WebDriverJS: async/await

Promise manager

Before async/await, the only way to use WebDriverJS was through its promise manager.

The example below performs a Google search:

// promise-manager.js
const { Builder, By, Key, until } = require('selenium-webdriver');

// initializes chrome browser
const driver = new Builder().forBrowser('chrome').build();

// navigates to Google and then prints title
driver.getTitle().then((title) => console.log('getTitle:', title));

// enters `webdriver` in search input and then presses Enter key
driver.findElement(By.name('q')).sendKeys('webdriver', Key.ENTER);

// waits up to 1 second for title to change and then prints title
driver.wait(until.titleContains('webdriver'), 1000);
driver.getTitle().then((title) => console.log('getTitle:', title));

// closes browser

As you can tell, the promise manager makes an asynchronous API look somewhat synchronous.


With Node.js 8+, we can now use the async/await syntax.

The following refactors our example to async/await:

// async-await.js
const { Builder, By, Key, promise, until } = require('selenium-webdriver');

// disable promise manager
promise.USE_PROMISE_MANAGER = false;

// wrap in async function
async function run() {
  let driver;

  // use try-catch-finally
  try {
    // we need to `await` for the promise to finish
    driver = await new Builder().forBrowser('chrome').build();

    await driver.get('https://www.google.com/');
    // the resolved value can be saved to a variable
    const title = await driver.getTitle();
    console.log('getTitle:', title);

    await driver.findElement(By.name('q')).sendKeys('webdriver', Key.ENTER);

    await driver.wait(until.titleContains('webdriver'), 1000);
    // `await` can be used inside `console.log`
    console.log('getTitle:', await driver.getTitle());
  } catch (error) {
    // when a promise is rejected
  } finally {
    // executes after `try` or `catch`
    await driver.quit();

// call async function

The main thing to notice is that our code is wrapped inside an async function. This allows us to utilize try-catch-finally.

Overall, the code looks much cleaner and less complex.

Another thing to note is that we had to disable the promise manager:

const { promise } = require('selenium-webdriver');
promise.USE_PROMISE_MANAGER = false;

Alternatively, it can be disabled by setting the environment variable:


Which means we can do the following before running the script:

SELENIUM_PROMISE_MANAGER=0 node async-await.js


You can find all code examples (as well as others), in my webdriverjs-recipes repository.

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