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Selenium WebDriver Architecture you Need to Know

In the modern IT market, there is a quick need for testing software that can fix issues for simple and complex apps. One of such an amazing testing software is Selenium that automates the testing process for almost every software application. Automation has become a vital requirement today that accelerates the testing process to a different level. In this way, Companies can achieve their testing goals in no time. One of the popular components of the tool is Selenium WebDriver and this blog will help to study the same in detail.

The major benefits of the Selenium testing tools as discussed by developers are given as reduced manual efforts, saves times, and more reliable. Before we discuss WebDriver in detail, it is necessary to learn about Selenium and its evolution first.

Introduction of Selenium WebDriver

Selenium is an open-source testing tool that automates the testing for web apps. It is a flexible tool that checks the app on the basis of functional requirements. There are multiple programming languages can be used for writing test scripts in Selenium. Further, these scripts are compatible over almost all browsers available so far.

The tool supports various operating systems too and it can work on different platforms simultaneously. It helps in creating browser-based regression test cases and suites. With this discussion, you must be sure of the Selenium fundamentals. Moving ahead, let us discuss the history of Selenium.

History & Evolution

  • Selenium tool was first proposed in 2004 by James Huggins and Selenium RC was introduced a few years later when Paul joined James.
  • In 2008, Phillippe joined the team and put the concept of Selenium Grid. It helped in running test scripts at once. This effort resulted in faster execution time than expectations.
  • Ultimately, it was the right time to release Selenium tool in the market comprising 3 major components - IDE, RC, and Grid.
  • You can download the tool by the link - http://www.seleniumhq.org/download/ at the official website of Selenium.

List of Selenium components

There are four major components of Selenium. Let us understand the functionality of each of them one by one.

1). Selenium RC:

It is a server where you can add commands using the HTTP protocol. It is an advanced stage of the IDE where various programming languages are used. When you are using IDE, you can record or run scripts in Firefox browser only.

At the same time, RC supports almost all browsers with start and stop events. When you add start event then the script will start executing on the browser. If you will put the Stop command then the script will stop executing on the browser.

RC relies on JavaScript more and can be used with almost any browser installed on your system.

Read: Selenium Testers Role: Job Responsibilities & Description

2). Selenium IDE:

It is an add-on for the Firefox browser that helps in recording, debugging, and editing of test cases. It is alternatively named as Selenium Recorder that records test cases and playback them when needed. It does not support after Firefox version 54. It is one of the most prominent automated testing frameworks that help in creating highly advanced scripts when combined with RC or WebDriver.

3). Selenium Grid:

It is a tool combined with RC for running test scripts across various machines and browsers in parallel. So, what do you understand by the definition of tool? If you want to run a test script on different machines and browsers together then it is possible through Selenium Grid.

It is just an excellent tool for large web applications. It is based on hub/nodes architecture where one machine will act as the hub and rest will act as nodes. At the hub machine, all test scripts are stored and can be used for reference in the future.

4). Selenium WebDriver:

It is the most powerful tool in the kit that helps in executing test scripts across multiple browsers. It is an advancement over RC with a user-friendly API that can be used by anyone. When compared to RC, it can be learned with ease without putting many efforts.

WebDriver eliminates the server part from the process and performance is not considered an issue here. In simple words, you just write the code and it directly communicates across browsers. Selenium WebDriver supports the following:

List of Selenium components

Pros & Cons of selenium component

Each technology has certain plus and negative sides associated with it. Let us dig into benefits and drawbacks associated with Selenium.

Pros:

Read: How to Download and Install Selenium IDE in Firefox?
  • It is an open-source automated testing tool that supports multiple browsers, and operating systems.
  • It is an advancement to RC and much faster too.
  • It eliminates the need for a central server that impacts the performance ultimately.
  • It can stimulate the movement of a mouse.
  • It can stimulate various keypress vents using different classes.
  • It can identify coordinates of almost any object
  • It can be quickly integrated with other testing frameworks.

Cons:

  • There is no built-in IDE for creating scripts and it has to depend on other IDEs for the script generation.
  • Selenium lacks in user support, so it is not considered reliable sometimes.
  • It can support web-based apps only, not other apps.
  • It is not possible automating videos and audios related to Selenium WebDriver.
  • There is no in-built reporting facility in Selenium WebDriver.

Once you are sure of the pros and cons of the Selenium WebDriver tool. It is the right time to discuss the architecture of the tool and why it is considered the best option for automation scripts in web apps.

Selenium WebDriver Architecture

Selenium WebDriver Architecture

At the lower end, there are different browser drivers that extends the Remote WebDriver or the protected class and it further extends the WebDriver Interface. With the help of browser drivers, you can interact with almost any browser available so far. The only thing to keep in mind that When interacting with Chrome browser, use Chrome drivers. If you want to interact with Firefox browser then utilize Firefox Driver in that case. Here we have divided the WebDriver Architecture into three layers for better understanding of the concept. Learn thoroughly each of them and understand their working deeply.

A). Language Binding

This is the layer that gives extensive support to various programming languages that will further help in writing advanced scripts or you can develop a framework as well according to business needs. The framework designed using this layer can interact with WebDriver and supports different browsers or devices too.

B). Selenium WebDriver API

If you want to interact with other browsers or programming languages then WebDriver API can help you. It takes commands from language bindings and forwards them to the respective driver. In quick words, it can be defined as a collection of libraries that helps in sending commands to respective drivers.

C). Browser Drivers

It helps you to interact with almost any browser available so far. In this case, it accepts commands directly from the servers and performs actions using a remote WebDriver. Today, when there are multiple browsers used worldwide, a browser driver has the capability of stimulating behavior of each web browser.

These three layers are designed to support different browsers, languages, and devices. You should understand each of them carefully and understand the working of WebDriver as well. I know it is highly technical still ease the process of testing for complex web apps.

Read: Selenium Tutorial Guide for Beginners

How Selenium WebDriver works internally?

In real-time, you can write code using the Selenium IDE with any of the supported client libraries say Java. For example,


WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();
Driver.get("https://www.janbasktraining.com");


Once you are done with the script then simply click the Run button and Execute the script. Using the above code, you can launch the Firefox browser and it will take you to the JanBask Training directly. Each browser is programmed in such a way that it could accept HTTP requests and process them based on client requests.

As soon as you have completed your job, commands will start executing over the browser immediately. Consider, you are not interested in working over the Firefox browser. In this case, you can use Chrome or any other browser. Here is a quick code to launch the Chrome browser and the needed site.


WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();
Driver.get("https://www.janbasktraining.com");

It is clear from the code that it will launch the Chrome browser this time, not the Firefox browser. The process is the same and objective is also the same because it will open JanBask Training site but call actions are different. If there is a POST request, then the action is performed on the browser. If there is a GET request then the corresponding response is generated at the browser end. You must have understood now how WebDriver works and interacts with browsers. All the Best!

Summary

  • Selenium is an open-source testing tool that automates the testing for web apps.
  • Selenium tool was first proposed in 2004 by James Huggins and Selenium RC was introduced a few years later when Paul joined James.
  • The four major components of Selenium include –RC, Grid, IDE, and WebDriver.
  • RC is a server where you can add commands using the HTTP protocol. It is an advanced stage of the IDE where various programming languages are used.
  • Grid is a tool combined with RC for running test scripts across various machines and browsers in parallel.
  • WebDriver is the most powerful tool in the kit that helps in executing test scripts across multiple browsers. It is an advancement over RC with a user-friendly API that can be used by anyone.
  • Three layers of WebDriver architecture can be given as WebDriver API, Language Bindings, and Browser Drivers.

Final words

It is all about the Selenium WebDriver Architecture and how it works with different browsers and programming languages. I hope you understood the concept thoroughly and added more value to your knowledge. To gain more insights into the concept and how it works, join the Selenium Certification Course with us right away. It will help you in gaining relevant skills that are necessary to master to become an expert Selenium professional.


    Janbask Training

    JanBask Training is a leading Global Online Training Provider through Live Sessions. The Live classes provide a blended approach of hands on experience along with theoretical knowledge which is driven by certified professionals.


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