Overview & Features of Selenium Webdriver

What is Selenium Webdriver?

'Selenium Webdriver' is what world is talking about. Selenium Webdriver is web automation tool which is used for web functional testing. It supports different languages like Java, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby and Perl. 


WebDriver is now an official W3C Specification, and in-short, it is a method of interacting with a web browser. Previously, with Selenium RC, Selenium would operate with the browser by injecting JavaScript to interact with elements. With the adoption of WebDriver, browser manufacturers like Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft release their browser with the ability to be controlled by a hook, that Selenium can tap into. This hook enables Selenium to interact with the webbrowser in the same way that humans do.

You can find all Webdriver commands here - A Guide to All Webdriver Commands




Background of Selenium Variants:

First of all I would like to tell you that there are different variants of Selenium, so don’t get confused.
  1. Selenium IDE - It’s a record and play tool, comes as plugin with Firefox only. No coding is required if you want to automate using this tool. But it can only be used for some very basic automation. As you cannot write your own logic or you won’t be able to put conditions or loops in your automation test script.
  2. Selenium RC - RC stands for remote control. We have to write code using RC and it supports a number of languages. But it’s outdated now and there is no support available for RC.
  3. Selenium Webdriver - Selenium Webdriver is web automation tool which can be used with different languages like Java, Python, C#, PHP, Ruby, Perl etc. It’s the successor of RC. Different architecture as what RC had (Not going in details).
  4. Selenium Grid - Used for parallel execution of test cases (not an automation tool)

Features of Selenium Webdriver:

  1. Opensource/Freeware: Selenium is free of cost. It means you do not have to buy any license like other softwares or do not have to pay to anyone for using Selenium for automation testing.
  2. Web Functional Framework: Selenium can only be used for automation testing of web applications/website. It is a functional testing tool so we can only automate functional test cases.
  3. Multi-Language Support: It is one of the major benefits of Webdriver. Selenium Webdriver supports many languages like Java, Python, PHP, C#, Ruby, Perl etc. So, it provides the flexibility to automation test engineers to automate test cases using any one language that they are comfortable.
  4. Cross OS Support: Selenium supports multiple OS like, Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac. So if you have written webdriver automation code using windows platform, then same automation code could be used on other OS platforms like Unix, Linux, Mac.
  5. Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing: Selenium Webdriver supports almost every browser like Chrome, FF, Safari, Opera, IE and their versions. You can execute same automation scripts on different browsers for compatibility testing.
  6. Cross Device Testing: Appium, which is a mobile automation tool is actually build on the top of Selenium Webdriver apis. In simple words Appium is another form of Webdriver to  e used for automation testing of mobile  applications.
  7. Huge Community Support: There is a huge community support for Selenium. A lot of tech professionals are contributing in building Selenium as the best automation tool.
  8. Integrated with Multiple Frameworks/Tools: Selenium Webdriver can be integrated with various frameworks and tools like, Maven, Ant for compiling source code, with unit testing frameworks like TestNG for application testing and reporting and with Jenkins for Continuous Integration or Continuous Delivery, automated build and deployment.
  9. Integration Support with other Automation Tools: It also gives the flexibility to integrate Java or Python modules, other automation tools like Sikuli, AutoIT for your automation needs.
  10. You can find Selenium Webdriver sample script here - First Selenium Webdriver Script - which covers all basic Java Webdriver commands

Selenium as Career option:

On the other hand Selenium is the talk of town nowadays and also the future is bright reason being almost every company is using Selenium due it’s robust and flexible nature. Huge open source community is behind Selenium and they are updating and upgrading Selenium time to time. If you do googling then you would come to know Selenium conferences are going on in all parts of the world whole of the year. Now Selenium 4 is about to launch with brand new features.

Do a simple activity, search on any job portal with keyword “selenium jobs”. You will find the answer yourself.

Hope it helps!


Author: Vaneesh Behl
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Feel free to ask queries or share your thoughts in comments or email me.

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