New architecture for Appium web and hybrid testing on iOS

Perfecto now supports a new architecture for hybrid and web testing on iOS devices that is fully aligned with local Appium testing.


The new architecture requires:

  • iOS 10 and later (XCUITest only).

  • XPATH 1.0. Regular expression matching with the matches() function is not supported.

  • Appium client 6.1.0 or above.


The following limitations apply:

  • Cross-domain scripting is not supported.

Enable the new Appium architecture

During the transition phase, you need to select the new architecture explicitly on a per-script basis using the following designated new capabilities. These capabilities control the architecture used for both web and hybrid.
To use the new architecture on all your scripts, you can ask Perfecto Support to update your cloud configuration to use the new architecture by default. If the new architecture is the default, you can omit the new capabilities shown in red below. 


New capabilities for web

capabilities.setCapability("useAppiumForWeb", true);

New capabilities for hybrid

capabilities.setCapability("iOSResign", true);
capabilities.setCapability("useAppiumForHybrid", true);
Important: To allow hybrid testing on a cloud device, the app is re-signed with a Perfecto development certificate. Apps using special entitlements that require the original author's certificate may not work as intended after the resigning process.

Quantum capabilities

When working with a Quantum project, add the following capabilities.


Quantum | New capabilities for web

<parameter name="perfecto.capabilities.useAppiumForWeb" value="true" />
<parameter name="perfecto.capabilities.browserName" value="Safari" />
Quantum | New capabilities for hybrid
<parameter name="perfecto.capabilities.useAppiumForHybrid" value="true" />
<parameter name="perfecto.capabilities.iOSResign" value="true" />
Important: To allow hybrid testing on a cloud device, the app is resigned with a Perfecto development certificate. Apps using special entitlements that require the original author's certificate may not work as intended after the resigning process.

Alternatively, use the following syntax.

Quantum | Alternative syntax
<parameter name="perfecto.additional.capabilities" value="{'useAppiumForWeb':true, 'useAppiumForHybrid':true, 'iOSResign':true}" />

Migrate existing Perfecto Hybrid app automation scripts to the new architecture

How you migrate existing PerfectoHybrid app automation scripts to the new architecture depends on whether you work with single webview or multiple webview apps.

Single webview apps

Due to open tabs in Safari, the driver might identify several webview contexts. However, the implementation automatically uses the old webview names when looking for a single active webview, so the commands driver.context("WEBVIEW") and  driver.context("WEBVIEW_1")both work as before. There is no need to search for the correct webview.

To migrate scripts for single webview apps:

  1. Change the value of the automationName capability from PerfectoMobile to its default value, Appium. Alternatively, because Appium is the default value, you may remove this capability altogether.

  2. Cancel the instrumentation (there is no need to instrument the tested app). Then fix object locators, if needed, because the tree seen by the script is slightly different.

  3. Add the following capabilities with a value of true (as described above):

    • useAppiumForHybrid

    • iOSResign

Multiple webview apps

Working with multiple webview apps now requires the use of the Appium capability fullContextList. Getting a list of all  webviews  using the  getContextHandles()  command returns a list similar to the following:


where each webview is appended with a non-descriptive number and the order is not guaranteed to be the same with every test run.  When setting the  value of the desired capability fullContextList to true, the  getContexts() command returns the contexts as a JSON string. When parsed, each context is an object that includes:

  • The ID of the webview
  • The URL that the webview currently displays
  • The title of the page 

The fullContextList capability is only supported when testing on iOS devices using the new architecture.

To migrate scripts for multiple webview apps:

  1. Add  the fullContextList capability to the driver and set it to true.

  2. Retrieve the contexts via the getContextHandles() command (in Java, you can then cast each context to Map<String,Object>).

  3. Select the required context by URL or title key and execute a context switch, as shown in the following example: 


    Webview selection

    Set<Map<String, Object>> contexts = driver().getContextHandles(); 
    Optional<Map<String, Object>> webView; 
    webView = -> !c.get("id").equals("NATIVE_APP"))
                        .filter(c -> c.get("title").equals(“EXPECTED_WEBVIEW_TITLE”))