Appium vs Selenium

Selenium and Appium are both open source test automation frameworks. Selenium reduces the complexity of automated web application testing by supporting a wide range of browsers, operating systems, and programming languages. Appium includes features that make automated testing of native, mobile web, and hybrid apps easier.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a browser automation tool. That's all! It is entirely up to you what you do with that power. It is primarily used to automate web applications for testing purposes, but it is not limited to that. Web-based administration tasks that are tedious can (and should!) be automated as well.

  • Selenium Webdriver:Selenium WebDriver, which was created as a collection of open-source APIs, works with a variety of browsers including Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Apart from its sibling in the Selenium family, Selenium RC, WebDriver communicates directly with browsers without the use of JavaScript.No need to wait for web pages to load because WebDriver supports the headless HtmlUnit browser, which speeds up the test execution cycle.
  • Selenium IDE:Selenium IDE is a tool for creating and editing Selenium test cases for web applications. Except for adding the extension of the tester's specific browser, Selenium IDE is suitable for even novice programmers and requires no specific setup step to get started.The development environment that allows testers to transfer test cases to various programming languages, giving them greater flexibility in test execution.
  • Selenium Grid:Selenium Grid is meant to run numerous tests in comparison across multiple operating systems, browsers, and machines. It provides significant relief for heavy test loads by allowing QA to manage large test suites faster and reduce the total time required to complete a parallel-testing complete pass.

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Why Selenium?

Selenium is the most widely used open source and freeware automation tool. Selenium has numerous advantages for test automation. It also supports recording and playback for testing web applications and can run multiple scripts across web platforms.

  • It is an open source and multi language support.
  • It can be utilized and tested across various mobile devices.
  • It supports multiple languages and frameworks.

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What is Appium?

Appium is a free and open source test automation framework for native, hybrid, and mobile web applications. It uses the WebDriver protocol to drive iOS and Android apps. Sauce Labs and a thriving community of open source developers support Appium.

Appium supports the creation of automated scripts in a variety of programming languages, including Java, PHP, Perl, Python, and others. Appium's growing availability stems from its robust ability to write tests against a variety of platforms.

Appium's foundation is written in Node.js, and it operates on a client-server architecture, which includes:

  • Appium Client: a fully automated scripted code that stores the mobile device and application configuration details.
  • Appium Server: obtains command requests in JSON format from the Appium client and executes them on mobile devices.
  • End Device: primarily a real-time mobile device or an emulator wherein automated scripts are executed, with a connection to Appium Server and commands from Client.

Why Appium?

  • Appium is a free and open-source testing framework.
  • Automates the testing of native, hybrid, and mobile web applications.
  • Supports a variety of programming languages (Ruby, Java, Python, etc.)
  • Cross-platform (Android and iOS) testing on real devices, emulators, and simulators is possible.

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Comparison between Appium and Selenium

Selenium can be used by testers to analyze different web applications that run in web browsers. They can use Appium to test various types of mobile apps that run on the iOS and Android platforms. Appium, on the other hand, drives the iOS, Android, and Windows apps via Selenium WebDriver.

This even drives the ios or Android sessions with the WebDriver JSON wire protocol. However, the two most widely used software testing frameworks differ greatly in usability, interoperability, and utilization. To choose the best test framework, testers must explain the main discrepancies between Selenium and Appium.

Related Article: Selenium Webdriver Commands

Design compatibility:

Selenium is a test automation framework for websites and web applications. It was created with the goal of speeding up web application testing by automatically controlling browser actions. Appium, on the other hand, was created as a NodeJS HTTP server. As a prerequisite for initializing and using the Appium server, testers must install NodeJS on the system.


Selenium WebDriver and Selenium IDE are the two distinct parts of Selenium that testers can use. WebDriver simplifies the creation of browser-based regression automation tests and suites.It even enables testers to smoothly distribute test cases across multiple environments. Appium uses WebDriver to automate mobile app testing. It manages iOS and Android sessions using the WebDriver JSON wire protocol.

Platform support:

Selenium as well as Appium are both cross-platform testing frameworks. Selenium speeds up web application testing by supporting the most popular desktop browsers and operating systems. Appium, on the other hand, supports Windows as well as major mobile platforms such as iOS and Android.

Programming Languages support:

Selenium contains a range of popular programming languages, including Java, PHP, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and C#. As a result, testers can write test scripts in a variety of programming languages. With the Selenium client library, Appium supports all programming languages. Appium, on the other hand, has features that allow it to generate test scripts automatically, unlike Selenium.

Use Cases

Selenium is a test automation framework for web application testing. However, the testers can also use Selenium to automate web services and API tests. They can even use Selenium to automate mobile app testing. On the other hand, Appium comes with features to automate mobile app testing. The testers can use Appium to evaluate native, mobile web, and hybrid apps. They can even use Appium to test apps running on iOS and Android platforms and devices.

Integration tools:

Appium integration tools are lambda test, sauce labs, Applitools, greenhouse, cross browser testing, etc. The selenium integration tools are browserstack, sauce labs, WebdriverIO, lambda test, etc. 

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Selenium vs Appium: Key Differences


Although both Appium and Selenium are popular automation tools, Compared to Appium, Selenium is more widely used. 

Concept of Design

Selenium is a test automation platform developed for web applications. It was made to speed up the web application testing by automatically observing browser activity. In contrast, Appium was developed as an HTTP server utilising NodeJS. Before starting and utilising the Appium server, testers must install NodeJS on the target device.

NodeJS Requirement

NodeJS must be installed on the system for Appium to run. NodeJS is not required for Selenium to run on the system.

Automation Capability

Although Selenium can automate many types of web applications, mobile applications cannot be automated. However Appium offers automation for Web as well as mobile applications.

Operating System Support

Appium and Selenium are both cross-platform testing automation tools. Selenium promotes popular desktop browsers and operating systems, which facilitates testing of web applications. iOS and Android are not supported by Selenium. However, Appium also works with Windows and supports popular mobile operating systems like iOS and Android.

Parallel Testing

Parallel testing refers to a type of testing in which the same test will be performed on various environments and on various operating systems simultaneously and generate the results. As a result the execution time will be saved. 

Parallel testing is supported by Selenium. Parallel testing can be performed in Selenium by initiating configuration for it. But Appium does not offer Parallel Testing. So Parallel testing cannot be done in Appium. 

Coding Knowledge

To work with Selenium, we need to have Coding Knowledge. While working with Appium we don’t need any coding knowledge.

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Benefits of Selenium

  • Selenium is an open source tool and it is really easy to get started using Selenium.
  • Many operating systems including Windows, linux, Max are compatible with it.
  • Allows the test automation engineers and developers to write code in any programming language like Python, Java, Ruby, etc.
  • Prominent browsers like Firefox, chrome and safari are supported by Selenium
  • It Allows Parallel testing.
  • It Provides Firm documentation Support.

Benefits of Appium

  • Appian is an open source and free to use application.
  • Automated testing of hybrid, native and mobile web applications is possible through Appium.
  • Appium supports a variety of Programming languages like Ruby, Java, Python, etc.
  • Appium allows cross- platform testing  on the real devices, emulators as well as simulators.

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Appium and Selenium are both popular automation tools for mobile and web applications. Because both Appium and Selenium support almost all programming languages, including Java, PHP, and C#It is very simple for developers to use in any language where it is required.Because both Appium and Selenium receive significant automation testing results, it technically makes testers very happy, especially when it comes to ignoring any other kind of human error during manual system development.

Related Article: 

  1. Selenium vs Tosca
  2. Selenium Architecture
  3. selenium Community

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Appium vs Selenium FAQ's

Both Appium and Selenium are best in their own way and possess different features. In order to automate any web application, Selenium is best while to automate any mobile application, Appium is best.

No Appium is not the extension of Selenium. Appium uses Selenium’s JSON wire protocol extension to support mobile-web, native and hybrid applications.

Appium does not require any coding knowledge. But having a basic knowledge of programming languages will be beneficial.

Appium is easy to learn. If you are already familiar with the Selenium tool, you will just take a couple of hours to learn Appium.

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