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The Ultimate Guide To Selenium WebDriver

Using WebDriver, web application testing can be automated so that it works as they are meant to be. It is an independent platform since it runs on all major operating systems. This includes Windows, macOS, as well as LINUX. Among the many Selenium components, WebDriver is one of the most imperative. Selenium RC, Selenium Grid, SIDE, and Selenium JSON Client API are all included as well.

To know more about Selenium WebDriver, we must dig deeper. But, we must clear our basics first. So, let’s get started!

What is Selenium?

An open-source, portable framework, Selenium is an automation tool for web applications. It is used by numerous organizations and developers to automate their critical tasks. Selenium is highly flexible when it comes to regression testing as well as functional testing. Test scripts for Selenium can be written in Python, C#, Java, as well as other programming languages. Selenium supports automation across various platforms, programming languages, and browsers. Different browsers and operating systems can use these scripts, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.

A browser-based regression automation suite can be developed using Selenium because it supports cross-browser functionality. As an engineer on a web application that requires regular testing in 2004, Jason Huggins developed it in JavaScript. As a result, he realized the shortcomings of manual testing, so he wrote a JavaScript program titled ‘JavaScriptTestRunner’. Jason Huggins renamed Selenium Core after realizing that the program had a great potential.

How is Selenium Useful?

Regardless of the fact that Selenium supports many programming languages, it is also supported by many browsers. Selenium is a popular automation testing tool. As a major advantage of using Selenium as an automation test tool, it is possible to request that the back and front buttons of the browser be clicked, which is not available in many automation-testing tools.

Since Selenium allows developers to conduct automated testing, organizations and developers use it for testing web applications. A piece of software often has a complex architecture, which makes it prone to regressions as well. The main reason automated testing is the most useful step in programming is because it can cause existing features to stop working. From adding new features to fixing defects, each function related to this can cause the existing features to stop working.

In order to minimize such hectic tasks, Selenium offers you a better alternative to testing the application manually after every small change to the features. Selenium consists of a large suite of tools or components, one of which is Selenium WebDriver, which allows organizations and developers to simulate each interaction with web applications across different browsers.

What is Selenium WebDriver?

WebDriver is an automation tool used for testing web-based applications to verify they perform as expected. This tool permits the execution of cross-browser tests. A few of Selenium RC’s limitations have been overcome by Selenium WebDriver, which allows you to choose a programming language for creating test scripts. This is an improvement over Selenium RC. A drawback of Selenium WebDriver is that it cannot handle window components, but this can be overcome by using tools such as Sikuli and Auto IT.

Selenium WebDriver’s Architecture

Let us now take a glance at the architecture of the Selenium WebDriver. Four major components make up the WebDriver Architecture:

  • Selenium Client library:

It is not unknown that the language bindings for Selenium was created by Selenium developers to provide compatibility for multiple languages, Selenium provides support for multiple libraries like Ruby, Java, Python, etc. The Python Bindings can be downloaded from Selenium’s official site if you wish to use the browser driver in Python. For all supported language bindings, please visit the Selenium website.

  • JSON wire protocol over HTTP:

As an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), it provides a mechanism for transferring data across the web between clients and servers. As a result, it is easier to read and write JSON data due to the support for arrays and objects. You should learn about how to access Selenium using the REST API for JavaScript. JSON serves as a Representational State Transfer (REST) API that exchanges information between HTTP servers.

  • Browser Drivers:

Selenium offers specific browser drivers for each browser and establishes a secure connection with the respective browser without revealing the internal logic of browser functionality. There are also browser drivers which are specific to the language that you use for test case automation, such as C#, Python, Java, etc. You can choose from these browser drivers based on your language requirements.

WebDriver performs the following tasks in the background when a test script is executed:

  1. The browser driver receives an HTTP request every time a Selenium command is issued
  2. A HTTP server receives the HTTP request from the driver
  3. Throughout the browser, the HTTP server determines what steps to execute
  4. It is then transmitted back to the automation scripts by the HTTP server
  • Browsers:

Besides the main browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Selenium supports a wide range of browsers.

Features Of Selenium WebDriver

A few of Selenium WebDriver’s most important features include:

  • As compared to other tools in Selenium Suite, WebDriver is faster. Unlike RC, it directly communicates with the browser, rather than requiring an intermediate server.
  • In addition, WebDriver provides several solutions for some of the typical challenges in automating tests. It also provides dynamic finder functionality that makes it easier for testers to handle complex types of web elements, like checkboxes, dropdowns, and alerts.
  • Most Selenium WebDriver commands can be implemented easily.
  • There are numerous languages supported by WebDriver, including Java, C#, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Pearl, and Python. By choosing one of the supported programming languages, the user can build the test scripts according to their competency level.
  • It also supports some of the uncommon or non-conventional browsers like HTMLUnit. Selenium WebDriver is compatible with many different web browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and many more.

Benefits of Selenium WebDriver

This section of the blog is wholly dedicated to the benefits that Selenium WebDriver offers to its customers.

  • The primary advantage of Selenium WebDriver for automation testing is that it is open source. It offers all of the characteristics of QTP, and a lot more, for free. As a community-based tool, it is available for download and support is available as well.
  • A number of frameworks, such as Maven or ANT, can be used to compile WebDriver code. Selenium WebDriver can also be integrated with testing frameworks such as TestNG for automated application testing and reporting. For Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery of automated build and deployment, Jenkins can also be integrated.
  • Among the major advantages of Selenium WebDriver for automation testing is its multilingual support. In addition to supporting Python, C#, Ruby, JavaScript, RubyScript, PHP, Java, and others, WebDriver supports all the programming languages that testers need to be familiar with. Apart from its custom script language, it also has bindings for all major programming languages, allowing web developers to choose any programming language that suits them best.
  • As opposed to previous versions, Selenium WebDriver supports multiple operating systems such as Linux, UNIX, Mac, and Windows for automation testing. Using their solution suite, it is possible to create customized testing suites that can be used across multiple platforms. WebDriver allows you to create tests on Windows and execute them on Macs.
  • By leveraging the development code, Selenium WebDriver also makes it possible for testers to use the same language developers use, thereby speeding up testing cycles. The tester has the ability to pull the data model that is utilized by the application without having to worry about automating the data flow, which makes it easier to verify a date field in the database rather than performing an indirect verification by browsing to another page.
  • A major advantage of automation testing with Selenium WebDriver is that you don’t need to start any servers beforehand. By interpreting the code directly into Webservices, the remote driver receives the commands through HTTP requests that are then executed by the browser, which then returns the response to the user.
  • It is now able to test across multiple browsers using Selenium WebDriver, which has increased its support for automation testing. WebDriver is an automated solution for testing cross-browser websites on Chrome, Safari, Opera, IE, Firefox, Edge, Yandex, and many other major browsers. It supports all major browsers.
  • Automation testing done with Selenium WebDriver can now be performed across a number of devices, such as iPhones, Blackberrys, and Androids, thus solving cross-device issues.
  • In addition, Selenium WebDriver is supported by a large community of programmers, which allows for regular updates and upgrades whenever necessary without the need for specialized training.

Disadvantages of Selenium WebDriver

Several limitations exist in the Selenium WebDriver, including:

  • WebDriver is incompatible with new browsers. Selenium is incompatible with built-in extensions.
  • We can test web-based applications only with Selenium WebDriver. Our testing of Windows-based applications and desktop applications will require an additional third-party tool.
  • It is not possible to test on an image. We can, however, use Selenium to perform image-based testing.
  • Testing reports need to be generated by third-party frameworks such as TestNG or JUnit. WebDriver does not generate test results automatically.
  • Using Selenium WebDriver, you cannot automate CAPTCHAs, reCAPTCHAs, or barcode readers.
  • If you wish to run larger and complex test suites with Selenium, then you will need to use Selenium Grid, since Selenium WebDriver does not support parallel testing by default.

The above drawbacks can, however, be eliminated by adopting cloud Selenium Grid for test automation, where Selenium tests can be run securely at scale, and at an accelerated speed. With LambdaTest and other cross-browser testing platforms, Selenium tests can be run simultaneously on over 3,000 browser and platform configurations in a secure, scalable, and reliable online Selenium Grid.

Conclusion

As the brain of Selenium, Selenium WebDriver provides APIs that facilitate fast testing processes. The APIs in Selenium WebDriver are a crucial part of Selenium. Cross-browser testing, automation of web pages, support for modern technology, and more are some of Selenium WebDriver’s top features.  As a result, Selenium WebDriver is vital to the Selenium automation testing framework since it interacts with various web browsers.

 

 

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