What is the difference between Selenium RC and WD?

Basically, Selenium is a test automation suite with different components. Of the different components, Selenium RC and Selenium Webdriver are most widely used for automating tests. Usually, Selenium IDE is used to create simple tests but it is preferable to use Selenium RC for the complex tests. Selenium webdriver replaced Selenium RC in version 2.0.

Now, you might have a doubt about the difference between Selenium RC and Webdriver. This article clearly depicts the difference between these two components of Selenium testing suite.

What is the difference between Selenium RC and WD

Before going to the difference you should know what is webdriver. Selenium Webdriver is a test automation framework that permits executing tests in multiple browsers. Here you should remember that the Selenium IDE supports only one browser, Mozilla Firefox. Besides this, it supports multiple programming languages.

Now let us come to the difference between Selenium RC and Webdriver

  • The architecture of webdriver is simpler than that of Selenium RC and it controls the browser from the Operating System level. A tester needs only the programming language’s id which has selenium commands in it and a browser to start work. At the same time, you need to launch a separate application called Selenium RC Server to start working with Selenium RC. This will work as a middleman between the selenium commands and the browser. A Javascript program called “Selenium Core” will be injected into the browser by the Selenium RC when the test process begins. Then, Selenium Core will start receiving instructions through the RC server from the test program. Then Selenium Core will start executing it as Javascript commands. The browser will follow the instructions of Selenium Core and release the responses to the RC server.
  • Webdriver is faster than Selenium RC as the webdriver communicates directly with the browser. When you use Selenium RC, it is Selenium Core that controls the browser and not the tester as in the case of Webdriver.
  • Webdriver has a more realistic approach towards testing. In other words, if you have a disabled box in the webpage under testing, webdriver will not assign any value in it but when you use Selenium RC, it will access the disabled boxes and enter a value in it.
  • The API of Selenium RC is more matured but contains many redundancies and confused commands. And the things will get even worse when different browsers interpret different commands in different ways. The API of webdriver is simpler and does not contain any confusing commands.
  • Webdriver supports the headless HTMLUnit browser but Selenium RC does not.
  • Selenium RC will generate test results in HTML format automatically but the webdriver has no built in mechanism to generate reports.

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