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Many testers are leveraging the Espresso framework for Android test automation. In this blog, you'll get an overview of Espresso testing — and you'll learn the benefits of using Espresso for Android test automation.
Espresso is an Android-specific UI test automation framework. Espresso is open source, so it is very easy for developers to use and extend within their working environment (Android Studio IDE). Developed, led, and maintained by Google, Espresso is consistently up to date with recent Android OS features.
Espresso uses Junit underneath the hood, so it is easy to use within leading IDEs. Espresso for Android provides useful testing annotations and assertions. It's also fully integrated within the leading Google Android IDE – Android Studio.
Espresso testing is important because it enables you to write reliable user interface tests for Android. Espresso Android automatically syncs your test actions with the user interface of your application.
Validating your Android application (APK) throughout the build/dev/test workflow can be challenging. That's because:
In light of these challenges, it's clear why so many adopt the Espresso automation framework for Android mobile testing.
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Android Espresso testing has many benefits to both developers and Android automation testing engineers. Here are the 4 biggest benefits of using Espresso testing on Android
Espresso testing allows developers to build a test suite as a stand-alone APK. This APK can be installed on the target devices alongside the application under test and be executed very quickly.
Android Espresso gives developers fast feedback on their code changes. So, they can move on to the next feature or defect fix faster.
Android Espresso test automation does not require any server (like Selenium Remote WebDriver) to communicate with. Instead, it runs side-by-side with the app and delivers very fast (minutes) test results to the developer.
Android Espresso test automation offers a synchronized method of execution. So, the stability of the test cycle is very high.
There's a built-in mechanism in Espresso Android that, prior to moving to the next steps in the test, validates that the Element or Object is actually displayed on the screen. This keeps test execution from breaking when confronted with "objects not detected" and other errors.
Developing Espresso test automation is quite easy. It is based on Java and Junit. This is a core skill set for any Android app developer.
Because Espresso works seamlessly within the Android Studio IDE, there's no setup or ramping up and no “excuses.”
There is, of course, the large community powered by Google that pushes the Espresso test automation framework. This gives newcomers a fast and easy ramp-up.
Android plus Espresso is a powerful combination in test automation.
Like any tool or framework, Espresso has its drawbacks too. Here are a few.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you start using Espresso for testing.
Get tips to get started with Espresso testing on Android faster. Here's an Espresso Android testing cheat sheet:
The Espresso framework is great for Android test automation. But this open-source framework can't do everything.
That's where Perfecto fits in. It integrates with frameworks like Espresso to:
Perfecto offers support for both Android Studio IDE and the Espresso test suite (APK). See for yourself the power of the world's only end-to-end continuous testing platform. Try it for free today.
Director of Product Management, Perfecto
Roy has over 15 years of experience in the quality assurance domain, specializing in enterprise software. Over the course of his career, Roy's roles have spanned engineering, product delivery and product management. He is an expert in software quality, application lifecycle management (ALM) and end-to-end IT management. Prior to joining Perfecto, Roy held a number of senior positions at HP Software and Mercury. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Hebrew University in Israel.