A Quick Overview of Selenium WebDriver:
In the prior segments of this tutorial collection, we supplied step-by-step guides primarily centered on Selenium IDE and its numerous attributes. We explored this tool, examined its features, and put together several scenarios using Selenium IDE and Firebug. Subsequently, we proceeded to study the various types of web components and their finding tactics.
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Now, upon acquainting ourselves with Selenium IDE, it’s time to shift our attention toward crafting more intricate automation scripts using Selenium WebDriver. WebDriver is among the most potent automation testing tools out there. In this guide, we will delve into it extensively.
Lessons you will gain:
Overview of Selenium WebDriver
WebDriver is a prevalent and potent tool within the Selenium suite. It’s Selenium RC’s advanced version, offering extra benefits and addressing several of its constraints. In contrast with Selenium IDE, WebDriver allows for a broad selection of the latest platforms and browsers. Additionally, it does not call for a Selenium server to start before implementing the test scripts, unlike Selenium RC.
Selenium RC combined with the WebDriver API is known as Selenium 2.0. It is designed to accommodate dynamic web pages and Ajax calls. It also offers support for a range of drivers intended for web-based mobile testing.
WebDriver deals directly with the web browser, and the entire test script proceeds in this way. It leverages the support and features of the browser for automation.
Unlike Selenium RC, Selenium WebDriver does not necessitate the launch of the Selenium Server before running the test scripts. Users can use this feature to decide if they need the Selenium Server based on if they wish to perform the test execution on the same machine that hosts the browser.
Circumstances where Selenium Server is needed with WebDriver:
- When the user intends to execute test scripts on a different machine.
- When the user intends to implement test scripts on HtmlUnit Driver.
- When the user intends to implement test scripts on multiple platforms.
WebDriver is a pure object-oriented framework that operates on the OS layer. It capitalizes on the native browser’s compatibility for automation without using any external entity. It has amassed substantial popularity and a vast user base, making it among the most extensively used open-source automation testing tools.
Characteristics of Selenium WebDriver
WebDriver supports an extensive array of web browsers and their respective versions. It maintains compatibility not only with traditional browsers but also distinctive and less common browsers like the HtmlUnit browser, which isn’t supported by Selenium RC or Selenium IDE.
HtmlUnit Browser runs the test scripts in the same way as other browsers, except it operates in a headless mode (without GUI), where the user can’t view the test script execution. The execution speed is swifter in headless mode.
WebDriver also supports web-based mobile testing and offers both AndroidDriver and IphoneDriver to facilitate doing so.
Note: WebDriver does not directly support new browsers.
In previous sessions, we learned how to produce scripts using Selenium IDE’s record and playback functions. We also learned how to manually create scripts employing Selenese commands. However, such test scripts possess several limitations.
Some constraints of Selenium IDE are:
- No support for iterations or conditional statements
- No support for loops
- No support for error management
- No support for test script dependency
These constraints can be bypassed programmatically. WebDriver permits users to select from different programming languages and develop test scripts in their preferred language.
Selenium WebDriver supports the following programming languages:
Consequently, users can pick from any of the supported programming languages based on their proficiency and begin crafting test scripts.
Among all tools in the Selenium suite, WebDriver is the fastest. It achieves this velocity by interacting directly with the browser, just like any individual user, without any external interference, and capitalizes on the browser’s native compatibility for automation.
Drivers, Functions, and Classes
WebDriver offers a broad range of solutions to prospective challenges in Automation Testing. It helps to handle intricate web elements like checkboxes, dropdowns, and alerts with the help of dynamic finders.
With the surge of the mobile era, the WebDriver API has also evolved and introduced crucial technologies for web-based mobile testing. WebDriver empowers users to carry out web-based mobile testing, providing two essential drivers for this task:
Moreover, the WebDriver API is simple and does not involve duplicate commands. Meanwhile, Selenium RC contains many redundant commands.
In this guide, we offered an overview of Selenium WebDriver, where we expounded on its structure, characteristics, and constraints.
Here is a summary of the critical points addressed:
- The Selenium suite comprises four basic components: Selenium IDE, Selenium RC, WebDriver, and Selenium Grid.
- WebDriver enables users to conduct web-centered automation testing. It’s a standalone tool with several benefits over Selenium RC.
- WebDriver is compatible with a broad selection of web browsers, programming languages, and test environments.
- WebDriver communicates directly with the web browser, utilizing its native compatibility for automation.
- WebDriver’s support goes beyond conventional user actions and involves efficient handling mechanisms for sophisticated tasks like dealing with dropdowns, Ajax calls, window switching, navigation, and managing alerts.
- WebDriver allows users to conduct web-based mobile testing and offers AndroidDriver and IphoneDriver to aid in this process.
- WebDriver is faster than other tools in the Selenium Suite because it interacts directly with the browser, devoid of any external intervention.
Next Guide #9: In the following guide, we will explore the installation process for getting started with WebDriver, starting from scratch. We will also look at the extensive variety of drivers provided by WebDriver, each intending to cater to different requirements.
While we prepare the next guide, don’t hesitate to visit the official Selenium website for comprehensive documentation on Selenium WebDriver.
If you have any specific inquiries or requests about this or any other guide in this Selenium online tutorial collection, please share them in the comments.