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While loops in Robot Framework

A common need in programming is repeating one or more operations until a condition is met. This is a while loop.

Robot Framework, at least for now, does not support while loops directly. However, there are ways to achieve very similar results.

Setting a for loop to repeat a high number of times

Using the FOR .. IN RANGE syntax, we can set a for loop to repeat for a very high number of times. Then, using the Exit For Loop If keyword, we can specify the condition that we want to "break" the execution.

In this simple example, our loop will continue until a random value equals to "5":

*** Settings ***
Documentation     Demonstrating a while-like loop.
Library           String

*** Tasks ***
For Test
    FOR    ${i}    IN RANGE    9999999
        ${random_value_from_1_to_5}=    Generate Random String    1    12345
        ${random_value_is_5}=    Evaluate    ${random_value_from_1_to_5} == 5
        Exit For Loop If    ${random_value_is_5}
    Log    Exited the loop.

Using the native python while syntax in your custom library

Another possibility, depending on your use case, could be to create a custom library using Python, and use the native python while loop in you keywords there.

You can then use your keywords in your Robot Framework script, calling them with the Wait Until Keyword Succeeds keyword.

October 2, 2020