In this section of the Selenium tutorial we will learn to run our first test using the Selenium WebDriver API. But before running our first Selenium test, let’s first understand what Web Elements in a web browser are since all the web applications are made up of web elements. The success of automated UI tests depends on recognizing these elements efficiently to achieve the test flow.

The Web Elements or Web Browser Elements are the various webpage components which make up the webpage. Examples are:- Edit Box, Text Box, Link, Button, Image, Text Area, Radiobutton, Checkbox, Error and Notification message, Combobox, Dropdown, Tables, Frames, Forms and many more. Performing automated UI tests on these web elements essentially means whether they are working correctly or not. Consider an example where we are testing a “Button” web element – so we might be checking whether the button is in enabled or disabled condition or whether the innertext of the button is equal to the value that we are expecting or not. If the button is enabled, are we able to successfully click on it or not and once clicked, are the expected events happening or not. Thus, it is evident that to perform testing or checks using the web elements we basically need to perform two things:
1) Locate the web element on the webpage
2) Once located, perform actions/operations on that web element


But before starting to deal with the web elements, first we need to open the web browser and navigate to the webpage by providing the URL using WebDriver. Here, we will use the “Chrome” as browser and “ChromeDriver” as the browser driver server. In the FirstSeleniumTest java project that we created earlier in the Eclipse IDE, create a package with the name “tests” (Right click on FirstSeleniumTest -> New -> Package -> Name: tests -> Click Finish) and inside it create a class with the name “BasicTest” (Right click on src -> New -> Class -> Name: BasicTest -> Check the “public static void main” checkbox -> Click Finish). N.B:- You can give any name of your choice to the package and the class.

Now create a folder named “driver” inside the FirstSeleniumTest project and put the downloaded “chromedriver.exe” file which is the chrome browser driver. Now write the below code inside the BasicTest class and run it (Right click inside the class -> Run As -> Java Application)

package tests;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;

public class BasicTest {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		System.setProperty("", "./driver/chromedriver.exe");
		WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();

Once you run the code, you will notice that Chrome browser will get invoked and launched automatically and the google home page will open up. The browser window will then get maximized and the execution in Eclipse will get stopped.

In the statement “import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;”, org.openqa.selenium is a library package which contains the WebDriver interface which in turn extends the SearchContext interface(the super most interface in Selenium). The RemoteWebDriver class implements the abstract methods of both these interfaces in addition to some extra interfaces like JavascriptExecutor, HasCapabilites, Interactive and TakesScreenshot imterface.

In the statement “import;”, is a library package which contains the ChromeDriver class(a subclass of the RemoteWebDriver class)needed to write tests against the Chrome browser. It is a WebDriver implementation that controls a Chrome browser running on the local machine. The control server which each Chrome instance communicates with will live and die with the instance.

In the statement
the name of the system property (i.e. key) is set to “”and the value of this system property is set to “./driver/chromedriver.exe” which is the path to the chromedriver.exe file. You can also provide the absolute path from file system here. This statement notifies the run-time engine that the chromedriver.exe file is present in the specified path (here it is inside the “driver” folder). For other browsers, we have to provide different key and value to this setProperty method. This statement is required because the browsers do not have built-in servers to run the code and hence the browser drivers are required to communicate the Selenium code to the browsers.
N.B: This line should be the first line in your Selenium code.

WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();
In this statement, an object of the ChromeDriver class is initiated by taking reference of the WebDriver interface and the reference variable’s name is given “driver”. Declaring in this way, we can use the same object to initiate other browsers (e.g. Firefox or IE) and call various implementations of the WebDriver interface methods in the implementing classes. Here, we can achieve Runtime Polymorphism which will help us to automate Selenium scripts in different browsers for Cross-Browser testing and switching will be easy.

This statement helps to navigate to the specified URL. Here the URL is

This statement maximizes the current browser window. It is a good practice to maximize the browser at the start while automating any web application in order to view all the visible web elements of the application.