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Selenium 4 vs Selenium 3


Selenium is probably the first choice of all web developing companies to perform automated cross-browser testing on their applications and software. With the help of cross-browser testing, developers ensure that the web application maintains peak performance irrespective of the browser or browser version. This test also ensures that the operating system does not have any form of negative influence on the web application. The fourth version of Selenium was introduced in the later part of 2018. Since its introduction, Selenium 4 has become the Revolutionary framework to perform automated cross-browser testing. This latest version provides various improvements and unique features.

To date, there isn’t any official announcement for the stable release of Selenium 4. However, you get the option to download the beta version from the official website. While considering the requirements for automated cross-browser testing, we can analyze that Selenium 4 has a lot to contribute to this segment. Its unique features like enhanced Selenium grid architecture, improved IDE, relative locators, W3C standardized protocols can help to uplift the standards of automated testing. However many developers are still skeptical about the future of Selenium 4. So, in this article, we are going to discuss the massive differences between Selenium 3 and Selenium 4.

Selenium 3 Architecture

The architecture of Selenium 3 has support for JSON Wire Protocol. However, Selenium 4 doesn’t support the JSON Protocol. This is one of the major architectural differences between Selenium 4 and Selenium 3. The full form of JSON is JavaScript Object Notation. This protocol is responsible for the transfer of information from the client to the server using a hypertext transfer protocol. The system will send a Selenium request from the Selenium client and WebDriver language binding components. The JSON Wire Protocol will receive this request over HTTP and secure it by implementing browser drivers.

The request will eventually be delivered to the Web Browser. This is the place where automation testing will take place. After completion of the automation process, a response will travel back to the Browser Driver. This response will also reach the JSON Wire protocol, WebDriver language bindings and the selenium client. On the Internet, various diagrams elaborate the Selenium 3 architecture.

Selenium 4 Architecture

Unlike Selenium 3, Selenium 4 facilitates direct communication between clients and servers. Here, the client is still divided into two parts namely the Selenium client and the web driver language binding. On the other hand, the Browser drivers become the server. Let us now understand the working process of the Selenium architecture:

  • Initially, the Selenium Client will send out a request to perform the required command.
  • The WebDriver Language bindings will drive all the necessary actions. In theory, it is a code library.
  • Browser Drivers will receive the request sent from the Selenium Client. It will eventually return a response after the successful execution of an automation test script on the Web Browser.

The client and WebDriver language bindings are part of similar architecture. In this architecture, every language has its unique binding. We can define bindings to be the line of commands that you have to write for every programming language. For instance, Java has a set of commands that is similar to other programming languages like Python. While discussing Browser Drivers and WebDrivers, we must remember that the WebDrivers will drive every browser. For this process, they will use the browser’s built-in support for Automation testing. Specific Browser Drivers, like the ChromeDriver, will control the Chrome browser.

Selenium 4 made some significant changes to the browser drivers. ChromeDriver and EdgeDriver became the extensions for the ChromiumDriver. On the other hand, the RemoteWebDriver became the parent driver for the ChromiumDriver.

Selenium 4 Advantages

While upgrading to Selenium 4, the web developing companies will witness some vital advantages in this process. The three most important advantages are stability, updated actions API and standards for testing. Standards help to maintain the consistency of automated test scripts on every web browser. Every web browser vendor has its unique standards for displaying specific web applications. Since Selenium 4 supports W3C WebDriver, you do not have to waste any more time encoding and decoding the standard requests.

Stability is another advantage as it supports backwards compatibility during the testing process. Using Java binding and the Selenium Server, the developers can use a specific mechanism for implementing old JSON wire protocols. The Actions API have been updated in Selenium 4 to support various events related to mouse and keyboard inputs. Now, the developers can use it to carry out more than 2 inputs at the same time like pressing two different keys. This process will help them to analyze the reaction of the web application based on various human interactions.

Selenium 4 New Features