is Page Object pattern – let’s imagine, that You have ready ATF based on Java, Selenium and start with implementing of Concordion into this ATF. This examples shows a real example of creation new item on Atlassian’s Jira test project.

Let’s do everything step by step.

Step 1.

Add dependency in pom.xml


Step 2.

Need to configure pom.xml correctly for using correct folders and making of correct output reports. Add next section to Your pom.xml file:


Step 3.

From previous step You see, that out *.html example will be stored in /src/test/specs. So, create in Your project under /src/test folder specs. And create in this folder an empty HTML file. It will be our specification. Put next data into HTML file:

<html xmlns:concordion="http://www.concordion.org/2007/concordion">
    <head lang="en">
        <meta charset="UTF-8"/>
        <h2>Test - create new issue and verify that it's created successfully</h2>
        <p>Given username</p>
         <span concordion:set="#username">denys.zaiats@gmail.com</span>
        <p>Given password</p>       
         <span concordion:set="#password">dzaiats2015</span>       
         <p concordion:execute="performLogin(#username, #password)">Step 1. Perform login</p>       
        <p>Summary: </p>
         <span concordion:set="#summary">New issue created by automated test</span>        
        <p>Description: </p>
         <span concordion:set="#description">Issue description</span>       
        <p>Priority: </p>
         <span concordion:set="#priority">Major</span>
         <p concordion:execute="createNewIssue(#summary, #description, #priority)">
            Step 2. Create new issue
         <p concordion:assertTrue="isIssueCreated()">Step 3. Assert - new issue is created</p>

As You see – You need to use Concordion schema for using of concordion’s attributes. There are next most used concordion attributes which You can use:

  • concordion:assertEquals
  • concordion:assertTrue
  • concordion:set
  • concordion:execute
  • concordion:run
  • concordion:execute on a <table>
  • concordion:execute on a <list>
  • concordion:verifyRows

You can set parameters which You want to pass in methods. You can just execute method if You want to perform any void method. More information about using of this You can find here

Step 4.

Need to create correct java test with ConcordionRunner. Here is presented an example of it:

public class CreateNewIssueSuccessfullyTest extends TestBase{

    public void performLogin(String username, String password){
        LoginPage loginPage = home.loginPage();
        loginPage.login(username, password);

    public void createNewIssue(String summary, String description, String priority){
        home.createNewIssue(summary, description, priority);

    public boolean isIssueCreated(){
        return home.isNewIssueCreated();

Step 5.

If You did everything correctly – You should be able to clean and install project without problem with using of Maven. After successful test run new report-file will appear in folder /target/specs/

What the benefits of using this approach? The answer is obviously. You have good readable living documentations which are the part of tests. And business logic is represented not only in the code, but also in readable view for non-technical stuff.

A bit later I will post a link to live example with source code of this implementation. If You have any question – just send me e-mail to itarray.net@gmail.com

Thanks for reading my articles.

“Specification by Example” or how to have updated documentation

In this article I will try to explain some trick how to work with updated documentation. I think that almost on all the project (which is working by Waterfall) happens the situation, that specification is not updated according to functionality. That test cases are obsolete. And when it’s happening – need to review all the documentation, create new one. And it takes a lot of time.
So, how to avoid this?
Start to use approach “Specification by Example (SbE)”. What is it? (From Wikipedia) Specification by example (SBE) is a collaborative approach to defining requirements and business-oriented functional tests for software products based on capturing and illustrating requirements using realistic examples instead of abstract statements. It is applied in the context of agile software development methods, in particular behavior-driven development. This approach is particularly successful for managing requirements and functional tests on large-scale projects of significant domain and organisational complexity.

Specification by example is also known as example-driven development, executable requirements, acceptance test-driven development (ATDD or A-TDD), Agile Acceptance Testing.

Successful application of Specification by example on large scale projects requires frequent validation of software functionality against a large set of examples (tests). In practice, this requires tests based on examples to be automated. A common approach is to automate the tests but keep examples in a form readable and accessible to non-technical and technical team members, keeping the examples as a single source of truth. This process is supported by a class of test automation tools which work with tests divided into two aspects – the specification and the automation layer. The specification of a test which is often in a plain text or HTML form and contains the examples and auxiliary descriptions. The automation layer connects the example to a software system under test.

The most known framework for SbE are:

  • Concordion
  • Cucumber
  • FitNesse
  • JBehave

These tools allow to collect all the examples, test steps, stories in txt or html files. After creation of examples engineer can use these files in code. What the benefits?

  • Test cases, stories are always up to date
  • Non-technical employees are able to read stories and tests. And if need – do the changes
  • All the stories are independent
  • Test engineer and business analytics could easy collaborate in creation of SbE and test cases.

How it looks like on practice?
Next examples are for Jbehave.

1. Story file with extension *.story

Scenario:  trader is alerted above threshold

Given a stock of symbol STK1 and a threshold of 10.0
When the stock is traded at 11.0
Then the alert status should be ON


2. Java class for implementation of this story:

public class TraderSteps {
    private Stock stock;

    @Given("a stock of symbol $symbol and a threshold of $threshold")
    public void aStock(String symbol, double threshold) {
        stock = new Stock(symbol, threshold);

    @When("the stock is traded at $price")
    public void theStockIsTradedAt(double price) {

    @Then("the alert status should be $status")
    public void theAlertStatusShouldBe(String status) {
        ensureThat(stock.getStatus().name(), equalTo(status));


If change something in story file – need to change also the same in Java class to avoid errors.

I recommend to use this approach if You want to avoid any problems with not-updated documentation.

In my next article I will show how to make automation framework for Web UI testing with using Selenium, JUnit, Concordion and Maven.

Thanks for reading this article.


Agile testing

Agile testing

If You want to start with agile testing on Your project – firstly You need to forget that You’re only QA/QC. In agile testing You are agile software development engineer which is involved in development processes from test perspective.
It’s very interesting – what are real responsibilities of agile tester?
Let’s think about usual responsibilities of testers on the project. Tester need to write test documentation, tester need to test application and report a bugs, tester need to prepare release documentation about defects, test process, etc.

But maybe it’s possible to avoid unwanted bugs? No – it’s impossible. But possible to reduce amount of the bugs. How to do it?
First of all – tester need start to think not only on the level of acceptance user. Try to think on unit level of application, on component and integration level. Try to think about behaviour of relationship between component.

Yes, I’m talking about TDD and BDD approaches. For this You need to know another agile testing approaches which are very useful and are required.

Test pyramid


As a agile tester You need to make test coverage on Your test application like it’s on image above. If You want to avoid long time verification during GUI testing, UAP testing – try to cover Your application by tests on unit and integration levels. This approach will help You to avoid the verification of a lot of cases on GUI level. This is ideal model.

Another approaches – Agile testing Quadrants (image is taken from http://lisacrispin.com/)


Important to divide You project for 4 Quadrants. Each of these quadrants covers another side of the project. You need to remember about importance of Automation testing on the project. Automation testing – it’s not only coverage of application on GUI level. It’s coverage by Unit tests, Behaviour tests.
Each of these quadrants also has priority. I will try to explain more about Agile testing quadrants in the next articles.

Let’s go next.


What is TDD (Test-driven development) is a software development process that relies on the repetition of a very short development cycle: first the developer writes an (initially failing) automated test case that defines a desired improvement or new function, then produces the minimum amount of code to pass that test, and finally refactors the new code to acceptable standards (From Wikipedia).


It’s mean that agile tester should really know development process.
What the tools are useful – all the unit-test framework. (JUnit, NUnit, TestNG etc.). It’s depend on platform where You’re working.

But what if You need to join all the created functions? You need to create some real behaviour scenarios and test it too. You need to think from business perspective and from test perspective on development level.
In this case it’s time to bethink about ATDD.
ATDD (Acceptance test-driven development) 
is a development methodology based on communication between the business customers, the developers, and the testers. ATDD encompasses many of the same practices as Specification by Example, Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), Example-Driven Development (EDD), and Story Test-Driven Development (SDD). All these processes aid developers and testers in understanding the customer’s needs prior to implementation and allow customers to be able to converse in their own domain language. ATDD is closely related to Test-Driven Development[TDD]. It differs by the emphasis on developer-tester-business customer collaboration. ATDD encompasses acceptance testing, but highlights writing acceptance tests before developers begin coding. (from Wikipedia)

The most popular practices is BDD. You can describe Your test story in human-readable text or html file and implement it in the code. This is very useful if You want to collect You test documentation and code in one place. It’s called Living documentation.
The most popular tools are JBehave, Cucumber, Concordion.

So, as You see – agile tester it’s a bit different tester from non-agile, because agile tester need to be able with developers on the same code. Don’t scare to use these approaches and practices on Your project. You will see benefits after some times. It will help to save the time of test execution.

Best regards,


Unit testing as part of QA’s responsibility

Hi folks!
This article is about unit testing in responsibility of QA engineer. As we know – exists different type of testing: unit (module), component, integration etc. Generally  – coverage of code by unit tests is developer’s responsibility. Because for developer it’s easy to do. He knows how some method was implemented and what need to verify here. But in this case a lot different edge-cases could be missed. That’s why now is existing some tendency that test engineers should covers the code by unit tests. Here are some benefits: test engineer will be read each line of the code and can find some gap where not implemented exception or something like this. Test engineer knows a different technique of testing, like boundary values etc. Test engineer will think how to implement DDT in TDD.
Ok, let’s think that You are assigned to the project and You need to do something like this. How to start and what You need to know.

  1. What framework for Unit testing is used. Is it JUnit or TestNG for JAVA.  NUnit or MSTest for C#?
  2. You need to think how much data You need to cover some functionality. You need to know this for choosing format of data saving. If it should be a lot of data for 1 test – better to save it in some *.xsl or *.csv files. If it should be a data for a lot of different tests – better to collect everything in *.xml or json format. Much easier to read file for people (from my perspective)
  3. You can divide the test classes by some logic or better – it’s to have separate test classes for each of classes in application.
  4. As QA – You need to find all the gaps in the code. You need to find where can happens unexpected exceptions and need to cover it.
  5. Remember – that unit test should cover only one unit, not 1 big method, which contains calls to a lot of small methods.
  6. Cover by unit tests everything. Even if You are thinking that here can not be error. Better to cover everything than catch unexpected error on production.
  7. Don’t scare to ask developers if You don’t understand something.

Here are a few useful link which You can read to understand, what You need to do. EasyTest, TestNG (DataProvider).

Thanks to all! And have a good testing!