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Software Testing

Appium vs Selenium: Everything You Need to Know

In this blog, we look into two popular automated testing tools, Selenium and Appium.

You will also know how they differ from each other, and which one is suitable for your automated testing project.


Selenium is an open-source test automation framework that enables QAs to automate web-application testing.

Selenium has a tool suite, consisting of four main components:

  1. Selenium IDE
  2. Selenium RC
  3. Selenium WebDriver
  4. Selenium Grid

This tool suite provided by Selenium enables QAs to verify their web-applications for cross browser compatibility on both desktops and mobiles by performing automation.

Benefits of Selenium

The key benefits of Selenium are:

  1. Selenium is Open Source and is very simple to start with.
  2. Provides compatibility with multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac.
  3. Gives developers or test automation engineers the flexibility to write scripts in a programming language of their choice (Java, Ruby, Python, etc.).
  4. Supports leading browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
  5. Enables parallel testing.
  6. Offers firm documentation support.


Appium is the most popular open-source framework for mobile app automation testing.

It allows QAs to automate tests for popular mobile platforms like Android, iOS, and Windows. 

Appium uses the mobile JSON wire protocol (an extension of Selenium JSON wire protocol) to drive native, mobile web and hybrid applications

The Appium server is scripted in Node.js and is compatible with leading client libraries like Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, and a few others.

Benefits of Appium

The key benefits of Appium are:

  1. Appium is free and open source.
  2. Enables automated testing of native, hybrid and mobile web applications.
  3. Provides support for multiple programming languages (Ruby, Java, Python, etc.).
  4. Enables cross-platform (Android & iOS) testing on real devices, emulators and simulators.

Selenium vs Appium: 10 Key Differences

There are mainly 8 differences between Selenium and Appium. They are:

1. Automation Capability

Selenium provides automation capability for all types of web applications but cannot automate mobile applications.

But Appium provides automation for both web applications and mobile applications.

2. Operating System Support

Both Selenium and Appium are cross-platform testing automation systems. 

Selenium speeds up testing of web applications by promoting major desktop browsers and operating systems.

Selenium does not support iOS and Android platforms.

On the other hand, Appium supports Windows together with major mobile platforms such as iOS and Android.

3. Parallel Testing

Parallel testing is a type of testing where the same tests can be run on different environments and in different OSs at the same time and generate results. 

This helps in saving the execution time since all the tests are run at the same time. 

Selenium supports parallel testing, and we can do parallel testing by doing configurations for it.

But on the other hand, Appium does not support parallel testing. So, we can’t do parallel testing in Appium.

4. Document Support

Appium provides the ability for documentation, and it has good documentation support.

On the other hand, Selenium also supports documentation.

But the documentation support provided by Selenium is far better compared to Appium.

5. Coding Knowledge

Selenium requires coding knowledge for its operation. Appium does not require coding knowledge for its operation.

6. NodeJS Requirement

Appium needs NodeJS in the system for its execution. Selenium does not need NodeJS in the system for its execution.

7. Concept of Design

Selenium has been developed as a test automation suite for websites and web applications.

It was designed to speed the testing of web applications by automatically monitoring browser behavior.

On the other hand, Appium has been built as an HTTP server using NodeJS.

Testers must install NodeJS on the device as a prerequisite for initializing and using the Appium server.

8. Popularity

Selenium is more popular compared to Appium.

9. Web Driver

In the case of Selenium, testers can select from two different sections of Selenium – Selenium WebDriver and Selenium IDE. 

WebDriver allows it to be simpler for developers to build browser-based regression automation tests and suites. It also helps testers to spread test cases seamlessly through several environments. 

Appium automates the testing of mobile applications by using WebDriver. It operates iOS and Android sessions via the JSON wire protocol of the WebDriver.

10. Support for Programming Language

Selenium supports a range of widely-used programming languages – Java, PHP, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and C#.

Testers, therefore, have the option of writing test scripts in a variety of programming languages. 

Appium supports all programming languages of the Selenium client library. Unlike Selenium, Appium has the features to build test scripts instantly.

Final Thoughts

Both Selenium and Appium are good in their own way and have different capabilities. 

If you want to automate any web application, Selenium is a good option to choose. But if you want to automate a mobile application, then Appium is the best choice.

If you want a tech partner to test your software application using Selenium or Appium, then get in touch with our testing experts at Perfomatix.

Perfomatix | Product Engineering Services Company