What is New in Selenium 4?

8 Apr
Selenium Automation Testing

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    1. Features of selenium 4

    Do you know, what is new in Selenium 4? Let’s find out! Selenium comes to mind whenever we go for automated cross-browser web testing.

    Also, QAble is a prominent service provider for selenium automation testing services. And today, we will get to know about thenew features of selenium 4.

    So, people who are still unaware of selenium 4 new features should read the complete article. Furthermore, being a reliable testing company in India, we aim to keep the technocrats informed so that they can build a robust and bug-free application.

    So, guys, if you are searching, what is new in selenium 4, let's browse below.

    Features of selenium 4

    Advancement brings more reliability and comfort. Following the same legacy, selenium 4, is excelled with dynamic features that are easy to learn and implement. It delivers enhanced architecture of selenium grid along with very useful selenium IDE.

    A feature that has made the version more significant is W3C compliance of WebDriver APIs. We are point-wise mentioning the changes that help you understand the new version thoroughly.

    Selenium WebDriver W3C Standardization:

    As we know, main browser drivers follow the W3C standard, and hence in selenium 4, WebDriver allows direct communication with the web browsers.

    Also, the default protocol in selenium 4 is the co-existence of selenium vs. WebDriver W3C protocol along with JSON wire protocol. Additionally, Selenium 4 depreciates JSON Wire protocol. Another change in Selenium 4 is the removal of native support for opera and PhantomJS.

    It is so because their implementations for WebDriver are not under development now. Opera is based on Chromium so, testers can perform the testing using Chrome browser for Opera.

    And those who are looking to test PhantomJS can perform their testing through Chrome & Firefox using headless mode. This is the amplest architectural change in the selenium 4, and the WebDriver W3C Standardization brings more reliable and stable cross-browser testing. Also, it reduces complexities across web browsers.

    Improved & Optimized Selenium Grid

    The selenium grid is used for the distributed test execution, and it follows Hub-Node architecture. And during automation testing, both are required to start individually.

    Now in selenium 4, Hub & Node are packed in a single jar file, and at the start of the server, it acts as both. The previous release of selenium supports session maps, router, & distributor processes, while this new release is more scalable.

    Further, it supports router, distributor, node & session maps processes. As per the new features of selenium 4, the Gird is able to support IPV6 addresses. It means it enables users to communicate with the grid through HTTPS protocol.

    With the enhanced Selenium Grid, the use of configuration files is simple, and one can easily implement the same using TOML (Tom’s Obvious, Minimal Language).

    Another exciting thing about Selenium 4 is the Grid’s support for appealing and user-friendly GUI. Moreover, the use of VMs (Virtual Machines) is easier with the presence of Docker in Selenium Grid 4.

    Apart from that, developers will have the flexibility to deploy Selenium Grid on Kubernetes. Moreover, it supports AWS, Azure, and many more such tools, hence, is highly useful for DevOps projects.

    Enhanced Selenium 4 IDE

    The leading web browsers can make use of Selenium IDE in selenium 4. The MS Edge Store will soon contain the web extensions for Selenium IDE. It further supports the control flow mechanism, and hence better tests are expected.

    Another new feature of Selenium 4 is its SIDE tool that enables testers to run a side project on the Node.JS platform. The SIDE tool is referred to as Selenium IDE Runner, and it has the ability to run parallel cross browsers tests.

    You can make all the executions either at Selenium Grid or cloud-based selenium grid. With the new features of Selenium 4, black-box testers who are looking to explore automation testing get a kick start.

    It is so because you can now export Selenium IDE as a code for various programming languages such as .Net, JavaScript, C#, Java, etc.

    Relative Locators for Automation Scripts

    By introducing relative locators, selenium 4 has facilitated a simple way for locating elements. The relative locators are also called Friendly locators as they offer locating WebElements. It also helps in locating the WebElements through the visual location comparing various DOM elements.

    CDP (Chrome Debugging Protocol)

    If we want the assured quality of an application, we need it to test across all possible browsers, windows, tabs, etc.

    In the previous versions is Selenium, managing testing across various environments is pretty much hectic for a quality tester. But with the evolution of selenium 4, the testing becomes simple because it has a new API called new Window.

    It enables the tester to switch between various browsers, windows, or tabs even without creating any new WebDriver object for one session.

    Enhanced Documentation

    The documentation of Selenium 4 is enhanced and very clear. All the approaches of WebDriver W3C protocol, Selenium Grid 4, and Selenium IDE are covered. Testers looking to get command over Selenium 4 should refer to the documentation in order to understand the new APIs and other things.

    Selenium 3 vs. Selenium 4

    Now comparing Selenium 3 and Selenium 4 will give you an exact picture of both the concepts. You will experience the change in selenium 4 from selenium 3 through their proper differentiation.

    Architectural Difference

    • Selenium 3.0: In Selenium 3, to build communication between selenium WebDriver APIs & the native APIs, we need to use JSON wise protocol. And whatever requests & responses are generated during the communication of encoded & decoded to maintain security.
    • Selenium 4: Selenium 4 is differently launched and it works through the W3C standard protocol. Here the communication is done following a standard process rather than using JSON wire protocol. Because of this implementation, the generated requests and responses will no longer need encoding and decoding.

    Chrome Extension Difference

    • Selenium 3.0: In the case of Selenium 3, the extension of chrome goes to the remote web driver.
    • Selenium 4.0: In selenium 4, the extension will go to the Chromium driver and it has predefined methods to access the tools.

    ChroHub & Node Structure

    • Selenium 3: In Selenium 3, the testers are always required to start Hub & Node individually whenever they are going to perform automation testing.
    • Selenium 4: The problem of the testers is resolved in selenium 4 because it has merged both (Hub & Node) in a single jar file. Now the testers are not required to start them individually.


    Here we have explained your query about what is new in selenium 4. We hope you have understood the concept. At the same time, we suggest being in the loop so that we could share all the necessary information regarding Selenium test automation services.

    Also, if you are looking to hire QA tester in India, we are your constant service partner. We have excellent command over various testing tools including the selenium automation testing tool.

    So far, we have delivered many projects across the globe and if you are looking to build a dynamic business application, QAble is always there for you. Further, if any doubt comes, regarding the topic, feel free to contact us.

    We will be more than happy to assist. Stay safe, stay healthy.

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    Written by Nishil Patel

    CEO & Founder

    Nishil is a successful serial entrepreneur. He has more than a decade of experience in the software industry. He advocates for a culture of excellence in every software product.

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