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Appium 1.0 Is Now Live

A series of connected news announcements and blogs this month leads us to news detailing the now live status of Appium 1.0 today. Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native and hybrid mobile apps — it drives iOS and Android apps using the WebDriver JSON wire protocol.

In connected news, Sauce Labs cloud-based test automation services will now add support for Appium 1.0 to its service base.

Appium is built on the idea that testing native apps shouldn't require including an SDK or recompiling a mobile app. Appium enables you (the programmer) to automate any mobile app from any language and it lets you use your preferred test practices, frameworks, and tools.

According to the Sauce Labs blog, "After a year and a half of hard work from a dedicated team of over 100 contributors, we felt it was time to make the statement that Appium is ready to come out of its initial development phases. Companies like Expedia, LinkedIn, Lookout, Opera, Pandora, StubHub, and Zoosk have decided to test their mobile apps and websites with Appium's flexible, cross-platform interface, and it's time for Appium to make its debut on a bigger stage."

Sauce's mobile offering has continued to expand since adding support for testing mobile web applications in 2012. In 2013, Sauce added support for automated testing of native and hybrid mobile apps with early versions of Appium, a cross-platform open source mobile automation framework. Sauce Labs has become a major contributor to the project.

The firm says that Appium has "skyrocketed in popularity" in the past year, and was named a 2013 Open Source Rookie of the Year by open source management and consulting firm Black Duck.

"I am delighted to see Appium reaching maturity and gaining industry support. This has been an exciting project from day one, attracting help from an extensive and extremely talented community," says Jonathan Lipps, chief architect for the Appium Project and director of ecosystem and integrations at Sauce Labs. "Appium 1.0 is ready to play an important role for mobile development teams that want to use automated functional testing as a fully integrated step in continuous integration and continuous deployment processes for mobile apps."

By using the Sauce Labs cloud, users get scale, speed, and the convenience of integrated debugging tools, while avoiding the overhead of setting up and maintaining a local device infrastructure. Appium 1.0 now features a new set of Appium client libraries — in Java, Ruby, JavaScript, Python, PHP, and C#.

Sauce Labs says that these libraries make it easy to take advantage of all the new API methods it has added to the WebDriver spec. The new "Desired Capabilities API" here comes about after the company worked hand-in-hand with the leaders of the Selenium/WebDriver project to draft a new mobile automation spec. "We're proud to announce that Appium is the first project to support this spec," they say.

Sauce Labs continues, "Full XML/XPath support. Appium now returns meaningful XML responses as app source, instead of JSON. In addition, we now have full XPath query support over this XML source, so that it will be much easier to find the elements you need, no matter how complex the query."

The company blog continues, "Android hybrid support. On Android 4.4+ devices, you can now use Appium for your hybrid apps without falling back to the bundled Selendroid. New locator strategies. We have added the 'ios uiautomation' and 'android uiatomator' locator strategies so you can find elements on those platforms using a syntax straight from the UIAutomation or UiAutomator APIs."

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