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Microsoft Edge Now Supports W3C WebDriver Recommendation

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Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

Microsoft Edge now supports the recently ratified W3C WebDriver recommendation, making it easier to automate unit and functional tests with Edge. Edge WebDriver is also now an Edge Feature on Demand, providing automatic WebDriver updates for each release of Edge.

Numerous versions of the WebDriver protocol have been created over the years, originating in the Selenium project before moving to the W3C for standardization. For JavaScript testing, several libraries including Intern and WebDriver.io help normalize the testing differences across browsers. With the W3C WebDriver protocol reaching recommendation status, hopefully, the inconsistencies in testing across browsers diminish over time.

Another major challenge with cross-browser testing is keeping each version of WebDriver up to date for each browser release. Previously WebDriver instances were developed by third-parties and were often out of sync with new versions of browsers. More recently, browser vendors have taken ownership of their WebDriver implementations.

This release of WebDriver for Edge introduces several improvements for testing on Edge.

The Actions API provides low-level input into the browser via action sequences, allowing developers to test more complex scenarios via mouse and keyboard input. New testing commands include support for getting timeouts, getting and setting the window dimensions, and getting the property of an element. Additionally, many bugs, edge cases, and inconsistencies with other WebDriver implementations got fixed in this release.

It is also possible to test Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) with Edge WebDriver, as well as out of process WebViews, which allow for embedding a web browser view into a native Windows 10 application. These changes make it easier to test all forms of Edge-based web applications.

To use Edge and WebDriver today, within Edge developers should enable Developer Mode by opening the Settings app and go to “Update & Security”, “For developers”, and select “Developer Mode”. Developer Mode automatically installs the appropriate version of WebDriver. With this change to providing WebDriver as a Feature on Demand, Microsoft will no longer provide standalone downloads for Microsoft Edge WebDriver going forward for current and future versions of Edge.

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