Test Automation Tools: 4 Benefits to Using the Espresso Framework

4 Benefits of Using the Espresso Test Automation Tool

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If you’re an Android developer, you’re probably familiar with Google’s Espresso test automation framework. As an open-source tool, it’s very easy for developers to use and extend within their working environment (Android Studio IDE).

But before discussing the benefits of Espresso, let’s understand the motivations and pains developers and test automation engineers face today while trying to validate their Android application (APK) throughout the build/dev/test workflow.

  • Each build needs to be validated after code changes are made.
  • Dependencies on remote servers and other workstations for testing slow down the process.
  • Unit and functional tests need to be easy to execute from both an IDE and continuous integration perspective.
  • Apps need to be tested using the latest Android OS APIs that support new platform features and OS versions.
  • Testing needs to occur on both emulators and real devices.

In light of these challenges, it’s clear why the adoption of the Espresso automation framework is high. Even though Espresso is an instrumentation-based test framework, it has many benefits to both developers and test automation engineers. It uses Junit underneath the hood, so Espresso is easy to use within leading IDEs and provides useful testing annotations and assertions. It’s also fully integrated within the leading Google Android IDE – Android Studio.

Here are four main benefits of using Espresso:

1. Espresso workflow is simple to use

The way Espresso works is by allowing developers to build a test suite as a stand-alone APK that can be installed on the target devices alongside the application under test and be executed very quickly.

2. Fast and reliable feedback to developers

As developers are trying to accelerate deployment, Espresso gives them fast feedback on their code changes so they can move on to the next feature or defect fix; having a robust and fast test framework plays a key role.

Espresso 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.

3. Less mobile testing flakiness

Because Espresso offers a synchronized method of execution, the stability of the test cycle is very high. There’s a built-in mechanism in Espresso that, prior to moving to the next steps in the test, validates that the Element or Object is actually displayed on the screen. This eliminates test execution from breaking when confronted with “objects not detected” and other errors.

4. Developing Espresso test automation isn’t hard

Developing Espresso test automation is quite easy. It is based on Java and Junit, which is a core skillset for any Android app developer. Because Espresso works seamlessly within the Android Studio IDE, there’s no setup or ramping up and no “excuses” – to actually shift quality in the in-cycle stage of the app SDLC.

In addition to the above, there is of course the large community powered by Google that pushes the Espresso test automation framework and allow easy and fast ramp up for newcomers.

Learn more using the Espresso Cheat sheet below:

Espresso Test Automation Framework

Perfecto is offering support for both Android Studio IDE as well as the ability to install and launch an Espresso test suite (APK) on real devices in the cloud across various locations and user conditions. For more information, please refer to the Perfecto Community and search for “Android Studio” or “Espresso.”

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.


  1. Eyal Yovel August 5, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Nice article Roy. Well done

    • Roy Nuriel September 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply


  2. SathyaNarayan August 10, 2017 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Is it possible to do Data parameterization unlike other automation frameworks? How to identify elements…

  3. SathyaNarayan August 10, 2017 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Is it possible to do Data parameterization unlike other automation frameworks? How to identify elements…

  4. Sam August 15, 2017 at 9:14 am - Reply

    If I use espresso for Android – what is the choice CS for iOS and windows ?
    Nice writeup

    • Roy Nuriel September 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      The equivalent for iOS would be XCUITest – as far as i know there is no similar solution for Windows.

  5. Esteban August 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Good article, thank you

  6. Ransom October 31, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I have always been a strong advocate for Appium and webdriver based frameworks but reading this helped me realise why tools like espresso and XCUITest exist independently. The benefits are huge especially for test automation jobs that require buy in from developers to contribute and maintain the framework. I am happy to learn, unlearn and relearn. This has been eye opening and i am thinking of reading up about XCUITest for iOS. Thanks Roy

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