Parse, query, modify, alter, transform or store XML with Robocorp and Robot Framework

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Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language and file format for storing, transmitting, and reconstructing arbitrary data. It defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. - Wikipedia - XML

Robocorp has full support for working with XML thanks to Robot Framework and other open-source projects. You can parse, query, modify, alter, transform or store XML with complete XPath, XQuery, and XSLT support.

The XML library is a great starting point when working with XML. Robocorp's native Python support enables the use of Python libraries, should you need additional XML capabilities.

Here are some things you can do with Robocorp's XML support:

  • Parse an XML file.
  • Get elements from XML by XPath.
  • Get elements from XML by element value.
  • Get elements from XML by attribute value.
  • Get element children from XML by XPath.
  • Access XML element object attributes.
  • Get attribute values from XML by XPath.
  • Get named attribute value from XML by XPath.
  • Save XML to a file.
  • Remove elements from XML by XPath.
  • Remove element attributes from XML by XPath.
  • Set XML element attribute value.
  • Add attribute to XML element by XPath.
  • Transform XML using XSLT.

Example XML document

robots.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<robots>
    <robot id="MK-I">
        <price currency="USD">1000</price>
        <nick-name>Spider</nick-name>
        <components>
            <legs>8</legs>
            <eyes>20</eyes>
        </components>
        <customization-options>
            <colors>
                <color>gold</color>
                <color>silver</color>
                <color>bronze</color>
            </colors>
            <power-sources>
                <power-source type="solar"/>
                <power-source type="lithium-ion-battery"/>
                <power type="coal"/>
            </power-sources>
        </customization-options>
        <dimensions>
            <dimension type="weight" unit="kg" value="160"/>
            <dimension type="height" unit="cm" value="240"/>
            <dimension type="width" unit="cm" value="300"/>
            <dimension type="length" unit="cm" value="150"/>
        </dimensions>
    </robot>
    <robot id="MK-II">
        <price currency="USD">2000</price>
        <nick-name>Quad Arms</nick-name>
        <components>
            <arms>4</arms>
            <legs>2</legs>
        </components>
        <customization-options>
            <colors>
                <color>bronze</color>
            </colors>
            <power-sources>
                <power-source type="hamster"/>
                <power type="steam"/>
            </power-sources>
        </customization-options>
        <dimensions>
            <dimension type="weight" unit="kg" value="40"/>
            <dimension type="height" unit="cm" value="100"/>
            <dimension type="width" unit="cm" value="60"/>
            <dimension type="length" unit="cm" value="70"/>
        </dimensions>
    </robot>
    <robot id="MK-III">
        <price currency="USD">50000</price>
        <nick-name>Eye Spy With Ten Little Eyes</nick-name>
        <components>
            <eyes>10</eyes>
        </components>
        <customization-options>
            <colors>
                <color>midnight</color>
                <color>blue</color>
            </colors>
            <power-sources>
                <power-source type="solar"/>
            </power-sources>
        </customization-options>
        <dimensions>
            <dimension type="weight" unit="kg" value="5"/>
            <dimension type="height" unit="cm" value="30"/>
            <dimension type="width" unit="cm" value="40"/>
            <dimension type="length" unit="cm" value="80"/>
        </dimensions>
    </robot>
</robots>

Example XML robot using Robot Framework

*** Settings ***
Documentation       Robot Framework XML examples.

Library             XML    use_lxml=True
Library             XmlTransformer.py


*** Variables ***
${XML_FILE_PATH}=       ${CURDIR}${/}robots.xml


*** Tasks ***
Parse an XML file
    ${xml}=    Parse Xml    ${XML_FILE_PATH}
    Log Element    ${xml}

Get elements from XML by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${elements}=    Get Elements    ${xml}    //robot
    FOR    ${element}    IN    @{elements}
        Log Element    ${element}
    END

Get elements from XML by element value
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${elements}=
    ...    Get Elements
    ...    ${xml}
    ...    //robot[customization-options/colors[color='gold']]
    FOR    ${element}    IN    @{elements}
        Log Element    ${element}
    END

Get elements from XML by attribute value
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${elements}=
    ...    Get Elements
    ...    ${xml}
    ...    //robot[dimensions/dimension[@type='weight' and @value>100]]
    FOR    ${element}    IN    @{elements}
        Log Element    ${element}
    END

Get element children from XML by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${elements}=    Get Child Elements    ${xml}    //robot[1]
    FOR    ${element}    IN    @{elements}
        Log Element    ${element}
    END

Access XML element object attributes
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    # https://docs.python.org/3/library/xml.etree.elementtree.html#element-objects
    ${element}=    Get Element    ${xml}    //robot[1]
    Log    ${element.tag}    # robot
    Log    ${element.text}
    Log    ${element.tail}
    Log    ${element.attrib}    # {'id': 'MK-I'}

Get attribute values from XML by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${attributes}=
    ...    Get Element Attributes
    ...    ${xml}
    ...    //robot[1]/dimensions/dimension[1]
    Log    ${attributes}    # {'type': 'weight', 'unit': 'kg', 'value': '160'}

Get named attribute value from XML by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${attribute}=    Get Element Attribute    ${xml}    id    //robot[1]
    Log    ${attribute}    # MK-I

Save XML to a file
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    Save Xml    ${xml}    ${OUTPUT_DIR}${/}saved.xml

Remove elements from XML by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${result_xml}=    Remove Elements    ${xml}    //customization-options
    Log Element    ${result_xml}

Remove element attributes from XML by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    Remove Elements Attributes    ${xml}    //dimension
    Log Element    ${xml}

Set XML element attribute value
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    ${element}=    Get Element    ${xml}    //robot[1]
    Set Element Attribute    ${element}    id    New-Value
    ${attribute}=    Get Element Attribute    ${element}    id
    Log    ${attribute}    # New-Value

Add attribute to XML element by XPath
    ${xml}=    Parse test XML
    Set Element Attribute    ${xml}    my-attribute    my-value    //robot[1]
    ${attribute}=
    ...    Get Element Attribute
    ...    ${xml}
    ...    my-attribute
    ...    //robot[1]
    Log    ${attribute}    # my-value

Transform XML using XSLT
    Transform Xml
    ...    ${XML_FILE_PATH}
    ...    ${CURDIR}${/}transform-to-humans.xsl
    ...    ${OUTPUT_DIR}${/}humans.xml


*** Keywords ***
Parse test XML
    ${xml}=    Parse Xml    ${XML_FILE_PATH}
    RETURN    ${xml}

Learn more about the libraries mentioned on this page:

May 4, 2022