Automation Testing

Getting Started With Robot Framework in Java

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I recently interviewed the creator of the Robot Framework, Pekka Klark, on my TestGuild Automation Testing podcast. So I thought it would be an excellent time to create a quick tutorial on how to get started with Robot Framework in Java.

The Robot Framework is an open-source test automation framework based on Python and uses a keyword-driven approach to test automation. Robot Framework also supports Jython(Java) and IronPython(.NET).

Just a heads up, I’m not an expert in the Robot Framework – yet. I’m just starting, and this post is me learning as I go in real time. I honestly couldn’t find any clear setup instructions to start with the Robot Framework in Java.

But based on what I found in the getting started instructions and various StackOverflow conversations, this is what I did. Some of these steps might not be 100% necessary, but they worked on getting my example to run.

I will post more Robot Framework tutorials as I learn new things to share with others who might be starting off.

In this post, you’ll learn.

  • The basics of Robot Framework
  • How to install the Robot Framework
  • The plugins needed for Robot Framework

How to Install Robot Framework
Install Robot Framework Selenium2 Library in Java
Create a simple project
Add entries to the Pom file
Create your first Robot Framework Java test
Create a Maven Run Command Goal and Run the Test
Install Robotide Eclipse IDE plugin

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How to Install Robot Framework

For this example, I will be using Java with Maven and will be using Selenium2Library. Besides Selenium, the Robot Framework has external libraries with existing keywords for lots of other technologies like

  • Appium
  • Android
  • Swing
  • FTP
  • HTTP
  • Database
  • AutoIt

Install Robot Framework Selenium2 Library in Java

All we need to do for this example is import a few libraries into our project Maven pom file. Let's take a look at creating a simple project that includes the Robot Framework maven dependencies.

Create a simple project

In Eclipse, select File>New>Other, and in the New dialog, select the Maven folder

  • Select Maven Project
  • Click on the Use default Workspace location, and click Next
  • On the next screen, select the default maven-archetype-quickstart option


  • Click Next
  • Enter the following:
  • Group Id = com.testtalks.robot
  • Artificat Id = javarobot
  • Version = 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT
  • Click Finish

Add entries to the Pom file

You should now have a project called javabot. Expand it and double-click the pom.xml
Open your pom.xml file and add the following dependencies:

Also, add the following plugin:
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Create your first Robot Framework Java test


You don’t actually write your Robot Framework test in java. Robot Framework is a generic keyword-driven framework that uses text files with keywords that it understands to run your tests. 

So in Java, all you are doing right now is creating a text file with Selenium2 keywords.

Because the Robot Framework comes with many ready-made built-in keywords for things like Selenium, it is easy to get started with a simple test and not have to write any code.

So let’s create our Java Robot project and test case.

  • Under the src/test/java directory add a New Folder named robotframework/acceptance
  • Click on Finish
  • Right-click on acceptance and select New>File
  • Name the file txt

Open the Test_Case_1 text file and enter the following. Be careful spaces matter! There are two spaces between everything.

*** Settings ***
Documentation  A resource file containing the application specific keywords
Library  Selenium2Library

*** Test Cases ***
Check out joe colantonio dot com
 Open Browser  ff
 Close Browser

To find out what each keyword used in this simple example and what other keywords are available to you go to the keyword documentation:

In our example, you can see that for the Open Browser keyword, it opens a new browser instance given URL.


Create a Maven Run Command Goal and Run the Test

  • Right-click on the java robot directory and select Run As>Run Configurations..
  • In the Run Configuration dialog dbl click on the Maven Build
  • Click on the Browser Workspace button and select the java robot project as the base directory
  • Under Goals enter robotframework:run
  • Click on the Resolve Workspace artifacts and the Update Snapshots
  • Click Apply
  • Click Run

If all goes well the browser should start and navigate to without any errors.

I kept getting the error Failed to execute goal org.robotframework:robotframework-maven-plugin:1.4.6:run at first when I tried this example.

It turned out to be due to me not having two spaces between my URL and the browser type I wanted to run. The Robot Framework cares about proper formatting, like spaces!


Install Robotide Eclipse IDE plugin

To avoid any issues with spaces, let’s also install the robotide Eclipse IDE plugin for RobotFramework:

  • Close eclipse
  • Navigate to :
  • Click on the Download content.jar
  • Once the content.jar is downloaded copy it to your eclipse’s plugins and features directories
  • Restart Eclipse now in your .robot file if you don’t have the correct amount of spaces between your parameters

Final Thoughts

That’s it for our introduction to Robot Framework in Java! We hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you want to learn more or get started using Robot Framework for your projects, check out Test Guild. Our website is packed with information on automation tools and techniques and tutorials like this one.

And if you have questions about Robot Framework or anything related to automated testing, don’t hesitate to reach out – we love helping people learn new things and grow their skill sets. Thanks for reading, and happy testing!

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