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Automated driver management for Selenium WebDriver


Selenium WebDriver is a framework used to control web browsers automatically. It provides a cross-browser Application Programming Interface (API) for different languages (e.g., Java, Python, or JavaScript) that allows automatic navigation, user impersonation, and verification of web applications. Internally, Selenium WebDriver makes use of the native automation support of each browser. Hence, a platform-dependent binary file (the so-called driver) must be placed between the Selenium WebDriver script and the browser to support this native communication. The management (i.e., download, setup, and maintenance) of these drivers is cumbersome for practitioners. This paper provides a complete methodology to automate this management process. Particularly, we present WebDriverManager, the reference tool implementing this methodology. WebDriverManager provides different execution methods: as a Java dependency, as a Command-Line Interface (CLI) tool, as a server, as a Docker container, and as a Java agent. To provide empirical validation of the proposed approach, we surveyed the WebDriverManager users. The aim of this study is twofold. First, we assessed the extent to which WebDriverManager is adopted and used. Second, we evaluated the WebDriverManager API following Clarke’s usability dimensions. A total of 148 participants worldwide completed this survey in 2020. The results show a remarkable assessment of the automation capabilities and API usability of WebDriverManager by Java users, but a scarce adoption for other languages.

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This work has been been supported in part by the “Análisis en tiempo Real de sensores sociALes y EStimación de recursos para transporte multimodal basada en aprendizaje profundo” project (MaGIST-RALES), funded by the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, doi 10.13039/501100011033) under grant PID2019-105221RB-C44. This work also received partial support from FEDER/Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Agencia Estatal de Investigación through project Smartlet (TIN2017-85179-C3-1-R), and from the eMadrid Network, which is funded by the Madrid Regional Government (Comunidad de Madrid) with grant No. S2018/TCS-4307.

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Correspondence to Boni García.

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Communicated by: Shin Yoo

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Appendix A: WebDriverManager API

Appendix A: WebDriverManager API

The following table summarizes the complete WebDriverManager Java API together with the equivalent configuration key. Footnote 33

Method Description Configuration key
driverVersion (String) Particular driver version wdm.chromeDriverVersion, wdm.operaDriverVersion, wdm.edgeDriverVersion, wdm.phantomjsDriverVersion, wdm.geckoDriverVersion, wdm.chromiumDriverVersion, wdm.internetExplorerDriverVersion
browserVersion (String) Particular browser version wdm.chromeVersion, wdm.operaVersion, wdm.edgeVersion, wdm.firefoxVersion, wdm.chromiumVersion
cachePath(String) Driver cache path wdm.cachePath
resolution- CachePath(String) Resolution cache path wdm.resolutionCachePath
forceDownload() Force downloading the driver (even if it is already available in the driver cache) wdm.forceDownload
useBetaVersions() Download also beta versions wdm.useBetaVersions
architecture(Arch) Force using a given architecture (i.e., 32-bit or 64-bit) wdm.architecture
arch32() Force using 32-bit architecture wdm.architecture=32
arch64() Force using 64-bit architecture wdm.architecture=64
operatingSystem(OS) Force using a given operating system (WIN, MAC, or LINUX) wdm.os
win() Force using Windows as operating system wdm.os=WIN
linux() Force using Linux as operating system wdm.os=LINUX
mac() Force using Mac OS as operating system wdm.os=MAC
ignoreVersions (String...) Ignore some driver versions wdm.ignoreVersions
useMirror() Use driver repository mirror. Available for chromedriver, geckodriver, operadriver, and phantomjs wdm.useMirror
driverRepositoryUrl(URL) URL of the driver repositories wdm.chromeDriverUrl, wdm.operaDriverUrl, wdm.edgeDriverUrl, wdm.phantomjsDriverUrl, wdm.geckoDriverUrl, wdm.internetExplorerDriverUrl,
proxy(String) Use an HTTP proxy for the Internet connection (notation my.http.proxy:1234 or username:password@my. http.proxy:1234) wdm.proxy
proxyUser(String) Username for the HTTP proxy wdm.proxyUser
proxyPass(String) Password for HTTP proxy wdm.proxyPass
localRepository User(String) Username for a local repository wdm.proxyUser
localRepository Password(String) Password for a local repository wdm.proxyPass
gitHubToken Name(String) Token name for authenticated requests in GitHub wdm.gitHubTokenName
gitHubToken Secret(String) Secret for authenticated requests in GitHub wdm.gitHubTokenSecret
timeout(int) Timeout (in seconds) to connect and download drivers from repositories wdm.timeout
properties(String) Properties file for internal configuration values
avoidExport() Avoid exporting JVM properties with the driver path (used by default in CLI) wdm.avoidExport
avoidOutputTree() Avoid creating tree structure in driver cache (used by default in CLI) wdm.avoidOutputTree
avoidFallback() Disable the fallback mechanism in the resolution algorithm wdm.avoidFallback
avoidBrowser Detection() Disable the dynamic browser version detection mechanism wdm.avoidBrowserDetection
avoidReadRelease FromRepository() Disable checking LATEST_RELEASE info from repositories (for Chrome and Edge) wdm.avoid ReadRelease FromRepository
browserVersionDetectionCommand(String) Custom command for browser version detection wdm.browserVersionDetectionCommand
browserVersionDetectionRegex(String) Regular expression used to extract browser version wdm.browserVersionDetectionRegex
ttl(int) TTL (in seconds) for driver versions in the resolution cache wdm.ttl
ttlBrowsers(int) TTL (in seconds) for browser versions in the resolution cache wdm.ttlForBrowsers
useLocalVersionsPropertiesFirst() Disable the usage of the online versions database (use the local copy instead) wdm.versionsPropertiesOnlineFirst
useLocalCommandsPropertiesFirst() Disable the usage of the online commands database (use the local copy instead) wdm.commandsPropertiesOnlineFirst
versionsPropertiesUrl(URL) URL of the the online versions database ( wdm.versionsPropertiesUrl
commandsPropertiesUrl(URL) URL of the the online commands database ( wdm.commandsPropertiesUrl
clearResolutionCache() Remove resolution cache (browser and driver versions previously resolved) wdm.clearResolutionCache
clearDriverCache() Remove driver cache (drivers previously resolved) wdm.clearDriverCache
exportParameter(String) Java property name used to export the driver path (e.g., webdriver. chrome.driver for Chrome or webdriver.gecko. driver for Firefox) wdm.chromeDriverExport, wdm.geckoDriverExport, wdm.edgeDriverExport, wdm.operaDriverExport, wdm.phantomjsDriverExport, wdm.internetExplorerDriverExport

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García, B., Munoz-Organero, M., Alario-Hoyos, C. et al. Automated driver management for Selenium WebDriver. Empir Software Eng 26, 107 (2021).

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  • Test automation
  • Testing tools
  • Selenium WebDriver