What is Selenium WebDriver

Last updated on - December 5th, 2018

Hello Techies, Welcome to this new article on what is Selenium WebDriver and why we should use it for automating the web applications.

Check my article below to know more about Selenium basics, history and its different components.

Must Read

Selenium WebDriver is one of the components of Selenium. It is designed by the alliance of Selenium and WebDriver project. Refer above article to know the brief history of Selenium.

Before Selenium WebDriver came into existence, Selenium Remote Control (RC) was the ideal solution for automating the web applications.

It supports multiple browsers, cross-platform execution, and different languages.

However, there are some major drawbacks of Selenium RC. First of all let’s discuss those drawbacks of RC, for the better understanding of the necessity of Selenium WebDriver.

Drawbacks of Selenium Remote Control (RC)

  • RC inject Javascript program called ‘Selenium core’ into the browsers to perform actions, which is a security threat.
  • You need to start RC server before executing the test script.
  • It is slow in execution.
  • Selenium RC cannot support the headless browser.
  • There is redundancy in commands in RC.

What is Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver aka WebDriver is a UI automation library that allows to design and execute tests on multiple browsers and multiple platforms.

It was introduced to overcome the limitation of selenium RC.

I have listed a few important points of WebDriver in comparison to the limitations of Selenium RC listed above.

  • Javascript injection is completely removed, directly interact with the native code of the browsers.
  • No server is required to start before executing the test in Selenium WebDriver.
  • WebDriver also supports headless browsers.
  • It also supports iOS and Android platform.

How to Use Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is amazingly popular nowadays because it is much better than Selenium RC and IDE, in terms of features, stability and automating browser’s actions.

In order to use Selenium WebDriver for developing scripts and automating web testing activity, you need to create a new project.

You can choose your favorite integrated development environment (IDE) for script development and import Selenium WebDriver libraries in the project for writing automation scripts.

There are many development environments are available in the market for developing scripts. As Selenium supports multiple programming languages, you can choose any IDE as per your need.

If you are comfortable in Java language then, Eclipse would be the best option.

Microsoft Visual Studio is a development environment (IDE) from Microsoft for .NET (C#) programming language. Alternatively, you can use IntelliJ IDEA if you are working in Java.

Once you download and import Selenium WebDriver libraries in your project, you are done.

You will have all the methods or functions to automate your interaction with web applications.

Video Tutorial

Features of Selenium WebDriver

  • Selenium is free (open source).
  • It supports cross-browser and cross-platform testing.
  • The configuration of Selenium WebDriver is very easy. You just need to import its libraries.
  • It communicates directly with browsers in the browser’s native language.
  • It supports different languages like Java, Python, C#, Ruby, Perl, Php, and Javascript.
  • A separate class for different browsers for the better organization than RC.
  • Selenium supports automating only Web Application Under Test (WAUT). Automating desktop applications are not supported.
  • AutoIt can work with Selenium to automate interactions with Windows GUI.
  • We can easily build Data Driver and Keyword Driver automation framework.
  • WebDriver runs faster than Selenium RC.
  • It supports executing test on headless browsers.
  • It also supports iOS and Android platform.

Bonus Tips for Beginners

Above I have mentioned programming languages like Java and C#. If you are afraid of them, do not worry about learning programming languages if you are not familiar with.

To become an automation test engineer, you don’t need to learn a programming language like developers.

However, you need to learn the basics of programming language and trust me it’s easy once you started working on it.

Refer my article how to learn automation testing easily, where I have explained 3 steps action plan to start automation journey.

Be with me and Happy Learning!

I hope this article helped you to learn about Selenium WebDriver, its uses, and features. You can also check other Selenium articles.

Do let me know if you have any doubt, by commenting below or send an email directly to me at sureshdubey24jun@gmail.com

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About Suresh Dubey

I am Suresh Dubey working as an automation test engineer. I am passionate about playing with automation testing and tools. I got a chance to work on Selenium, UFT, PowerShell, Jenkins, CI-CD, Maven, Cucumber, Git etc. I believe in 'Knowledge Sharing'. My mantra for success is 'Learn Something New Everyday'.

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