Robot Framework with Python: a popular tool for automated testing

In today’s modern software world, test automation is an essential part of software development. As software becomes more and more complex and extensive, manual testing becomes time-consuming and error-prone. This is where the Robot Framework comes in, a tool designed for test automation that has become a favorite in the development and testing communities.

What is Robot Framework? It is a versatile and powerful tool. Thanks to its intuitive syntax and extensive capabilities, it has gained worldwide popularity. In this article, we will discuss its key features and comparison with other popular automation frameworks.

The Robot Framework is an open-source framework that allows you to automate test scenarios quickly and easily. Its unique feature is that it provides a highly readable and intuitive syntax that makes writing test cases very easy, even for those who don’t have much programming experience. The Robot Framework is implemented in Python, allowing you to take advantage of and extend it using existing libraries in the Python ecosystem.

Robot Framework and Java: in addition to Python support, Robot Framework is also compatible with the Java programming language. This allows developers and testers who prefer Java to take full advantage of the Robot Framework in their projects. The integration of the Robot Framework with Java opens up the possibility of using a wide range of libraries and tools from the Java ecosystem.

It also supports the concept of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which enables the automation of repetitive and manual tasks in processes such as data collection and processing. RPA is a popular trend in automation, and the Robot Framework provides the environment and tools needed to successfully perform RPA tasks.

It is also very flexible and allows integration with other tools and frameworks. For example, it can be integrated with Visual Studio Code, which is a popular development environment that provides benefits such as syntax highlighting, autocomplete features, and other tools that make writing and running test cases easier. In addition, the Robot Framework is compatible with Java, which opens up the possibility of using the ecosystem of Java libraries and tools.

Robot Framework – mobile testing

The Robot Framework also offers support for testing mobile applications. Using the appropriate libraries and tools, you can write test cases that interact with mobile devices and verify their correct functioning.

With these libraries, we can easily control different mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS, and perform various actions such as installing apps, interacting with the user interface, testing features, and managing files.

In addition to the native libraries, we can also use other popular libraries and tools for mobile testing in the Robot Framework, such as Appium, Selendroid or Calabash, which provide extended functionality and support.

The Robot Framework also enables parallel and distributed testing of mobile applications. We can easily run tests on multiple devices at the same time, greatly speeding up the overall testing process.

Robot Framework Syntax

The Robot Framework syntax is designed to be simple, readable and intuitive. A table (spreadsheet) format is used in which columns are separated by four spaces or tabs. The syntax consists of test statements, keywords, variables and comments. Proper understanding and use of syntax is the key to writing and executing tests successfully with the Robot Framework.

Robot Framework is an open-source tool for software test automation and robotic process automation (RPA) using Python.
Test scripts in Robot Framework. SOURCE:

In the Robot Framework, test scripts and the corresponding test data are organized into a file structure. This structure ensures clarity and organization of the test project.

In this file structure we have four main parts.

  • In the “Settings” section is listed the library we want to use (it can be an existing library or your own library via a .py script). The “Suite Setup” and “Suite Teardown” actions are what will take place when this workflow is run. The “Suite Setup” action calls the “Open Connection And Log In” keyword, which we define below, while the “Close All Connections” action is a known keyword that is self-explanatory in this case.
  • The “Variables” section defines the three variables that we will use to connect to the network device.
  • The “Keywords” section defines the mentioned “Open Connection And Log In” keyword, which uses the variables we’ve defined above it, and which is called in the “Settings” section whenever our workflow starts.
  • Finally, we have our actual “Test Cases” section, where we define the command we want to run on the remote host and collect information on whether it was successful or not.

Robot Framework FOR Loop

One of the most used programming language loop is the FOR loop. It allows you to repeat a specific block of code for a given range or list of elements. You can use it to iterate over ranges of numbers, lists, strings, or other iterable objects. In the Robot Framework, this feature is very useful when automating tests where similar steps are repeated or multiple data are being worked with.

The for loop syntax in the Robot Framework is simple and easy to understand. It can be used to repeat steps within a test case or to iterate over values in a list or range. Here is an example of using a for loop in the Robot Framework:

Example syntax for loop in Robot Framework
Example syntax for loop in Robot Framework

In this example, the for loop is repeated five times, with the ${index} variable getting values from 1 to 5. Within each iteration, a block of code that contains two Log steps and one Set Variable step is executed. At the beginning of each iteration, a message with the current index is displayed, then the variable ${value} is set to the index value, and finally the value of the variable ${value} is displayed.

Using a for loop can be very flexible and make repetitive testing tasks easier. For example, you can create a for loop to loop through a list of data and test certain functionality for each individual value. This way you can effectively test different scenarios with different inputs.

Robot Framework vs Selenium – differences and similarities

Selenium is a popular test automation tool that specializes in testing web applications. Selenium allows you to interact with web elements, simulate user actions, and verify the correct functioning of web pages. Selenium supports multiple programming languages, including Python, and is highly extensible thanks to its broad ecosystem and support for a variety of tools and frameworks.

  • Syntax and usability: the Robot Framework is known for its simple and readable syntax, which makes writing test cases fast, even for beginners. Selenium, on the other hand, requires more technical knowledge and programming skills because it is more oriented towards scripting and interacting with web elements.
  • Flexibility and extensibility: the Robot Framework is very flexible and allows integration with different libraries and tools for testing different kinds of applications. Selenium specializes in testing web applications and therefore provides extensive capabilities for interacting with web elements and verifying that they work properly.
  • Cross-language support: the Robot Framework is implemented in Python, which means it takes advantage of and extends the existing Python ecosystem. Selenium is a multilingual tool and supports multiple programming languages including Python, Java, C# and more.
  • Community and documentation:The Robot Framework and Selenium have active communities and a large amount of documentation, tutorials and discussion forums. Both tools have a wealthy resources to help you get started and gain knowledge.

Robot Framework and Selenium

The Robot Framework combined with Selenium is a powerful pair for test automation. By integrating them, you can achieve efficient and scalable web testing. Selenium provides a robust set of features for interacting with web elements, simulating user actions, and verifying expected results.

One of the key benefits of using Robot Framework with Selenium is its cross-browser compatibility. Selenium supports different web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari, allowing you to run tests in multiple browsers simultaneously or sequentially. This ensures that your web application will work properly in different browser environments.

In addition, the Robot Framework provides excellent reporting capabilities. It generates detailed and customizable reports, making it easy to analyze test results and identify problems. With built-in keywords and libraries, you can easily handle common web testing tasks such as clicking buttons, filling out forms, and verifying page content.

In addition, the extensibility of the Robot Framework allows you to integrate other useful libraries and tools, thus expanding the possibilities of test automation. For example, you can include database libraries, API testing libraries , or even custom libraries customized to your specific requirements.

The combination of Robot Framework and Selenium allows you to create reliable and maintainable test suites. With its intuitive structure and powerful features, this combination of frameworks allows you to create comprehensive web tests that cover a variety of scenarios, validate functionality, and ensure the quality of your web applications. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced IT tester, Robot Framework with Selenium provides a versatile and effective web test automation solution to help you save time, increase productivity, and deliver high-quality software.

Robot Framework vs Cucumber

Cucumber is another popular test automation tool that focuses on Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and test scenarios written in natural language. Cucumber allows you to create understandable test cases using the so-called “Gherkin” language and supports integration with various programming languages such as Java, Ruby, JavaScript and more.

  • Syntax and language: the Robot Framework uses a tabular keyword syntax that is easy to read and understand, supports plain text or HTML test case formats, and test cases are written in a domain-specific language (DSL) similar to English. Cucumber uses a behavior-driven development (BDD) approach and uses a Given-When-Then syntax. The test cases are written in Gherkin, which is formatted like plain text and is easy to read and write.
  • Language support: while the Robot Framework provides support for Python and Java, Cucumber primarily supports the Ruby programming language, but there are also implementations for other languages such as Java, JavaScript, and .NET.
  • Ecosystem and integration: the Robot Framework has a rich ecosystem with many libraries and tools for automated testing. Cucumber also has a growing ecosystem, but it may not be as extensive as the Robot Framework one. Cucumber is often used in combination with other tools and frameworks to perform specific types of tests, such as Cucumber-JVM for Java-based projects.
  • Testing Paradigm: Robot Framework enables different testing paradigms such as keyword-driven testing, data-driven testing and behavior-driven testing. Cucumber’s primary focus is on behavior-driven testing (BDD), in which test cases are written in a human-readable form that is easily understood by stakeholders.
  • Community and use: the Robot Framework has a large and active community with extensive documentation and resources available. Cucumber: It also has a strong community, especially in the Ruby ecosystem. Cucumber is often used in agile development environments and teams working with BDD.

Robot Framework vs Cypress

Cypress is a modern web application test automation tool that is characterized by its simplicity and speed. Cypress provides a unique architecture that allows you to test applications directly in the browser and offers rich capabilities for interacting with web elements and validating web pages.

  • Syntax and language: Cypress uses a modern JavaScript syntax that is based on a string API. It is written in JavaScript.
  • Language support: Cypress uses JavaScript, so it is primarily focused on this language. However, it can also integrate other languages via extensions.
  • Ecosystem and Integration: Cypress has a growing ecosystem with multiple plugins and extensions available. It is designed to provide a robust testing solution for modern web applications. It can be integrated with tools such as CI/CD platforms and test management systems.
  • Testing paradigm: Cypress is focused on end-to-end testing and monitoring the behavior of web applications in a real browser. Its approach is oriented towards user interface interactions and correctness checking.
  • Community and usage: Cypress has a growing community, especially within modern web applications. Cypress is often used in the development of single-page applications and web frameworks.

Robot Framework vs Playwright

Playwright is a relatively new test automation tool that was developed by Microsoft. Its main advantage is the ability to test different types of applications including web, desktop and mobile. Playwright provides strong support for multiple browsers and programming languages, allowing you to run tests in multiple environments.

  • Syntax: Playwright uses the JavaScript language and provides an API for writing test cases. It uses modern asynchronous programming and offers high flexibility in writing tests.
  • Language support: Playwright is primarily focused on JavaScript, but also provides support for other languages such as Python, C#, and TypeScript.
  • Ecosystem and integration: Playwright offers a number of plugins and extensions. It is designed to provide a robust solution for automated testing of web applications and can be integrated with a variety of CI/CD tools.
  • Testing paradigm: Playwright is focused on automating the testing of web applications in real browsers. It also provides a powerful API for controlling browsers and allowing simulation of UI interactions.
  • Community and use: Playwright has a growing community with an emphasis on modern web applications and rapid development.

Robot Framework vs Code (Visual Studio Code)

Visual Studio Code is an integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Microsoft. Although not primarily designed for test automation, it provides benefits such as syntax highlighting, autocomplete functions, and support for various languages and frameworks. Code can be used when writing test scripts and interacting with various testing tools.

  • Syntax: VS Code is a development environment with a full-featured text editor. The syntax in VS Code depends on the used programming language and is supported by various extensions and plugins.
  • Language support: VS Code supports a variety of programming languages, including Python, Java, C#, JavaScript and many others, with the ability to use other languages via appropriate extensions.
  • Ecosystem and integration: VS Code is very commonly used IDE and has a wide ecosystem of extensions that allow customization and extension of the editor’s functionalities. VS Code integrates easily with various tools of the development process, such as linters, debuggers and version control systems.
  • Testing paradigm: VS Code is not specifically focused on a testing paradigm. However, it does provide options for developing, debugging and running test code in different languages through appropriate extensions and plugins.
  • Community and use: VS Code is one of the most popular development environments with a large community of users. It is used in a large number of software development projects in different languages.

Robot Framework tutorial

For those who want to learn the Robot Framework, there are many tutorials and online resources. These tutorials provide a step-by-step guide for beginners and advanced users who want to get a deeper understanding of the functionality and syntax of the Robot Framework. Below are some links and example code that you may find useful:

Robot Framework Youtube

There are many videos, tutorials and presentations available on YouTube that are dedicated to the Robot Framework tool. You can find tutorials on how to set up and configure Robot Framework, how to write test cases, how to integrate it with other tools, and other useful information to help you quickly learn and effectively use Robot Framework. We recommend you check out:


Robot Framework is a powerful and versatile tool for test automation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). With its simple syntax, modularity and flexibility, it provides an efficient way to automate tests and processes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced tester, the Robot Framework gives you the resources to improve software quality and reduce the costs associated with manual testing and repetitive tasks.

If you are an IT tester and you speak German, take a look at our employee benefits and respond to our latest job offers.

About the author

Michaela Kojnoková

Agile Test Engineer

Po štúdiu informatiky na ŽU a TUKE som sa najviac ponorila do oblasti automatizácie testovania. Okrem toho sa venujem tvorbe webov, databázam, dátovej analytike, umelej inteligencii a strojovému učeniu. Mám rada cestovanie, šport a najviac si užívam čas strávený v prírode s mojimi blízkymi. LinkedIn

Let us know about you