Downloading the Excel file
Each week, the actual sales data is exported from the company's sales system and uploaded to the intranet. Our robot will need to get the data out of the Excel file and fill the sales form for each sales representative. But first, it needs to download the Excel file.
As always, we add one more line (a function call) to our task.
This time we will not add it at the end of the task, but before the
fill_and_submit_form() function call:
Then, as you probably guessed by now, we add a new function at the end of the file:
Great! Now we have to implement the function.
Currently, our robot does not know how to download files from remote web servers. But by now, we know how to teach an old robot new skills: by importing a library!
ℹ️ Automation Capabilities of Robocorp platform come from three main sources
Robocorp libraries for Python.
robocorp-namespace contains libraries that are Python-optimised, and cover basic functionalities like interacting with browser and the Robocorp Control Room.
RPA Framework libraries. An open-source project for a wide range of automation capabilities, and works for both Robot Framework bots as well as Python. The main bulk of platform's automation components come from here. You'll spot these from the name
The Python ecosystem. The massive Python ecosystem is all available through PyPi and Conda-forge to extend what your bots can do. Most of the common tools and platforms have a Python package available for accessing their API. You'll learn more about this in the later courses.
Now back to our workflow! Our trusty
rpaframework set of open-source automation libraries includes the
RPA.HTTP library that adds many functions to work with remote web servers, so that's just what we need.
We add a new module import line to our top section like this:
download() function requires a URL as an argument. We know that we can expect our Excel file at
https://robotsparebinindustries.com/SalesData.xlsx each week.
In addition to the URL argument, we are also setting the
overwrite argument to
True. This way, we can count on the local file being always the most recent version (if the file exists, the robot has our permission to overwrite it).
Our keyword becomes:
With these additions, our robot looks like this:
Let's run our robot now (
Shift-Command-P (macOS) or
Great! Our robot has downloaded the remote file (
SalesData.xlsx). You should find the file amongst your other robot files.
You could instruct the robot to download to a different location, but we are okay with the current working directory.
- You can use the
RPA.HTTPlibrary, part of the
rpaframeworkcollection of open-source automation libraries, to interact with remote webservers.
- You can use the
downloadfunction to easily download remote files to your local computer.
downloadfunction can be configured to overwrite an existing file of the same name if found.