What to Expect in the Latest Version of Selenium 4
Selenium, the leading web framework for automation, releases frequently. Here, we take a look at Selenium releases, from a few years back to Selenium’s latest version—Selenium 4 RC1.
Getting Started With Selenium
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Selenium 4 Latest Version
The original Selenium 4 release date was May 2019. With consistent upgrades, the latest driver (Selenium RC1) was released in June 2021.
Selenium 4 RC1 Core Features
Selenium is the "de facto" web app test automation framework, with a large library and community, though there are Selenium alternatives. Selenium is composed of Selenium IDE, Selenium WebDriver, and Selenium Grid. Selenium 4 offers changes to all of these components; below are some of the most pivotal updates.
Supported Chrome Debugging Protocol
Selenium now offers support for CDP (Chrome Debugging Protocol) which opens the “door” for testers to use network and performance tools that are part of the CDP within their test automation.
Advanced Selenium Grid UI Capabilities
Earlier versions of the Selenium Grid had a complex setup; the new Selenium Grid is simpler and more efficient.
With the new Selenium Grid, there is no need to set up hubs and nodes separately as the grid serves the purpose of both now. Other improvements that the enhanced grid brings are Docker support, IPv6 addresses, a user-friendly GUI, and compatibility with tools like Azure, AWS, and more.
Upgraded Windows & Tabs Testing
Selenium 4 has a new API, newWindow, which allows users to create and switch to a new tab or window without creating a new WebDriver component.
Redesigned Selenium IDE
The Selenium IDE tool was redesigned for easy cross-platform automation and simpler setup. Selenium IDE runner will be based on WebDriver, so Selenium can now be used on any browser, not just Chrome. You can use your own locator strategy while easily plugging into the Selenium IDE. Now, the command line runner will be based on NodeJS rather than HTML.
Improved Relative Locators
The relative locators in Selenium 4 make it simple to locate elements. Testers can now use phrases like toLeftOf() and above() to locate specific site items. The introduction of this new method in Selenium 4 locates web elements based on their visual location relative to other DOM elements.
Standardized for W3C Compliance
To start, Selenium 4 offers new standardization. In the past, most Selenium commands did not work across browsers. Now, you will no longer need to modify code to work with different browsers. Instead, Selenium 4 interacts directly with the target browser. For users, this latest version of Selenium will allow for a seamless experience.
Selenium Webdriver is completely W3C standardized. Moving to W3C as the default protocol allows Selenium to connect directly with browsers. Since Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Edge also follow W3C standardization, this means that everything runs in W3C standard protocol. Because of the move to W3C, capabilities are transitioning from Legacy/JSON Wire Protocol to WebDriver protocol. This makes cross-browser testing more efficient and stable.
Users who want to test their implementation on Opera can use the ChromeDriver because the Opera browser is now based on Chromium. Also, as an alternative to PhantomJS, users can test on FireFox or Chrome in headless mode. The command-line runner now provides information such as the number of passes/fails and the test timing.
The documentation section has not been updated since Selenium 2.0, and was updated for an improved navigation UI covering information for all tools and APIs under Selenium.
Looking Back on Selenium Releases
Here is a timeline looking back at the monumental Selenium releases through the years:
2004: Selenium is launched.
2007: Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver launched.
2011: Selenium 2 is introduced.
2016: Selenium 3 debuts.
2019: Selenium 4 Alpha is released.
2021: Selenium 4 RC is released.
Below, we break down some of the recent Selenium releases, starting with the Selenium latest version and working backwards, and their key features.
|Selenium Version||Release Date||Key Features|
(Selenium Latest Version)
|Selenium 4.0 Alpha 4||January 2020|
|Selenium 4.0 Alpha 3|
|Selenium 4.0 Alpha 2||May 2019|
|Selenium 4.0 Alpha 1||May 2019|
How Perfecto Makes Selenium 4 Better
With Perfecto, you can test on everything, with Selenium 4 RC1 and any browser version, new, or old. Selenium 4 and Perfecto seamlessly integrate for testing on web and mobile web.
With Perfecto and Selenium, you can:
- Execute web testing 50% faster than other vendors.
- Enjoy the scalability of Selenium Grid from the cloud.
- Scale your tests across multiple platforms.
- Find and fix bugs quickly with advanced test reporting and debugging.
- Integrate into your entire CI/CD toolchain.
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