What is the Selenium WebDriver architecture? How does it work?

This blog about Selenium Architecture covers the following topics:

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What is selenium?

selenium An automated test tool, to be exact, a framework. This is an open source framework designed for automated testing of web applications. Selenium is also a flexible testing tool that allows automated testers to write test scripts in Selenium in various programming languages ​​such as Python and Java. Selenium supports a variety of web browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome. You can easily run scripts written in different languages. It also supports cross-platform browsing. This means you can run test cases across different platforms at the same time. The supported platforms for Selenium are Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Solaris. Selenium has become the best automation testing tool to allow developers to create robust and flexible automation suits.

Thousands of applications are deployed to the web every day. Currently, test teams need to be ready to ensure that these applications perform best outside the development environment. To run this test, you need a user-friendly and robust framework. Selenium’s amazing suite has made it easy to deploy millions of apps. To understand how this is possible, you need to understand the Selenium architecture.

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What is the Selenium architecture?

The Selenium architecture consists of the following components:

  • Selenium IDE
  • Selenium RC
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium grid

Now let’s understand each of these components one by one.

Selenium IDE

Selenium IDE Abbreviation for Selenium Integrated Development Environment. Created by Shinya Kasaya in Japan and subsequently further developed. Selenium IDE is a Firefox plugin that allows developers to record and play scripts. One of the advantages of the Selenium IDE is that it does not require any programming knowledge. Knowing the HTML and DOM is enough. The Selenium IDE is typically used as a prototyping tool because of its simplicity.

Selenium RC

Selenium RC is an abbreviation for Selenium Remote Control. It is sometimes called Selenium 1 because it was the first flagship testing framework and has long been the recommended web automation testing tool. Selenium RC is based on Javascript for automation. The languages ​​supported by Selenium RC are Python, Perl, Ruby, Java, C #, and PHP. In addition, almost all available web browsers are supported by Selenium RC. However, keep in mind that Selenium RC has been officially deprecated.

Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is an automated framework that can automate user actions in modern web browsers and communication with the browser via a set of open source APIs. The implementation of Selenium WebDriver runs through a browser-centric drive.

Operating systems supported by Selenium WebDriver: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Solaris

The programming languages ​​supported by SeleniumWebDriver are: Java, C #, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, and Javascript

The web browsers supported by SeleniumWebDriver are: Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome 12.0.712.0 or later, Safari, Opera 11.5 or later, Android, iOS, HtmlUnit 2.9 or later.

The architecture of Selenium WebDriver consists of:

  • Selenium client library
  • JSON wire protocol over HTTP client
  • Browser driver
  • browser

1-Selenium client library

The Selenium client library consists of various language libraries for Java, Ruby, Python, and other supported languages.

2-JSON wire protocol over HTTP client

JSON indicates the Javascript object notation. This component of Selenium WebDriver plays an important role in the Selenium automation process by transferring data between the server and the client on the web.

3-Browser driver

Browser drivers are used to carry out communication between the Selenium Web Driver and each browser. The browser driver prevents details about the internal logic of the browser’s functionality from being exposed to the browser.


As already mentioned above, the supported browsers are Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.

See the Selenium WebDriver architecture diagram below.

Selenium WebDriver architecture diagram

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Selenium grid

This component of the Selenium suite works in conjunction with Selenium RC. It is used to run parallel tests on the machine for each browser. selenium. The behavior of Selenium Grid depends on the browsers and operating systems supported throughout the framework. With almost all browsers and operating systems supported by Selenium, Selenium Grid makes it easier to run multiple tests on different machines with different browsers at the same time.

Why is selenium so popular?

You may already be wondering why Selenium is so popular from the features described by Selenium and its architecture. Now let’s take a closer look at why Selenium is the most preferred automated test framework.

Browser compatibility

Selenium is compatible with almost any browser available, including Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, making it a favorite tool among automation testers and developers. Also, the compatibility between browsers provided by Selenium WebDriver is the main reason why Selenium WebDriver is recommended.

Language compatibility

Selenium gives you ample freedom to write code and test scripts in different languages. It is impossible for testers to learn almost any programming language. Therefore, its all language compatibility features make Selenium a beloved automated testing tool.

Rapid implementation

The automated testing process is very fast, with little or no reliance on the middle server. You don’t need a middleware server to communicate with your browser. Also, JSON is lightweight, which allows for fast execution of automated tests.

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Main features of Selenium

Here are some of the key features that the Selenium suite offers:

  • Cross-browser test- Selenium allows you to run tests on the same website with the same scripts and code in different browsers.
  • Parallel test- You can run the script in one or more browsers at the same time.
  • Support for modern technology- Selenium allows you to test all types of applications, regardless of the technology used in those applications.
  • Web page automation- Even these web pages can be automated via Selenium, whose content changes based on user actions.

How to use Selenium for web automation?

You can run the Selenium test script by following these steps:

  • The first step is to create an instance of WebDriver for each browser
  • Then go to the web page that needs to be automated
  • Modify HTML elements in web pages
  • Performs random actions on HTML elements. You can perform actions using the’Sendkeys’ method.
  • Run automated tests on the page and use the test framework to record the results.

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After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what Selenium is, the various components of the Selenium suite, and how important Selenium WebDriver is throughout the Selenium automation testing framework. If you read this article carefully, you can start your Selenium automation testing journey and gain the following knowledge:

  • Selenium WebDriver is a key component of the entire Selenium suite. It’s like the brain of selenium.
  • The set of APIs that exist in Selenium WebDriver helps speed up Selenium’s automated test process.
  • Key features provided by Selenium include cross-browser testing, web page automation, and the latest technology support.
  • The browser drivers present in Selenium WebDriver help facilitate interaction between the suite and multiple web browsers. What is the Selenium WebDriver architecture? How does it work?

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