Accessibility Testing Automation with Appium

Accessibility Testing Automation with Appium

Everything you require is on your smartphone today, and billions of programs are available for various actions. To distinguish your application from the competition, you must develop your application’s user interface effortlessly, which can be accomplished via mobile app testing. Developers can acquire knowledge from competitors by assessing their mobile applications through app testing. 

 

In mobile app testing, cloud testing utilizes cloud-based resources and services to perform various testing tasks on mobile applications. Scalability, device variety, cost-effectiveness, and cooperation are advantages of cloud-based mobile app testing systems. 

 

To execute the testing of applications in a cloud environment, developers and testers use cloud testing software solutions, also known as cloud testing tools. These cloud testing tools can be integrated with various mobile app testing tools like Appium, enabling developers to utilize the best tools and upscale their test executions.

Why Appium for Accessibility Testing Automation?

Accessibility testing Automation in mobile app testing is designed to ensure the smooth functioning of the application’s user interface and that accessibility features such as vision, hearing, motor skills, and cognitive abilities are easily accessible to people with disabilities. This process includes a variety of automated tools and the generation as well as execution of scripts.

 

Appium is an effective option for accessibility testing automation in mobile app testing due to its features and benefits, like cross-platform support, an open-source framework, etc. Here are some of the reasons why Appium is frequently used for accessibility testing automation:

 

  • Cross-Platform Support: Appium’s ability to support both Apple and iOS for mobile app testing executions makes it a cross-platform solution for the tester community. Teams can utilize a single automation framework to test numerous mobile operating systems.

 

  • Open-source framework:  Appium is an open-source automation framework that can be freely used in the mobile app testing community. Its open nature fosters community cooperation and contributions, resulting in continuous improvement and upgrades.

 

  • Standardized Automation: The WebDriver protocol is a common approach for automating web browsers. This allows testers to leverage their knowledge of WebDriver commands for mobile automation, shortening the Appium learning curve. 

 

  • Support for several programming languages:  Appium has the flexibility to create and execute scripts in various relevant programming languages, including Java, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, and C# 

 

  • Supports both real devices and emulators: Appium’s ability to automate on both actual devices, as well as emulators and simulators, makes this platform more versatile, as it is critical for testing the program in a range of scenarios and verifying that accessibility features function properly across multiple devices and operating system versions.

 

  • Integration with third-party tools: Appium is readily connected with various tools and frameworks, including those for accessibility testing. This enables testing teams to expand their automation scripts with accessibility tests supplied by specialist tools such as Axe Accessibility Checker.

 

  • Active community and documentation: Appium’s user and contributor communities are vast and active. This community support implies that there are a multitude of tools, forums, and documentation accessible for users to seek advice and direction as they include accessibility testing in their Appium.

 

  • Continuous Updates and Improvements: The Appium project is constantly developing, so this framework is always updated with the latest tools and features to meet the demands of modern-day applications and is relevant in the tester community.

 

  • Compatibility with Appium Desktop and Inspector: Tools such as Appium Desktop and Appium Inspector improve the mobile app testing journey and debugging experiences as these tools evaluate and debug mobile apps throughout the automation process.

 

  • Consistency in Test Approach: Appium’s automation method, which is based on common automation protocols and the familiar WebDriver interface, guarantees consistency in testing across platforms. This uniformity facilitates the development and maintenance of test scripts.

Guide to Executing Accessibility Testing Automation with Appium

A comprehensive step-by-step guide will help you execute accessibility testing automation with the Appium tool. Appium provides a hassle-free mobile app testing experience with its numerous tools and flexibility to integrate with cloud testing tools.

Setup Appium Environment 

Before you begin accessibility testing, ensure your Appium environment is correctly configured. Install Appium and configure it for the mobile platforms you want to use (iOS or Android). Ensure you have all relevant dependencies, such as the Appium server, mobile device emulators or actual devices, and any necessary drivers.

Install Mobile Application 

Install the mobile app you want to test on the target device or emulator. Users can install the app manually or use an Appium test script to automate the process.

Write an Appium test script 

Write or change your Appium test script to add accessibility checks. Use the Appium WebDriver API to interact with mobile application components and receive accessibility information. This script will be used as the base for your automated accessibility testing.

 

Given below is an example of executing code for the testing in Python language

 

desired_capabilities = {

    ‘platformName’: ‘Android’,

    ‘deviceName’: ‘your_device_name’,

    ‘app’: ‘path/to/your/app.apk’,

    ‘automationName’: ‘UiAutomator2’,  # Use UiAutomator2 for Android

    ‘autoGrantPermissions’: True

}

 

driver = webdriver.Remote(‘http://localhost:4723/wd/hub’, desired_capabilities)

 

# Perform actions and retrieve accessibility information

element = driver.find_element_by_id(“your_element_id”)

content_description = element.get_attribute(“contentDescription”)

 

Integrate Accessibility Testing Tools 

Developers and testers can further improve accessibility testing by adding third-party tools like the Axe Accessibility Checker to their Appium test scripts. These programs do automatic accessibility assessments and produce thorough results. Integration allows for a more complete study of accessibility features inside their mobile application.

 

 Here is a sample of the script  (python language ):

 

from appium import webdriver

from axe_selenium_python import Axe

 

# Set up Appium driver

driver = webdriver.Remote(‘http://localhost:4723/wd/hub’, desired_capabilities)

 

# Run axe accessibility checks

axe = Axe(driver)

results = axe.run()

 

# Analyze results and take appropriate actions

Run the Appium test script 

Run your Appium test script locally or through a cloud testing platform. Check that the target device or emulator is operational and correctly configured. Running the script starts the automated testing process, which includes the execution of accessibility tests.

 

# Run your Appium script

python your_test_script.py

Analyze accessibility test results.

Examine the accessibility checks’ outcomes. Investigate any errors or violations identified by the accessibility testing tools. The results give insights into areas of the mobile application that may need development to increase accessibility.

Iterate and Improve 

Enhance the mobile app code or UI components based on accessibility testing findings. Rerun the Appium test script and accessibility checks to ensure that all issues have been resolved. This iterative method guarantees that accessibility features are continuously improved.

Integrate using Continuous Integration (CI) 

Integrate accessibility tests into your CI/CD process to ensure continuous testing. Automate accessibility testing for each code contribution to ensure consistent and proactive detection of any issues.

 

Here is a further explanation of the process of integrating accessibility tests into CI/CD

Choose a CI/CD Platform 

It is significant to select an appropriate platform for the project to avoid further hurdles. The most relevant platforms include Jenkins, Travis CI, CircleCI, GitLab CI/CD, and GitHub Actions. Ensure your chosen platform allows you to run Appium tests and accessibility checks.

Integration of accessibility into Continuous Integration (CI) 

Set up the CI environment

Configure your CI environment to include the dependencies required for running Appium tests. Install Appium, the necessary drivers, and other tools your test scripts rely on. To minimize discrepancies, ensure the CI environment closely replicates your local testing environment.

Integrate Appium test scripts

Integrate Appium test scripts into your CI/CD pipeline. This includes putting your test scripts under version control (e.g., Git) and configuring your CI platform to fetch and execute them throughout the build and deployment processes.

 

Configure Appium Server

Configure the CI environment to launch the Appium server before running any tests. Depending on your CI/CD platform, you may need to add commands to your build scripts to start and stop the Appium server. Make sure that the server is operating on the supplied address and port.

 

Implement accessibility tests in CI

Expand your Appium test scripts to incorporate accessibility checks. If you are utilizing third-party accessibility testing tools, such as Axe Accessibility Checker, ensure that the necessary dependencies are installed in the CI environment. Integrate accessibility tests into your current test suites to evaluate the application’s accessibility throughout the CI process.

 

Here is a sample of script –

 

# Example configuration in a Jenkinsfile for Jenkins CI

pipeline {

    agent any

    stages {

        stage(‘Build’) {

            steps {

                // Set up the environment, install dependencies, and start Appium server

            }

        }

        stage(‘Test’) {

            steps {

                // Execute Appium tests with accessibility checks

            }

        }

        // Add more stages as needed (e.g., deployment)

    }

    post {

        always {

            // Stop the Appium server and perform cleanup

        }

    }

}

 

Opt for your CI pipeline to create comprehensive accessibility reports after testing.

Accessibility testing programs frequently include report creation features. Capture the results of accessibility checks, including any breaches or difficulties discovered during test execution.

 

Notify and fail builds with accessibility issues 

Implement ways to inform the development team and stop the CI build if accessibility concerns are discovered. This guarantees that accessibility issues are handled quickly while maintaining a high level of inclusion.

Run the Continuous Integration Pipeline regularly

Schedule the CI process to run frequently, ideally after each code commit. Regular execution enables constant monitoring of accessibility factors and allows for early discovery of difficulties. This proactive strategy helps avoid accessibility difficulties from building up over time.

 

By following these steps, you can effortlessly incorporate accessibility testing automation with Appium into your continuous integration workflow. This connection encourages a more accessible development process, allowing your team to identify and fix accessibility issues quickly and consistently. Regularly examine and update your CI pipeline to meet changing accessibility requirements and best practices.

 

You can also run automated Appium testing on cloud grid like LambdaTest. LambdaTest is a robust cloud testing platform that aims to streamline and enhance the automation testing process for developers and testers. What sets LambdaTest apart is its ability to automate complex and uncertain scenarios, providing a reliable solution for addressing various testing requirements.

 

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test execution and orchestration that offers access to over 3000 real browsers and operating system combinations. This diverse testing environment ensures comprehensive coverage, guaranteeing thorough testing across various configurations.

 

LambdaTest goes beyond traditional automation capabilities, making it an invaluable tool for handling intricate testing scenarios. Its user-friendly interface and advanced features empower teams to seamlessly automate tests, enabling efficient and effective testing across different browsers and operating systems. All in all, LambdaTest proves to be a versatile and powerful ally for those looking to optimize their automation testing processes.

 

Conclusion

To summarize, accessibility testing automation with Appium is critical for ensuring that mobile apps are inclusive and user-friendly for people of all abilities. Appium’s multi-platform assistance, free and open-source features, and interoperability with various programming languages make it a great choice for automated accessibility tests in the mobile app testing community. Integrating accessibility testing into a Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline improves the development process by allowing for consistent and proactive discovery of accessibility concerns. 

 

Development teams can build more inclusive and high-quality mobile applications by upgrading test scripts regularly, using third-party tools, and executing accessibility tests as part of continuous integration. Accepting accessibility as an inherent element of the development lifecycle increases user pleasure and corresponds with the ideals of diversity and inclusion in the world of mobile app testing.

 

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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