Selenium WebDriver - The latest, popular and more powerful API of Selenium

Selenium WebDriver is introduced in 2006 and is the latest leader in the market. Selenium WebDriver is nothing but an API. Before understanding Selenium WebDriver, we have to first understand the term API.

API stands for Application Programming Interface. API in simple terms is nothing but a group of functions and wont have any Graphical User Interface. Selenium WebDriver is also an API and has its own set of functions which help us in automating the applications. For example, Selenium WebDriver’s API has a function called click( ), which will help us clicking on the GUI elements on the Web Applications say Buttons, Links etc. Selenium guys did all the hard work and have already written the code for the functioning of methods like click( ) and provided them in the form of an API. We just need to use the click( ) method from the API on the GUI elements like Buttons and Links, to perform operations on them as part of Selenium Automation.

The older API of Selenium i.e. Selenium RC is an outdated now, almost all projects now moved to a new API known as WebDriver. Since WebDriver API is the latest API of Selenium, we can simply ignore Selenium RC.

Advantages of Selenium WebDriver over Selenium RC

  • Server is not required for executing the automation scripts
  • Supports Android and iPhone testing
  • Interacts natively with the applications running over supported browsers
  • Has complex and large API
  • API’s are fully object oriented
  • Supports moving mouse cursors
  • Simpler Architecture
  • Faster, as it directly speaks to the browsers
  • Realistic interaction with GUI elements (For example, wont enter text into the disabled textbox)
  • Simpler, as it wont contain duplicate and confusing commands
  • Supports headless browsers like HTMLUnit, PhantomJS etc. 

Selenium WebDriver interacts natively with the Browsers and hence wont require proxy server as a mediator:

Selenium WebDriver interacts with the browsers directly without requiring proxy server as shown below:


Selenium WebDriver is the latest API of Selenium and has successfully replaced the outdated Selenium RC API. The main advantage of Selenium WebDriver is that is natively interacts with the browsers and hence wont require any proxy server as a mediator for executing the automation scripts.

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