Chapter 1_2:Introduction to Selenium Webdriver

Webdriver is one of the most powerful and popular tools of Selenium toolkit. Web-driver comes as an extended version of Selenium RC with extra advantages and addresses many of its limitations. Web-driver extends its support to many latest browsers and platforms, unlike Selenium IDE.Web-driver is a web automation framework that allows you to execute your tests against different browsers, not just Firefox, Chrome.It also enables you to use a programming language in creating your test scripts

Web Driver Architecture

Web-driver is a web-based testing tool with a perceptive difference with Selenium RC.Web-driver makes direct calls to the Web browser and the entire test script is executed in this activity. Web-driver uses the browsers support and capabilities to automation.Unlike Selenium RC, Selenium Web-driver doesn’t require Selenium Server to be started before launching the test script execution.

It is a purely object-oriented framework that works on OS layer. It utilizes the browser’s native compatibility to automation without using any peripheral entity.

Features of Selenium Web-driver:

Browser Compatibility

Web-driver supports a diverse range of web browsers and their versions. It also supports web-based mobile testing.

Language Support

Selenium Web-driver supported programming languages are:

  1. Pearl
  2. PHP
  3. C#
  4. Java
  5. Python
  6. Ruby

Thus the user can pick any one of the programming language based on his/her competency and can start building test scripts.


When compared to other tools of the Selenium suite, Web-driver turns out to be the fastest tool amongst all. The communication is not channelized via any external intervention; rather the tool directly communicates with the browser same as that of any user. Hence, Web-driver takes advantage of the browser’s native compatibility towards automation.

Drivers, Methods and Classes

Web Driver offers a wide range of solutions to some potential challenges in Automation Testing. It helps us to deal with complex types of web elements like check boxes, drop-downs, and alerts with the help of dynamic finders.

With the arrival of the mobile era, WebDriver API has also matured and introduced some of the key technologies to enter this skyline. WebDriver enables the user to perform web-based mobile testing. It provides two of the essentials drivers to perform web-based mobile testing.

  • Android-driver
  • I Phone-driver

Moreover, WebDriver API is reasonably simplex and effortless.

Limitations of WebDriver

WebDriver Cannot Readily Support New Browsers

Remember that Webdriver operates on the OS level. Likewise, remember that different browsers communicate with the OS in different ways. If a new browser comes out, it may have a different process of communicating with the OS as compared to other browsers. So, you have to give the WebDriver team quite some time to figure that new process out before they can implement it on the next WebDriver release.