Because the scope of commands implemented in Appium drivers is broader than the scope of commands defined by the W3C WebDriver spec, Appium needs a way for these "extended" commands to be accessible by client libraries. There are two main strategies for this:
- Appium drivers define new W3C-compatible API routes, and Appium clients are updated to include support for those new routes.
- Appium drivers define so-called "Execute Methods" which provide new functionality by
overloading the existing
Execute Scriptcommand which is already available in any WebDriver- based client library (including all Selenium and Appium clients).
There are pros and cons for each strategy, but it is ultimately up to the extension author to decide how they wish implement new commands.
This guide is designed to specifically help you understand the "Execute Method" strategy. This pattern is commonly used in official Appium drivers and other third-party extensions.
Here's an example of how the
Execute Script command is designed to work in the world of WebDriver
and browser automation:
a function body) to be executed within the web browser. The client can send arguments which are serialized, sent over HTTP, and finally provided to the function as parameters. In this example, we are essentially defining
an addition function. The return value of the
Execute Script command is whatever the return value
Each client library has its own way of calling the command and providing any arguments to the script function, but the function itself—the snippet—is always a string and is the same across all languages.
In the world of Appium, we are usually not automating a web browser, which means this command is
not particularly useful. But it is useful as a way to encode the name of an arbitrary command and
to provide parameters. For example, the XCUITest
Driver has implemented a command that lets a client
terminate a running application if you know the ID (the
bundleId) of the app. The way that the
driver makes this command available is via the Execute Method
parameters for the method, which are documented by the driver. In this case, we have a parameter
bundleId, whose value should be a string encoding the ID of the app to terminate. Here is
how this Execute Method would be called:
- The script string is just a command name; it will be provided by the driver documentation
- The standard way to provide parameters is as a single object with keys representing parameter
names and values representing parameter values. So in this case, we had to specify both the
parameter name (
bundleId) as the key of the parameters object, and the parameter value (
com.my.app) as the value for that key. A driver can define parameters as required or optional.
Of course, always refer to the documentation for the particular Execute Method in case the author has made any alterations to the standard access method.