Automating Angular Applications: Selenium WebDriver vs. Protractor

Automating Angular Applications: Selenium WebDriver vs. Protractor

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

When it comes to automating Angular applications, developers often find themselves at a crossroads: should they use Selenium WebDriver or Protractor? Both tools have their merits and challenges, but understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Selenium WebDriver and Protractor

Selenium WebDriver is a versatile tool that allows for browser automation. It is not specifically designed for Angular applications, but it can be used to automate them with the right approach. On the other hand, Protractor is a testing framework specifically tailored for Angular applications. It leverages Selenium WebDriver under the hood but provides additional functionalities that make testing Angular apps more straightforward.

Challenges with Selenium WebDriver for Angular

Using Selenium WebDriver to automate Angular applications is possible, but it comes with challenges. Angular’s heavy use of dynamic elements and single-page applications (SPAs) can make it difficult to locate elements using traditional methods like IDs and names. This often leads to flakiness in tests, requiring more effort to maintain and stabilize.

For instance, WebDriver tests are Angular-agnostic and do not inherently understand Angular’s internal mechanisms for DOM manipulation. This can result in synchronization issues and the need for custom waits, which can complicate test scripts.

Advantages of Protractor

Protractor, being designed for Angular, understands the framework’s intricacies and provides built-in functionalities to handle them. It offers automatic synchronization with Angular’s testability API, reducing the need for manual waits and improving the reliability of tests.

Protractor also introduces Angular-specific locators such as by.model and by.binding, making it easier to interact with Angular elements. These features streamline the process of writing and maintaining tests for Angular applications.


While Selenium WebDriver can be used to automate Angular applications, Protractor offers a more efficient and reliable solution, especially for large-scale projects. Protractor’s understanding of Angular’s internal mechanisms and its synchronization capabilities make it a valuable tool for Angular-specific automation.

For teams that prefer to avoid JavaScript, it is still possible to use Selenium WebDriver with additional effort. However, leveraging Protractor’s features can significantly reduce the complexity and maintenance overhead of your test automation suite.

Enhancing Your Automation Strategy with Repeato

As you consider your options for automating Angular applications, it’s worth exploring no-code solutions like Repeato. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, designed to create, run, and maintain automated tests quickly and efficiently. Its use of computer vision and AI simplifies the setup and use of automated tests, making it an excellent choice for quality assurance.

To learn more about how Repeato can enhance your test automation strategy, visit our getting started guide and explore our comprehensive documentation.

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