Selenium WebDriver is the most important component of Selenium Tool's Suite. The latest release "Selenium 2.0" is integrated with WebDriver API which provides a simpler and more concise programming interface.
The following image will give you a fair understanding of Selenium components and the Test Automation Tools.
Selenium WebDriver was first introduced as a part of Selenium v2.0. The initial version of Selenium i.e Selenium v1 consisted of only IDE, RC and Grid. However, with the release of Selenium v3, RC has been deprecated and moved to legacy package.
In WebDriver, test scripts can be developed using any of the supported programming languages and can be run directly in most modern web browsers. Languages supported by WebDriver include C#, Java, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby.
Before learning the concepts of Selenium WebDriver, you should be well versed with any of the supported programming languages. Currently, Selenium Web driver is most popular with Java and C#. For this tutorial, we are using Selenium with java. You can refer to the links given below to learn basic as well as advance concepts of Java and C#:
Java Tutorial: https://www.javatpoint.com/java-tutorial
C# Tutorial: https://www.javatpoint.com/c-sharp-tutorial
Selenium WebDriver performs much faster as compared to Selenium RC because it makes direct calls to the web browsers. RC on the other hand needs an RC server to interact with the browser.
WebDriver has a built-in implementation of Firefox driver (Gecko Driver). For other browsers, you need to plug-in their browser specific drivers to communicate and run the test. Most commonly used WebDriver's include: