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Is Calabash on life support?…. Some thoughts on our beloved framework, and a memoir on BDD and what you need to start thinking about.

Last week, word came out that Xamarin has decided to no longer support Calabash in their Test Cloud after iOS 11… A piece of me died with this statement as for the longest time I’ve been a huge supporter and early adopter of Calabash and it’s awesome out of the box reporting and BDD capabilities. Does this mean Calabash is dead? No. But Xamarin decided the main testing tool they’ve supported, have decided to not let it be apart of their test cloud that has supported developers for years!

It’s still unclear what Xamarin’s stance on supporting the framework is. There have been talks of Xamarin letting the open source community develop on it. While this has always been true it’s just that now it might be easier for the community to shape the next frontier.

Its popularity has gotten better over the months due to Appium falling behind the curve in adopting iOS 10. But a massive shift in tools and technology is happening.

the most popular frameworks for android and ios

More and more companies are moving towards BDD and are seeing the tremendous value it brings with shifting left and testing early and often. I’m willing to bet that if your organization is not practicing BDD, you have holes in quality in your application and the business rules in place are at risk.

If you laughed at my bet, think about this…

“How many employees or hours are put in every week for documenting your application?”

If your answer for this is greater than one I can guarantee you have a quality problem. Developers and Scrum teams need to get in the mindset of code is documentation. But the code in this sense is logic or business rules that drive the development of a feature. It’s far too expensive to have teams rewrite code that has dependencies but not understand the business requirements around it.

iOS 10 was a massive change for automation for every framework. The risks of using open source tools reared its ugly head at the development world, and for months those that used Appium were practically dead in the water. Having a framework that doesn’t work for an operating system, which 60-70% of users that are using your application is nerve racking.

It’s incredibly important to use a tool that can not only keep up but also stay ahead of the changes to come. Due to Appium stumbling on iOS 10, many developers moved to Calabash or threw their arms up in defeat and moved on to the native frameworks for both iOS and Android.

A Need to Monitor Mobile Apps

As companies move faster they are quickly realizing how different testing is and that yes we too need QA folks and processes via frameworks to hold the business and developers accountable.

At Bitbar we are dedicated to open source frameworks as well as supporting other tools we see a fit in our vision and best practices. I’m happy to announce that Bitbar will be one of the few cloud providers going forward to continue to support developers and companies that wish to use Calabash.

I also wanted to take time if you are in this situation to know that Bitbar is the only cloud provider that not only can give you support with running your tests in the cloud, but also has a team of seasoned automation engineers that have decades of experience. We’ve worked with all of the frameworks and languages companies are using for test automation. Nobody in the market has this offering.

In closing, I’m pretty confident in the future of tools that will make developers lives easier. BDD is at the tipping point of adoption. Cucumber can be applied to just about any language or framework available. “Did I mention we’re one of the only companies to support this in our test cloud as well?”

That’s all for now folks! Happy testing!

Shawn Edge

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