Robot Framework With Python: An Open Source Framework For RPA

Robot Framework is one of the most useful open source automation software available in the market for acceptance testing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Automation Test-Driven Development (ATDD). The syntax used is accessible in the tabular data form. Also, it uses the keyword-driven approach for testing purposes.

The testing capabilities of the Robot Framework can be extended when it is used with Python and Java. An efficient user can create new and higher-level keywords from the already existing keywords by using the same approach and syntax.

The framework has a prosperous system of libraries, both internal and external having useful keywords. These keywords can be re-used as per the requirement. The core Robot Framework is implemented using Python and also runs on IronPython (JVM) and Jython (.NET).

Libraries in Robot Framework

Testing libraries are the source of actual capabilities for Robot Framework as they provide keywords. Many standard libraries come along with the framework, whereas some other separately developed libraries can be installed as per the needs. However, there is a scope of creating the library.

Check out the list and manage the libraries accordingly:

Standard Libraries - We have categorized the standard libraries in eleven sets as follows:

Builtin - It provides a set of keywords that are generic and are often needed. The library is always available automatically without any imports.

Dialogs - This library provides means for pausing the execution of the test and getting the user’s input.

Operating System - The Operating System library enables various operating system related tasks that are performed on the system, correctly where the framework is running.

Remote - It is a unique library that acts as a proxy between the Robot frameworks and the testing libraries. 

Collections - It provides a set of keywords that helps in handling Python lists and dictionaries.

Screenshot - This library has the keywords for capturing a screenshot of the current screen running on the desktop.

String - This library is meant to generate, modify, and verify strings. 

Telnet - With the help of the Telnet library, one can establish a connection with Telnet servers and execute commands.

XML - With XML one can generate, modify, and verify XML files.

Process - The process is for running processes in the system and is latest in Robot version 2.8

DateTime - Used for Date and Time conversion. New in Robot version 2.8.5


External Libraries - There are plenty of external libraries, some of them have been mentioned here for reference:

Android Library - It is the library for all the Android automation needs. The library uses the Calabash Android internally.

AnyWhere Library - This library is used for testing single-page applications. The library uses Selenium Webdriver and Appium internally.

DataDriver Library - This library is meant for data-driven testing with external data tables.

Database Library (Python) - It is a python based library used for data testing. It can work with any Python interpreter including Jython.

White library - This is the library for automating Windows GUI. The library is based on the White framework support technologies that include WinForms, WPF, and Win32.

Tools for Robot Framework

The tools linked with Robot Framework are used to ease things that are linked with editing, running, building, and so on. Many of the tools used are developed for separate projects, but there are some built-in frameworks as well. Some of the tools are characterized and mentioned below:

Built-In Tools - These are the tools that are initially available in the Framework:

Rebot - These are the tools for generating reports and logs based on XML. It is also used to combine various outputs.

Libdoc - It is a tool used for generating keywords documentation for resource files and test libraries. 

Tidy - This tool is used for cleaning up and changing the formats of Robot Framework test data files.

TestDoc - This tool generates a high level of HTML documentation based on the test cases.

Editors Tools - The tools under this category are:

Atom Plugin - This is a Robot Framework plugin for Atom.

Debugger for Visual Studio Code - It is a Visual Studio Code extension that helps in debugging files with breakpoints, call stacks, etc.

RIDE - Standalone Robot Framework test data editor.


To summarize, Robot makes generation easier. As you learn you will understand that how opening a browser with Robot requires only a one-line code. Also, logs and reports are created automatically while the execution of the tests and that too without writing any code. So, you can consider the Robot framework to be among the easiest and the best framework worthwhile for testing nowadays. 


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