Unleashing the Power of Python in Automation
Announcing the new framework for Python automation as well as the new project templates that get Python developers started on enterprise-grade automation in no time.
June 22, 2023 – Tommi Holmgren
We're excited to announce our new automation framework for Python automations – simply called robocorp. The project templates in our VS Code extension have been updated this week to use the new framework. The release builds on our open-source foundation and brings the experience of developing Python automations on par with Robot Framework on our platform.
We believe that large language models are revolutionizing the digital landscape, and we're thrilled to embrace this trend. Python is ideal for automation because of its extensive ecosystem of pre-built packages, rapid access to the latest innovations, and strong support in the AI community.
Our commitment is to ensure our customers get the latest advancements faster than with any proprietary tool. We made the following changes because we noticed that more and more projects on our platform are using Python exclusively, and based on the demand from the enterprise customers to be better able to govern their already existing and fast growing Python automations.
So, what's new? It is a complete revamp of Python automation on the Robocorp platform!
New @task Decorator
This new entry point for tasks eliminates unnecessary boilerplate code and makes the project structure easier to read. Any method decorated with @task becomes runnable, and can thus be scheduled or otherwise managed as a part of a Process or Assistant in Control Room.
Visual and Autogenerated Logs
We've brought the loved logging features from Robot Framework to Python, all without you having to writing a single line of code. They are instantly available when developing and debugging locally from VS Code, and in production in from Control Room after every run. And the interactive logs look beautiful in our opinion!
Furthermore, you can now control the logging with ease, suspending logs for sections dealing with sensitive data in several different ways. The image below shows just one example.
New Robocorp Automation Libraries
While our rpaframework libraries are based on Python, we believe we can enhance the developer experience for those choosing to work on Python exclusively.
- RPA Framework was designed and optimized for Robot Framework. With the new libraries we have a chance to create simple and intuitive APIs familiar to Python developers.
- RPA Framework wraps some common Python packages and makes their features easy to use in Robot Framework. When working on Python, the original source SDKs or packages are easy to use. While reducing the environment size, we also reduce the size of our maintainable codebase.
- Fully leverage the capabilities of Python such as dealing with complex data structures and APIs - something a lot of the developers working on Robocorp already did in Python code.
The new robocorp automation libraries roll out focusing on common automation tasks (Excel, browser, APIs) and interacting with Robocorp Control Room (such as Vault, Asset Storage, Work Items). We still support all current rpaframework features for both Python and Robot Framework developers, and you can include both robocorp and rpaframework to your project at the same time.
New Python Templates in VS Code and Portal
Easiest way to start using these new capabilities is through the new Python templates in VS Code. They are already available!
The new templates are:
- Minimal - just the basics in place to get you started
- Browser automation with Playwright - shows how to solve RPA Challenge
- Producer/Consumer - demonstrates the usage of Robocorp Work Items for scalable automations
What doesn't change? Our commitment to Robot Framework automations has not changed, we are only adding the power and versatility of Python which furthers our dedication to open-source as whole. All things released now are under the Apache 2 license.
Looking ahead, we are excited about several improvements:
- Enhancing our Robocorp Code Extension for VS Code to support Python projects better, including the visual Flow View that users praise and simplified management of project dependencies.
- Improving Playwright Support in Browser Automation. As Playwright has been gaining traction, we're working to provide an equivalent or superior experience to what Selenium and Robot Framework offer.
- Continual additions to Documentation, Courses, and Tutorials. We've released these new tools and libraries ahead of complete documentation to gather early feedback from users. Please be assured, all this is already in the works.
- Offer a migration guide and possibly tools leveraging LLMs to help in converting old projects to use the framework.
To compliment what we are doing with Python and Robot Framework, Robocorp will be releasing a series of AI driven tools which will drive easier, faster, and better designed automations. We aim to empower enterprises through intelligent bots, enabling faster, scalable, more secure bot implementations, and offering connections to AI ecosystems from the latest commercial LLMs to a community of fast developing open-source models.
For any questions, feel free to reach out to me, Tommi, VP of Product at Robocorp at email@example.com. We're eager to hear your feedback and answer any queries you may have. We are excited to define the future of automation together with our amazing customers!