Are you using Playwright? Put your scripts into Robocorp to get immediate enterprise scale.
February 21, 2023 – Scott Eddleman, Head of Product Marketing
Today we’ll examine how to build and scale large open-source robotic process automations while avoiding the pitfalls, fragility, and maintenance overhead associated with traditional Gen1 automation approaches. By combining Robocorp’s RPA Framework with Playwright, you can build headless bots that quickly and reliably click, navigate, read, enter data, submit forms, and more - as part of broader enterprise automations.
What is RPA Framework?
Robocorp's open-source initiative RPA Framework is a collection of libraries and keywords written in Python language and offers a human-readable, composable, and extensible approach to developing automations. It’s a collection of self-contained units of functionality that can be easily combined with other keywords to build larger automations. Think of them as programmatic building blocks that can be combined to implement intricate automations.
Automating browser interactions with RPA Framework + Playwright
Playwright is an open-source tool initially developed by Microsoft for testing and automating browser interactions. It's important because it helps developers ensure the quality and reliability of their automations by catching and fixing bugs early in the development process. Once put into production, it dramatically improves data accuracy and the processing speed of automations since human interactions with the browser are limited or removed.
Why use the RPA Framework Playwright library?
Robocorp’s Playwright library makes it easy to build stable and reliable browser automations. Most Gen1 RPA solutions don’t offer Playwright as an option to interact with web applications, which can cause frequently broken bots. Also, RPA Framework enhances automations beyond native Playwright. It reduces bot fragility and seamlessly interacts with other RPA Framework libraries like Excel, Salesforce, JavaAccessBridge, SAP, and more to build end-to-end automations. This dramatically reduces your automation TCO, speeds ROI, cuts down on broken bots, and opens up a new world of automation possibilities.
Get started with RPA Framework
If you are new to Robocorp technology, please visit our documentation site. Click here to view the RPA Framework welcome page. Categories include applications, browsers, cloud, databases, and more. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see the list of RPA Framework libraries we built to make your development process faster and your automations more reliable.
The Playwright library Readme page
Clicking on the RPA.Browser.Playwright link in the left navigation pane brings you to the Playwright's Read Me page, which provides an overview of browser automation, a table of contents, and notable features and context. Please read through this page before building your automations with keywords.
You’ll also see several library navigation links toward the top of the page and shortcuts to keywords in the right navigation pane.
The library’s list of keywords can be found by clicking on the “Keywords” link near the top of the page. Keywords are browser actions that can be automated.
As of this writing, there were 118 keywords in the Playwright library. These include browser actions like Add Cookie, Add Style Tag, Check Checkbox, Clear Permissions, Clear Text, Click, Close Browser, Close Context, Close Page, and more.
These keywords make it easy for developers to build reliable automations in composable and extensive ways rapidly.
Playwright learning materials
Clicking on the “Learning Materials” link near the top of the page takes you to a listing of additional learning resources and supporting materials to help you automate browser interactions and leverage other RPA Framework libraries.
For even more support, you can scroll down the left navigation pane of the documentation site and find more resources under Troubleshooting, FAQs, and Releases / Changelog. Here you’ll discover how to submit issues, resolve common hurdles, and stay apprised of new software features and other changes.
Additionally, users can access the Robocorp Portal and search for pre-built Playwright robots. Below is a screenshot of currently available bots for specific use cases.
Top-5 reasons to use Playwright for automations
Automating browser interactions with RPA Framework’s Playwright library helps enterprises automatically input data into systems, gather and verify employee information, handle routine customer inquiries, manage supply chain tasks, and compile data from various sources.
Playwright is a powerful, flexible, and best-in-class tool for enterprise automation. In addition, it is actively maintained by Microsoft, which means it is well-supported and regularly updated with new features and improvements. Here are a few other reasons why:
- Playwright is fast and reliable - It uses the same underlying browser engines as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, so it can accurately simulate user interactions and automatically detect and recover from errors. It can also run on multiple browsers simultaneously, making it easier to test for browser compatibility.
- It’s easier to use - It has a simple, intuitive API that allows developers to write scripts in popular programming languages like Python. It requires less code than similar tools and has deeper level access to the browser to better manage tasks like “wait until element is visible” automatically.
- It has powerful features - It can simulate user input, such as typing and clicking, and advanced gestures, like scrolling and dragging. It can also automatically generate reports and screenshots, making debugging and tracking issues easy.
- It has great support for modern web features - It can interact with web pages that use newer technologies like WebAssembly and WebGL, which other tools may not support.
- Playwright has better integration with continuous integration (CI) and deployment pipelines - It can be easily integrated into popular CI platforms like GitHub Actions and Azure DevOps, making it easier to automate the deployment process.
Leveraging our RPA Framework Playwright library can help your enterprise drive efficiency, cut costs, and improve accuracy. In addition, it frees up time for employees to focus on more value-adding activities, leading to increased efficiency.
You also reduce the risk of errors in processes prone to human mistakes - improving governance and compliance. And enterprises can adapt to changing business needs more quickly and agile in their operations.
Start automating for free today, or talk to a pro about our simple and affordable enterprise offerings. With RPA Framework and Robocorp, you can automate 3x faster at ⅓ of the cost of traditional RPA and intelligent automation providers. We look forward to working with you.