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Appium vs Sauce Labs: What are the differences?

Developers describe Appium as "Automation for iOS and Android Apps". Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps. It drives iOS and Android apps using the WebDriver protocol. Appium is sponsored by Sauce Labs and a thriving community of open source developers. On the other hand, Sauce Labs is detailed as "Test mobile or web apps instantly across 700+ browser/OS/device platform combinations - without infrastructure setup". Cloud-based automated testing platform enables developers and QEs to perform functional, JavaScript unit, and manual tests with Selenium or Appium on web and mobile apps. Videos and screenshots for easy debugging. Secure and CI-ready.

Appium belongs to "Mobile Testing Frameworks" category of the tech stack, while Sauce Labs can be primarily classified under "Browser Testing".

Some of the features offered by Appium are:

  • Works on native and hybrid mobile apps
  • Write mobile tests using any language or framework
  • Open source

On the other hand, Sauce Labs provides the following key features:

  • 700+ browser/OS/device combinations for cross-browser and platform testing to improve web and mobile app quality and eliminate the overhead of internal infrastructure
  • Highly reliable, on-demand cloud for enterprise-grade scalability and industry standard security
  • Optimized for popular testing frameworks, CI systems, and surrounding tools and services

"Webdriverio support" is the top reason why over 5 developers like Appium, while over 54 developers mention "Selenium-compatible" as the leading cause for choosing Sauce Labs.

Appium is an open source tool with 9.5K GitHub stars and 3.9K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Appium's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Sauce Labs has a broader approval, being mentioned in 66 company stacks & 11 developers stacks; compared to Appium, which is listed in 31 company stacks and 21 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Appium?

Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps. It drives iOS and Android apps using the WebDriver protocol. Appium is sponsored by Sauce Labs and a thriving community of open source developers.

What is Sauce Labs?

Cloud-based automated testing platform enables developers and QEs to perform functional, JavaScript unit, and manual tests with Selenium or Appium on web and mobile apps. Videos and screenshots for easy debugging. Secure and CI-ready.
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    What are some alternatives to Appium and Sauce Labs?
    Selendroid
    Selendroid is a test automation framework which drives off the UI of Android native and hybrid applications (apps) and the mobile web. Tests are written using the Selenium 2 client API
    Selenium
    Selenium automates browsers. That's it! What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily, it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.
    EarlGrey
    EarlGrey is a native iOS UI automation test framework that enables you to write clear, concise tests. With the EarlGrey framework, you have access to enhanced synchronization features. EarlGrey automatically synchronizes with the UI, network requests, and various queues; but still allows you to manually implement customized timings, if needed.
    Magneto
    Magneto was built by Automation Engineers for Automation Engineers out of necessity for a mobile centric test automation framework that's easy to setup, run and utilize.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Appium and Sauce Labs
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    Interest over time
    Reviews of Appium and Sauce Labs
    Review ofSauce LabsSauce Labs

    Sauce Labs is a fantastic testing tool that I am using for my QA internship.

    I am particularly happy with the speed of which any virtual machine loads - that saves me heaps of time and allows me to concentrate on executing more tests instead of blankly staring at the screen (and I do appreciate funny quotes displayed during the minimal wait) . I constantly have to switch between different OS and browsers and so far I had nothing but speedy and reliable experience. Moreover, getting Sauce Labs to work with local links could not have been easier!

    Sauce Labs tool is in general very simple to use for either manual or automated testing, with a lot of great resources available that are easily accessible. I additionally feel that Sauce Labs goes beyond a testing tool - it is also a community of testers and for testers, which I find really appealing. I have been using BrowserStack previously and although it was also a great testing tool, I feel that it is lacking the support Sauce Labs offers.

    All in all - I only have positive things to say about Sauce Labs, the only thing that could possibly be improved (and I'm just being picky) is the speed of which iOS cloud loads - it appears to be slightly slower than other virtual machines.

    Review ofSauce LabsSauce Labs

    SauceLabs is widely used by QAs for both types of testing manual and automation. It provides possibility of compatibility testing on different OS and browsers + mobile platforms for those who don't have big test stand with all real devices. I started to use SauceLabs only because of not having real devices to test website for compatibility and responsive design. After this useful experience I started to learn about automation with Selenium Webdriver and again SauceLabs helped me with tests execution on different platforms. It's easy to setup and to integrate in existing solutions and saved us a lot of time. I love reporting provided by SauceLabs, you can check video and screenshots after or view running test on the fly. Now I recommend SauceLabs to all QAs in my and other companies, even developers are using it to reproduce bugs and check their code on different devices. SauceLabs has very good documentation and big community where any appeared question can be quickly answered. I receive their emails about news and tips how to use it efficiently, sometimes there are useful webinars at SauceLabs. Thank you for this great everyday job!

    Review ofSauce LabsSauce Labs

    We chose to use Sauce Labs as our Selenium Grid in the cloud b/c we didn't want to support testing on Windows/IE in-house due to security concerns.

    Thus choosing a service like Sauce Labs was the only solution we had to execute our Watir-WebDriver (Selenium) acceptance tests on IE and other browser/OS combos.

    Pros: It took me a few hours to get setup and immediately start running tests. Our main test stack consists of: Cucumber/Watir-WebDriver (Selenium-WebDriver) and getting it up and running was not that hard. It was very fast to spin up a VM and run tests and view the screencasts and screenshots. Easier to use this as opposed to setting up an in-house Selenium Grid setup.

    Cons: I didn't find ANY documentation on how to setup Watir-WebDriver on Sauce Labs, I had to figure it out via Googling. The Watir tests do run a tad bit slow on SL. The UI is a bit dated, tried out the new beta UI and it looks nicer but doesn't seem to be ready for production use, the screencast view in beta mode was way too big.

    Overall I like it as it's easy to use and gets the job done. I have yet to setup w/Jenkins, that's the next stop.

    Review ofSauce LabsSauce Labs

    We worked on a 3-year engagement with a major pharmaceutical company. Our builds had to go through a complex review and deployment process with different many players making code and configuration changes across various build profiles and environments. We wanted to ensure that nothing was broken in our application code in this process, and that any breakages would be immediately identified.

    We used Sauce Labs to create a testing suite for our app, and added tests with each new release. This helped us identify several critical issues before they ever surfaced as problems on the public-facing sites. We found the Sauce Labs platform very easy to use. We were already experienced with Selenium, but had a few questions about how to run and manage our tests on Sauce. We found the documentation to be quite helpful. On the rare occasions that we had to reach out to Sauce Labs support, we received prompt, thorough replies which kept our development process moving forward at full speed.

    The Sauce Labs tools have become a vital part of our development infrastructure.

    Avatar of kartikthathagar
    Sr. QA Engineer at Sapizone
    Review ofSauce LabsSauce Labs

    Like: Lot's of OS/Browsers for tests, supports all major frameworks. Works great with Jenkins(their Sauce OnDemand plug-in is pretty awesome). Can be used in many ways and very versatile.

    Lots of business problem solved....just having a quick ability to create test environments. That's a big one and Sauce Labs solves that. A realized benefit is having the ability to have videos and screenshots saved of tests.

    Dislike: I would like to see improved would be the performance. Tests run faster locally than they do on Sauce, but if you run your tests in parallel and can have a number of VM's running at the same time then this usually doesn't create much of a problem.

    Other Feedback: You can look at other cloud options like BrowserStack, but they don't give you the same ease of use and support for the price. You can create test agents in your own network, but they you have to constantly maintain each vm or system and that eats up valuable time. It's much easier and price effective to go with Sauce plus you get great support with them when you run into issues.

    How developers use Appium and Sauce Labs
    Avatar of Chris Riley
    Chris Riley uses Sauce LabsSauce Labs

    Browser testing grid and test automation so we don't need the servers to do it. Integrates with CI.

    Avatar of In Situ Training
    In Situ Training uses Sauce LabsSauce Labs

    Front tests automation, in the cloud (with codeship)

    Avatar of fhumayun
    fhumayun uses Sauce LabsSauce Labs

    All Selenium scripts contain SauceLabs Grid Caps.

    Avatar of Praveen Pavithran
    Praveen Pavithran uses AppiumAppium

    Appium was used to automate app testing.

    Avatar of Traitanit Huangsri
    Traitanit Huangsri uses AppiumAppium

    Hybrid Mobile App UI Testing

    Avatar of Alexpts Pts
    Alexpts Pts uses Sauce LabsSauce Labs
    How much does Appium cost?
    How much does Sauce Labs cost?
    Pricing unavailable
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