Differences between Selenium 1.0 and 2.0

Selenium 1.0, also known as Selenium Remote Control (RC), works by taking the remote of the browser and then injecting the automation code to be tested by injecting custom scripts written by the tester. Selenium 2.0, also known as WebDriver, is the successor of Selenium RC and works on the browser directly, using the browser’s in-built features to trigger the automation test written by the tester.

Some key differences between Selenium 1.0 and 2.0 include:

Architecture: Selenium RC servers act as a mediator between Selenium commands and the browser, while WebDriver talks to the OS directly using the OS’s native capability and uses browser drivers for this communication.

Speed: Selenium RC is slower due to the intermediate action of the RC Server, while WebDriver is faster as it talks directly to the browser without using any internal proxy server.

Mobile Application Testing: Selenium RC does not support mobile application testing, while WebDriver uses AndroidDriver and iPhoneDriver for mobile automation.

Headless Browser Support: Selenium RC requires a real browser to work, while WebDriver also supports a headless HTMLUnit browser which facilitates faster execution of tests because it involves no time in waiting for page elements to load.

Advantages of using Selenium 2.0 over 1.0 include:

  • Selenium 2.0 has many new exciting features and improvements over Selenium 1.01.
  • Selenium 2.0 has more API than Selenium 1.01.
  • The new feature is the integration of the WebDriver API1.
  • By using this WebDriver API, we can overcome issues in Selenium 1.01.
  • It is faster than Selenium RC/1.01.
  • There are more ways to identify objects1.
  • No need to start a server1.
  • Page synchronization is handled automatically1.

Key differences between Selenium 1.0 and 2.0:

FeatureSelenium 1.0Selenium 2.0
ArchitectureClient-serverDirect driver
Supported browsersFirefox, Chrome, IEFirefox, Chrome, IE, Edge, Safari, Opera
Supported programming languagesJava, Python, RubyJava, Python, Ruby, C#, JavaScript
APIMore verbose and complexMore concise and easier to use
Support for asynchronous testingNoYes


What are Selenium 1.0 and Selenium 2.0?

Selenium 1.0 is also known as Selenium RC (Remote Control), and Selenium 2.0 is also known as Selenium WebDriver. Selenium RC is an approach where a browser is automated by injecting a javascript and commands are driven by sending them to a server. Whereas in WebDriver, the browser API is extended to drive the browser

Why do we need WebDriver when we have IDE available?

Selenium IDE is only an XPI package or add-on of Firefox. It was created for the sole purpose of providing a record and replay of selenium test scenarios so that test automation script generation using client drivers becomes much faster as IDE also allows one to save a test in other formats. Also, you cannot perform logical flows, parameterization and other such limitations exist with IDE

What all browsers are supported by WebDriver?

Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera are all supported by WebDriver

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