Learning Basics of Rational Robot – IBM Test Automation Tool

This is a guest article from J.B.Rajkumar. The author is having good experience in Automation Tools and is currently working with a top MNC.

Learning the Basics of  Rational Robot (7.0)

#1) Features of Rational Robot
Rational Robot is an Automated Functional, Regression Testing tool for automating Windows, Java, IE and ERP applications under windows platform. Rational Robot provides test cases for common objects such as menus, lists, bitmaps and specialized test cases for objects specific to the development environment.

Learning Basics of Rational Robot

It integrates with tools like Rational Test Manager, Rational ClearQuest and Requisite Pro in the Rational Unified Processor for Defect Tracking, Change Management, and Requirement Traceability. It also supports UI technologies like Java, the Web, all VS.NET controls, Oracle Forms, Borland Delphi and Sybase Power Builder applications.

#2) Rational Administrator
It is a tool for managing associations between Rational artifacts such as Test Datastores, Requisite Pro projects, and Rose models.

  • Rational Projects are created using Rational Administrator
  • Users and Groups can be maintained
  • Project assets can be upgraded

#3) Recording Options
Using Object-oriented technology, Robot identifies an object by its name property not by its location coordinates. There are two different options

  • GUI-Functional Testing
  • VU-Performance Testing

#4) SQABasic Language
SQABasic is similar to Microsoft Visual Basic. All the scripts will be in the scriptname.rec format. When you playback the script, Robot automatically compiles and runs the script, which repeats your actions and executes the verification points.

#5) Shell Scripts
It is a master script that calls other automated scripts and plays them back in sequence. “call script  test1” is a command to call script named test1. Combined into a single shell script, scripts can run in unattended mode and perform comprehensive test coverage. It centralizes test results in one test log.

#6) Low-Level Recording
Turn “Low-Level Recording On” in Robot during recording, mouse, and keyboard actions are automatically stored in an external file.

#7) Verification Points
Verification points verify that a certain action has taken place, or verify the state of an object. There are 11 Verification points in Robot

  • Alpha-Numeric: Verifies alphanumeric data.  Used for edit boxes, pushbuttons, labels, text fields, etc.,
  • Object Properties: Tests object attributes such as color, font, and position.
  • Menu: Verifies the menu values and optionally their state (enabled or disabled) of a window
  • Clip Board: Verifies the contents of the windows clipboard
  • Window Existence:  Tests to see if a particular window does or does not exist on the screen.
  • Region Image: Graphically compares an area of the screen you specify
  • Window Image: Graphically compares an entire window such as a window box.
  • Object Data: Test data contents of objects(eg. Dropdown)
  • File Comparison: Compares the contents of the two files (size and the contents)
  • File Existence: Checks for the existence of a specified file
  • Module Existence: Used to verify whether a specified module is loaded into a specified context, or loaded anywhere in memory.

When you are creating verification points, there will be two options – Wait State and Expected Results.
Wait states are useful when AUT requires an unknown amount of time to complete a task. Using a wait state keeps the verification point form failing if the task is not completed immediately or if the data is not accessible immediately.
Expected Results – Click Pass or Fail in the Verification Point Name dialog box.

#8) Variable Window
During debugging, if you want to examine variable and constant values, you can variables window. View->Variables.

#9) Object Mapping
If AUT contains a custom object or any object that Robot does not recognize, you can create a custom object mapping before start recording. By adding the object’s class to the list of classes that Robot recognizes, and then associating the class to a standard object type. Robot saves this custom class/object type mapping in the project and uses it to identify the custom object during playback.

#10) Debug Tools

  • Animate(F11): Animation mode allows you to see each line of script as it executes.
  • Step Over(F10): Use to execute a single command line within a script
  • Step Into(F8): Use to being single-step execution
  • Step Out(F7): Use to step out of the called script and return to the calling script.
  • Go Until Cursor(F6): Use to playback the active GUI script, stopping at the text cursor location.

#11) Library Files and Header Files
Header files have .sbh extensions and contain the procedure declarations and global variables referred to in your script files. There are two types of library files. Those with .sbl extensions can’t have verification points. Those with .rec extensions are stored in the project and can have verification points. Both the Header and library are in \SQABAS32 in the project directory.

#12) Image Masks used for Dynamic Objects
Image masks are used to hide an area of the screen. When you playback a script that contains an Image VP and a mask, Robot ignores the masked area when comparing actual results to the recorded baseline.

#13) Data Pool
A Data Pool is a test dataset that supplies data variables in a test script during playback. Using Data Pools allows you to run multiple iterations of a script using different data each time. It can be created and managed using Test Manager for Data-Driven tests.

 #14) Important Web Site for Rational Robot trial version download and Rational Robot tutorial:

Hope this is a good start for those who want to learn Rational Robot.  If you have any questions please feel free to comment below.

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67 thoughts on “Learning Basics of Rational Robot – IBM Test Automation Tool”

  1. Hey Rajkumar!!!

    thanx dear for this information.. i hope it will be very helpful for those who are interested in Automated testing. This article explains the whole proceedue of Rational Robot an IBM (7.0) and also other versions.

    thanx again

  2. Hi Rajkumar,
    I t very nice, that u have shared ur thoughts about Rational Robot. I hope it will be useful for the ppl, who wants to learn RR. Good work.

  3. hi rajkumar

    thanks for your information. this article is very helpful to me and others who wants to learn rational Robot. right now iam working on Qtp and i would like to learn IBM functional tool as well as so this will be very helpfull to me.

    once again thanks


  4. Thanks raj for giving us a basic overlook on Rational Robot. This will be very useful to people starting up with this tool.


  5. Hi Raj,
    Thats a brilliant post giving a detailed overview for begginers like me. Thank you very much for the valuable information.

    Best wishes,

  6. I am happy to read some useful information about this tool. I have been searching about Rational Robot in various websites. It is really rare to get such kind of information in internet…
    Thank you very much for your valuable effort…

  7. Hello Friends,

    I am keenly looking for a functional testing tool only for desktop application testing not any web based application testing. And the tool should be a open source tool. Please anyone let me know about such a tool. It’s an urgent.



  8. Hello Rajkumar,
    what a beautiful article, realy greate.the information which was given on automation (Rational Robot) is very good.i have some doubts that are cleared now.Keep it more and more, once again thanks to u for ur valuable info.

  9. @Subhas
    pls use google u will get lot of freeware which supports desktop application but there is no guarantee that will give 100% sure result.

  10. To Rahul,

    Thanx Rahul, I have gone through the process you are telling, but unable to get a freeware tool for desktop application testing. Some tools I got are not freeware. I have to buy that tool. But I am looking for any freeware tool. Please Let me know any links for that.



  11. to
    Mr.J.B.Rajkumar sir,

    I want to thank you for giving such good information and i also want to know is there any jobs available for graduate fresher with this tool. If yes, then who many and where itget from?

    thanking you.

  12. To Kanchan,
    This is an IBM Tool, widely used by many clients. You must learn this tool thoroughly, get help from the people who use this tool in the real time environment and then apply for the job. Based on your effort and knowledge, you will get the job. All the Very Best.

  13. This is a good article! I would look forward to other articles on Rational Functional Tester and Rational Performance Tester.

  14. Hi all,
    i’m newbie in automation testing tools. Can u guys suggest me some free automation testing tools that run in ubuntu?. I’m about to test my web application.


  15. Are there any good books on “IBM Rational Robot” i.e. what is the best way to learn it. Iam a novice to this, so please bear with me.. THanks.

  16. To Sri
    I don’t think, you can find the text book on Rational Robot. You can visit IBM site, there you can find lot of materials on Robot. You can also download the trial version of Rational Robot (7.0) and work on that by using Help.

  17. Some additional benefits of test automation:
    1. Matured testing process
    2. Maximized test coverage which will assure the quality of the deliverables consistently
    3. Elimination of the risk of over sight of quality in repeated tests
    4. Faster Execution of the tests in multiple environments
    5. More focus on new features
    6. Enhanced product quality


  18. Hi friends please help me

    Can any of you give me good topic for presentation in Software testing.
    Suggest me some good interesting topic

    Cheers, Pavitra

  19. Hi
    Thanks for this useful information. I recently downloaded Rational Robot trial version but many features like Session Recording, Test manager are disabled. Any idea if they are disabled because of trial version or I require to cofigure something to enable them?

  20. Thank u Rajkumar.
    Hi everybody
    can u give me ‘IBM rational tool’ training institutes details in Hyderabad. It would be very helpful to me.
    How many types of rational tools are there plz give me this information


  21. @Gopi

    IBM Testing Tools

    1. Rational Robot (Functional & Performance Testing)
    2. RFT 8.1 ( Functional Tester)
    3. RPT 8.0 (Performance Tester)
    4. CQTM (ClearQuest and Test Manager) Bug Tracking tool
    5. RTM (Rational Test Manager) Management Tool
    6. RQM (Rational Quality Manager) Latest, web based Management Tool

  22. Hi guys,

    In our company we have got brought the licence for Rational Robot, and ever one in the company is new to this tool, if some one can help me my sending the basic notes or some document how to go about useing this tool, then that would be great

  23. Hi,

    I am working as an associate engineer and involved in Manual Testing for about 2 years. Currently we are planning to perform performance Testing with Test Complete Automation tool, Can any one of you suggest me basic ideas/materials for the Performance testing with Test Complete tool (Script Based testing)

  24. well,its nice to read &getting an idea about the topic.My hearty thanks to the author Mr.J.B.Rajkumar,for giving a brief description on “Rational Robot”.For a beginner,it creates the fundamentals in mind.Thank you.

  25. Yes. It is well for the beginners. Suppose if the beginners don’t have knowledge in programming, they need example for each and every tool. So it is better give some ex. for each. Any way thanks for the same, it is very much useful to me.

  26. Hi Rajkumar,

    Thanks for giving us a basic overlook on Rational Robot.
    I am happy to read some useful information about this tool.

  27. Hi all,

    i m using rational robot for testing my product.shall i use if and else function in rational robot.bcoz my product have two version.can any 1 explain me….


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