Asko Soukka

Cross-browser test your Plone add-on with Robot Framework, Travis-CI and Sauce Labs

Thanks to Rok Garbas, I became aware of Sauce Labs during the Plone testing sprint.

Finally, I had some time to try it myself, and I managed to make it work pretty well with Robot Framework and Travis-CI: travis saucelabs

I try to start from the very beginning, but if you already have Robot Framework tests, or even Travis-CI-integration, you could just skip these initial steps.

Bootstrap Templer

Create buildout directory for Templer installation:

$ mkdir templer-buildout
$ cd templer-buildout/


$ curl -o

Create buildout.cfg:

parts = templer

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =

Run bootstrap and buildout to install Templer:

$ python
$ bin/buildout

Create a new product with Templer

Call the buildout-installed to create a new product with Robot Framework test example:

$ templer-buildout/bin/templer plone_basic example.product

Be careful to answer true for the following question about including Robot test templates:

robot tests (should the default robot test be included) [false]: true

Run buildout:

$ cd example.product
$ python --distribute
$ bin/buildout

Update Robot Framework tests to be Selenium grid ready

Using Sauce Labs with Robot Framework (Selenium library) is similar to using robot with your own selenium grid. It mainly requires making the browser opening keyword configurable with a few selected variables.

Update src/example/product/tests/robot_test.txt with:

*** Settings ***

Library  Selenium2Library  timeout=10  implicit_wait=0.5

Suite Setup  Start browser
Suite Teardown  Close All Browsers

*** Variables ***

${ZOPE_HOST}  localhost
${ZOPE_PORT}  55001

${PLONE_SITE_ID}  plone

${BROWSER}  Firefox
${BUILD_NUMBER}  manual

*** Test Cases ***

Plone site
    [Tags]  start
    Go to  ${PLONE_URL}
    Page should contain  Plone site

*** Keywords ***

Start browser
    ${BUILD_INFO} =  Set variable
    ...           build:${BUILD_NUMBER},name:${SUITE_NAME} | ${TEST_NAME}
    Open browser  ${PLONE_URL}  ${BROWSER}
    ...           remote_url=${REMOTE_URL}
    ...           desired_capabilities=${DESIRED_CAPABILITIES},${BUILD_INFO}

Let me explain what all those variables are about:

  • ZOPE_HOST should match the host for which ZServer is started during the test setup (ZServer host is configured with ZSERVER_HOST-environment variable. It defaults to localhost.
  • ZOPE_PORT should match the port number which ZServer is started to listen during the test setup (ZServer pot is configured with ZSERVER_PORT-environment variable. It defaults to 55001, but we reconfigure it later by environment variables with one of the ports currently supported by Sauce Labs.
  • ZOPE_URL is a convenience variable for accessing Zope application root.
  • PLONE_SITE_ID is the Plone portal object id (and path name) for the test site. It default to plone, but it can be configured with PLONE_SITE_ID-environment variable. The default should be ok for most cases.
  • PLONE_URL is a convenience variable for accessing the Plone site front-page.
  • BROWSER selects the browser to run the tests with. The supported values depend on Selenium Python-package and can also be read from the documentation of Open browser-keyword in Selenium2Library keywords documentation.
  • REMOTE_URL enables testing with Selenium grid by defining the url of the Selenium hub to use.
  • DESIRED_CAPABILITIES is used to pass various extra parameters for Selenium hub (e.g. the browser version to use or test metadata).
  • BUILD_NUMBER is used to identify the Travis-CI build on Sauce Labs.

When robot tests for Plone are run using bin/test, all the variables above can be overridden by defining corresponding ROBOT_-prefixed environment variable (e.g. ROBOT_REMOTE_URL).

Add Travis-CI configuration with Sauce Labs -support

There are a few steps in adding Travis-CI-support into your product.

At first, create travis.cfg to do the required magic for minimizing buildout-time and setting a few required environment variables. Thanks to the great community, we can just extend a public template:

extends =

package-name = example.product
package-extras = [test]

allow-hosts +=

[versions] = 4.2.2


environment = environment

Create .travis.yml for letting Travis-CI to know how the environment should be set up and the tests run:

language: python
python: '2.7'
- mkdir -p buildout-cache/downloads
- python -c travis.cfg
- bin/buildout -N -t 3 -c travis.cfg
- curl -O
- unzip
- java -jar Sauce-Connect.jar $SAUCE_USERNAME $SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY -i $TRAVIS_JOB_ID
- bash -c "while [ ! -f CONNECTED ]; do sleep 2; done"
script: bin/test
- kill $JAVA_PID
  - ROBOT_DESIRED_CAPABILITIES="platform:OS X 10.8,browserName:iPad,version:6,tunnel-identifier:$TRAVIS_JOB_ID"

Let me describe:

  1. Lines 4-7: Run buildout.
  2. Lines 8-14: Download and start Sauce Connect.
  3. Line 15: Run tests.
  4. Lines 16-17: Shutdown Sauce Connect.
  5. Lines 18-21: Define required environment variables for letting robot to use Sauce Labs.
  6. Lines 22-25: Define build matrix for running the tests with Sauce Labs’ default Firefox, Internet Explorer and Mobile Safari. tunnel-identifier-stuff is required for Sauce Labs to allow more than one simultaneous tunnels for the same user account.

Next, define your Sauce Labs username and access key as secret, encrypted, environment variables SAUCE_USERNAME and SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY.

Currently, Sauce Labs offers unlimited free subscription with three simultaneous connections (e.g. running tests for three different browsers at the same time) for Open Source projects. Just make sure to register the account for your project, not yourself. Public repository url is required for the creating the account and it cannot be changed afterwards.

  1. Install Travis gem for Ruby (and install Ruby before that when required):

    $ gem install travis  # or sudo gem ...
  2. use travis-command to insert encrypted environment variables into the product’s .travis.yml:

    $ travis encrypt SAUCE_USERNAME=myusername -r mygithubname/example.product --add
    $ travis encrypt SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY=myaccesskey -r mygithubname/example.product --add

Make sure to use your own Sauce Labs username and access key, and your product’s Github-repository path (with format username/repo).

Finally, enable Travis-CI-tests for you product either at or at GitHub.

Done. If I forgot something, I’ll update this post.

Behind the basics: Test level status reporting for Sauce Labs

By default, Sauce Labs doesn’t really know did the Selenium tests on it pass or fail. To pass that information from our test runner on Travis-CI to Sauce Labs, we need to add some extra code into our test setup.

At first, append the following into the end of src/example/product/

import re
import os
import httplib
import base64
    import json
    assert json  # pyflakes
except ImportError:
    import simplejson as json

from robot.libraries.BuiltIn import BuiltIn

USERNAME_ACCESS_KEY = re.compile('^(http|https):\/\/([^:]+):([^@]+)@')

class Keywords:
    def report_sauce_status(self, status, tags=[], remote_url=''):
        job_id = BuiltIn().get_library_instance(

        if USERNAME_ACCESS_KEY.match(remote_url):
            username, access_key =\
            username = os.environ.get('SAUCE_USERNAME')
            access_key = os.environ.get('SAUCE_ACCESS_KEY')

        if not job_id:
            return u"No Sauce job id found. Skipping..."
        elif not username or not access_key:
            return u"No Sauce environment variables found. Skipping..."

        token = base64.encodestring('%s:%s' % (username, access_key))[:-1]
        body = json.dumps({'passed': status == 'PASS',
                           'tags': tags})

        connection = httplib.HTTPConnection('')
        connection.request('PUT', '/rest/v1/%s/jobs/%s' % (
            username, job_id), body,
            headers={'Authorization': 'Basic %s' % token}
        return connection.getresponse().status

This code defines a custom Robot Framework keyword library with a keyword for passing the test status (and other information) back to Sauce Labs.

Next, we update src/example/product/tests/robot_test.txt to store the session id during the setup of every test and send the test result back to Sauce Labs during the teardown of every test:

*** Settings ***

Library  Selenium2Library  timeout=10  implicit_wait=0.5
Library  example.product.testing.Keywords

Test Setup  Start browser
Test Teardown  Run keywords  Report test status  Close All Browsers

*** Variables ***

${ZOPE_HOST} =  localhost
${ZOPE_PORT} =  55001
${ZOPE_URL} =  http://${ZOPE_HOST}:${ZOPE_PORT}

${PLONE_SITE_ID} =  plone

${BROWSER} =  Firefox
${DESIRED_CAPABILITIES} =  platform:Linux
${BUILD_NUMBER} =  manual

*** Test Cases ***

Plone site
    [Tags]  start
    Go to  ${PLONE_URL}
    Page should contain  Plone site

*** Keywords ***

Start browser
    ${BUILD_INFO} =  Set variable
    ...           build:${BUILD_NUMBER},name:${SUITE_NAME} | ${TEST_NAME}
    Open browser  ${PLONE_URL}  ${BROWSER}
    ...           remote_url=${REMOTE_URL}
    ...           desired_capabilities=${DESIRED_CAPABILITIES},${BUILD_INFO}

Report test status
    Report sauce status  ${TEST_STATUS}  ${TEST_TAGS}  ${REMOTE_URL}

Please, note how we had to replace suite setup and teardown with test setup and teardown) to open a new Selenium session for every test.

This worked for me. I hope it works for you too.

example.product is available at: