Selenium was initially developed in 2004 by Thoughtworks for only internal usage. It soon became one of the most widely used tools for performing automation testing on web applications. During the initial years, the Selenium integrated development environment was used by various web developing organizations and testers globally.

However, the initial version of Selenium IDE helped the developers to perform automated cross-browser compatibility testing only on the Mozilla Firefox browser. So, the developers had to use the Selenium remote control to perform automated cross-browser testing with Selenium on other browsers as well.

With the advancement of technology, browsers are becoming more and more complicated by adding new features. The browser developing companies also have shifted their focus to ensure a mobile-friendly view experience.

The cross-browser compatibility testers must ensure that the web application performs seamlessly on desktop, Android, and iOS counterparts.

This is where the Selenium remote control began to lag as it did not support performing testing of web applications on multiple browsers simultaneously. However, Selenium sensed this issue and released the beta version of Selenium 4. They added the Selenium WebDriver to solve all parallel testing issues with this new version.

Preview testing

Selenium WebDriver added various new features absent in the previous versions of Selenium. One of the significant features of Selenium WebDriver is that it can test the functioning of a dynamic website. Dynamic websites can change appearance and function with user inputs like a mouse click or mobile touch. The Selenium WebDriver completes this testing process by mimicking the actions of a real user.

Moreover, the user-friendly nature of the Selenium WebDriver allows the developers to quickly understand its functioning and implement it in the testing environment. You can also integrate the Selenium WebDriver with other Automation Testing frameworks like JUnit to maximize the efficiency of a testing process. In this article, we will discuss how the Selenium WebDriver and other new features of Selenium 4 help to maximize the performance of the Automation Testing environment.

The Difference Between Selenium WebDriver And Selenium IDE

Many people believe that the unique features of Selenium WebDriver are only limited to the addition of new languages and some minor changes. In reality, there are various other crucial changes in Selenium WebDriver that help to maximize the performance of an Automation Testing environment:

  • The Selenium IDE was only functional in Mozilla Firefox. However, the Selenium WebDriver supports various popular browsers like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Neither the Selenium IDE nor the Selenium remote control had support for record and playback. This fantastic feature has recently been added to the Selenium WebDriver.
  • The developers have to start a new server with the Selenium remote control before executing any test script. However, with the Selenium WebDriver, the developers can easily conduct all the testing processes without implementing any new server.
  • The Selenium integrated development environment was only a graphical user interface-based plugin. On the other hand, the Selenium WebDriver uses multilingual support to enable the use of multiple programming languages with the help of bindings.
  • The core engine of Selenium IDE and Selenium RC is based on JavaScript. However, the Selenium WebDriver does not have any core engine, and you can run it natively using just the browser.
  • One of the significant disadvantages of Selenium IDE is that it does not support Mouse cursor movement. The Selenium WebDriver has support for mouse cursor movement and all forms of user input.
  • While configuring the Selenium IDE for first-time use, you have to mention the complete XPath using the designated Syntax. With Selenium WebDriver, you can skip this process altogether.
  • Using Selenium WebDriver, you can implement all the listeners that are not supported by either RC or IDE.
  • Finally, Selenium WebDriver supports the testing of web applications on Android and iOS. This crucial modern feature is completely missing from the Selenium integrated development environment and Selenium remote control.

Reasons To Justify The Use Of Selenium WebDriver For Automation Testing

1. Open Source

The open-source nature of Selenium WebDriver is one of the major advantages of using it to perform automation testing of web applications. Using this fantastic technology, you can access much more than the features of QTP free of cost. You can download the latest beta version of Selenium 4 from the official website. Another advantage of any open-source application is the availability of a wonderful community of tech enthusiasts. You can consult this community whenever you are stuck or want to find a better solution. The community of Selenium is also very enthusiastic about developing new tools to simplify the testing process.


2. The Support Of Multiple Languages

Multilingual support is one of the major benefits of Selenium WebDriver. With the help of this technology, the Selenium WebDriver can support all the programming languages that the developers need to know. This means that the developers can use JavaScript, Ruby, and Python PHP, and C #to perform testing processes with Selenium WebDriver. The developers can use the customized script language that is natively available in Selenium 4. They can also bind it with any other major programming language. This flexibility allows the developers to work with specific programming languages that they feel most comfortable with. This is also one of the major reasons that drive the quality of a web application.

3. Supports Multiple Operating Systems

Earlier versions of Selenium only allowed the developers to test the functioning of the web application on a single operating system. However, with Selenium WebDriver, the developers can test the functioning of the web application on Windows, Mac, and Linux. They can also use various tools and platforms to simultaneously conduct compatibility testing on all these browsers. The developers can also create a customized testing suite that will remain functional on any platform. For instance, you can create a test Suite on Windows and use it to test the compatibility of the web application on Mac.

4. Allows You To Perform Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

Cross-browser compatibility testing is one of the essential elements to ensure that the web application remains accessible to a wider audience base. The developers can ensure that the web application maintains an optimal performance on any browser and operating system combination using this feature. Selenium WebDriver supports the testing of web applications on major browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Samsung browser, Microsoft Edge, and many more. It also allows you to test the compatibility of web applications on the older versions of the browser.

This process is essential as a recent survey suggests that more than 60% of internet users seldom update their browsers.

Man using browser

5. Enables The Use Of Multiple Frameworks And Languages

The developers can integrate Selenium WebDriver with various frameworks like ANT or Maven. Using this feature, they can easily compile the source code for the testing process. The testers can also integrate the Selenium WebDriver with other testing frameworks like TestNG to perform application testing and reporting. This is one of the most common practices to ease the process of performing Automation Testing with Selenium WebDriver.

You can also integrate Selenium WebDriver with Jenkins to perform continuous delivery or continuous testing of web applications. This is one of the most efficient practices of implementing automated build and deployment. In simple terms, Selenium WebDriver plays a vital role in integrating the testing phase with the development phase.

Role Of Tools And Platforms In The Automation Testing Process

Many people believe that implementing Automation Testing is a complex process. This is because you have to create all the test cases manually. This can be a tiresome and complex process, especially for beginners. However, companies can use various tools and platforms that can help them to simplify the test case creation process.

As a developer, you must remember that you cannot randomly select any tool and implement it in your testing environment. This is because every tool is unique and is meant to serve a different purpose. You must perform thorough research on all the factors before concluding. You can also consider your preferences and project requirements to narrow down the list. Let us consider the example of Lamdatest to analyze the role of a tool in the automated cross-browser testing process:

Lamdatest Automation Testing

Lamdatest is a platform to perform automated cross-browser testing of your web applications. It uses a safe and Secure Selenium grid. Using Lambdatest, you can test the compatibility of your web application on thousands of devices, browsers, and operating systems at the same time. The parallel testing feature helps you to run various test cases simultaneously. Lambdatest maintains an activity log to store all the final test reports for future reference. This platform allows the developers to check the cross-browser compatibility of the locally hosted web applications as well.

Using Lambdatest, the developers can also test the graphical elements of the application. This means that they can verify that all the visual elements of the web application are in the proper place.

These elements include boxes, menus, and images. Lastly, the cloud platform helps developers test the compatibility of the web application from anywhere in the world.

There are various ways in which companies can find out more information about the reliability of a tool. For instance, they can check the feedback of these tools on various user forums. In these forums, you can find the honest feedback and ratings of all the customers using these tools.

The Final Verdict

So, you can easily conclude that Selenium 4 is one of the most significant upgrades in automation testing. It has added various new features that are highly important regarding the modern web development industry’s standards. Although it is still in the beta stage, you can download it from the official website.

As a developer, you must remember that the perfect combination between manual testing and Automation Testing is the key to a successful web development company. While implementing Selenium 4 for automation testing, we should also look out for the modern web testing trends. This will maintain your position in this competitive industry. Lastly, we would like to emphasize the role of tools and platforms to elevate your Automation Testing standards. It would be best if you considered all these factors as the stepping stones to a successful web development company in the coming years.

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