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Get Started with Selenium WebDriver 4

by sophiajames

Selenium WebDriver 4 is a software library that allows you to control a web browser from a program. It provides a way to communicate with web browsers using a common interface, so you can write a program in a programming language like Python, Java, or C# and use Selenium WebDriver to automate a web browser and perform actions on websites.

Selenium WebDriver 4 is the latest version of Selenium WebDriver, which provides a more powerful and flexible way to control a web browser compared to the earlier versions. It introduces new features and improvements.

It  offers many useful features, including relative locators, an improved Selenium Grid architecture, and the Selenium IDE. One of the most important changes in Selenium 4 is that it is now fully compliant with the W3C WebDriver APIs. This means that cross-browser tests are more stable and reliable.

Keynote Features of Selenium Webdriver 4:

  • Selenium WebDriver 4 architecture :  

Selenium 4, the architecture has been redesigned to allow for direct communication between the client and server. The client consists of the Selenium Client and the WebDriver language bindings, while the browser drivers are the server.

The Selenium Client sends a request to perform a command to the browser drivers, which then executes the command in the web browser. This direct communication allows for a more efficient and streamlined process, as there is no need for an intermediate server.

  1. Improved support for modern web standards and technologies, such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript : 

These technologies are widely used in modern web development and are essential for building interactive and feature-rich websites and web applications. By providing better support for these technologies, Selenium WebDriver makes it easier for developers to write automated tests for web applications that make use of them.

  1. A new architecture that supports parallel testing and cross-platform execution: 

Parallel testing allows multiple tests to be run simultaneously, which can significantly reduce the time it takes to complete a test suite. This is especially useful for large organizations with a large number of tests to run, as it can save a significant amount of time and resources.

The cross-platform execution feature of Selenium WebDriver 4 allows tests to be run on different platforms and devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. This makes it easier to ensure that a web application is compatible with different devices and platforms and can help organizations deliver a consistent user experience across all platforms.

  1. A new protocol for communicating with the web browser called W3C WebDriver protocol :
  • This protocol is based on the W3C WebDriver standard and provides a common, platform-agnostic way of controlling web browsers. It replaces the previous protocol used by Selenium WebDriver, known as the JSON Wire Protocol.
  • The W3C WebDriver protocol is designed to be simple, reliable, and easy to implement. It uses HTTP and JSON to transmit commands and responses between the automation tool and the web browser. This makes it easy to integrate Selenium WebDriver with other tools and frameworks, and allows it to be used with a wide range of programming languages.
  • Overall, the W3C WebDriver protocol is an important feature of Selenium WebDriver 4 and is a key factor in its ability to work with any modern web browser and on any platform. It makes Selenium WebDriver a more powerful and flexible tool for automating web browsers and testing web applications.
  1. Improved support for headless testing, which allows you to run tests without a visible browser window
  • Headless testing is a useful feature for many different types of automated testing, as it allows tests to be run in the background without requiring the user to interact with the browser window. This can be useful for running tests on a continuous integration server or in an automated testing environment where the user is not present to manually interact with the browser.
  • To perform headless testing with Selenium WebDriver 4, you can use a headless browser, such as PhantomJS or Chrome’s headless mode. These browsers are designed to run without a visible window and are controlled using the same commands and syntax as regular web browsers.
  1. Improved support for the Chrome DevTools Protocol, which allows you to control and inspect the Chrome browser in a more powerful and efficient way.
  • The Chrome DevTools Protocol is a set of APIs that allows you to remotely control and debug the Chrome browser. It provides a wide range of features, including the ability to inspect and modify the DOM, debug JavaScript, and track network activity.
  • The improved support for the Chrome DevTools Protocol in Selenium WebDriver 4 allows you to take advantage of these powerful features when automating the Chrome browser. This can make it easier to perform advanced testing and debugging tasks, and can help you to get more insights into the behavior of your web application.

Why choose Selenium WebDriver 4 over Selenium WebDriver 3?

  1. Improved performance: Selenium WebDriver 4 has been optimized for performance and is able to execute tests faster than Selenium 3.
  2. Enhanced security: Selenium WebDriver 4 includes improved security measures to protect against potential vulnerabilities.
  3. New features and improvements: Selenium WebDriver 4 includes a number of new features and improvements, such as support for the W3C WebDriver specification, improved handling of web elements, and more.
  4. End of support for Selenium 3: Selenium 3 is no longer actively supported by the Selenium project, so if you want to take advantage of the latest features and improvements, you will need to upgrade to Selenium WebDriver 4.

It’s important to note that Selenium WebDriver 4 is not backward-compatible with Selenium 3, so if you are using Selenium 3 and want to upgrade to Selenium WebDriver 4, you will need to rewrite your tests to use the new version.

How do I get started with Selenium WebDriver 4?

In order to use Selenium WebDriver 4, you need to install the Selenium client library for your programming language of choice and the appropriate web driver for the browser you want to use. You can then use the Selenium API to control the browser and perform actions on websites.

LambdaTest is a cloud-based platform for exploratory and automation testing of web applications. It allows you to run automated tests on a variety of different browsers and operating systems using a wide range of tools and frameworks, including Selenium WebDriver.

With LambdaTest, you can perform automated testing of your web application in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Running tests on a local machine using the LambdaTest Tunnel
  • Running tests on a variety of different browsers and operating systems using the LambdaTest cloud
  • Integrating tests into your continuous integration workflow using the different CI/CD tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, etc.

Selenium WebDriver 4 with LambdaTest is a straightforward process that allows you to perform automated testing of web applications on a wide range of different browsers and operating systems.

To use Selenium WebDriver 4 with LambdaTest, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for a LambdaTest account : You can sign up for a free trial to get started.
  2. Install the Selenium WebDriver libraries for your preferred programming language : Selenium WebDriver supports a wide range of programming languages, including Java, Python, C#, and more.
  3. Set up your test environment : You will need to install the required dependencies and configure your test environment according to the requirements of your preferred programming language and operating system.
  4. Write your test code : Use the Selenium WebDriver API to write the code for your tests. You can use the API to control the browser, navigate to websites, interact with web elements, and perform other tasks.
  5. Run your tests on LambdaTest : You can use the LambdaTest API or the LambdaTest web interface to run your tests on a variety of different browsers and operating systems.

Limitations of Selenium WebDriver 4

Selenium WebDriver 4 is a tool for automating web browsers, and as such, it has some limitations that are inherent to this kind of tool. Some of the limitations of Selenium WebDriver 4 include:

  • It can only interact with web pages that are loaded in a web browser. It cannot interact with native applications or desktop applications.
  • It can only perform actions that are supported by the web browser. For example, if a web page has a feature that is implemented using a proprietary browser API, Selenium WebDriver will not be able to interact with that feature.
  • It can be slow, particularly when running tests against a remote web browser.
  • It requires a web browser to be installed and running on the machine where the tests are being run.
  • It can only interact with web pages that are in the same domain as the test script. This means that it cannot interact with web pages that are loaded from a different domain, unless the web page has explicitly enabled cross-origin resource sharing (CORS).
  • It can be affected by the performance and stability of the web browser and the machine where the tests are being run.
  • It can be affected by changes to the web page being tested, such as changes to the layout or the addition of new elements or features.
  • It does not have access to the internal state or data of the web page, and can only interact with the page through its visible elements and API.


Selenium is widely used in the industry today. With the rapid pace of technological change, it is important for professionals in this field to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and methodologies. Selenium WebDriver 4 is the latest version of Selenium, which includes improvements and new features for automating web browser tasks.

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the need for effective software testing becomes even more critical. Organizations are looking for ways to optimize their software development processes through better testing practices. It is an exciting time to be involved in this field, as there are always new technologies and approaches emerging.

Selenium WebDriver 4 is widely used for testing web applications, automating tasks, and scraping data from websites. It is an essential tool for any developer or tester working with web applications.


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