Ever felt that sinking moment after deploying a new software update, only to later find out a cherished feature isn’t working anymore? Or even worse, an acute bug has suddenly found its way into the app, causing chaos for all your users? This dreadful moment and error is called regression. The disfavored yet inevitable side effect of adjustments that break down previously existent functionalities.
Fortunately, we have a savior on our side: Regression testing. This method is like the unsung hero of a war who tirelessly guards against unwanted regressions, affirming your software stays secure, stable, and reliant after each change or modification. In this brief blog, we are going all in-depth about regression testing, its importance, its challenges, and more.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Regression Testing?
- Importance of Regression Testing
- Types Of Regression Testing
- Top Regression Testing Tools
- Advantages Of Regression Testing
- Disadvantages Of Regression Testing
- Challenges in Regression Testing
- Best Practices for Regression Testing
What Is Regression Testing?
Imagine your software as an elaborate clockwork instrument. Adding even a single new feature is like hampering the gears. Although the new gear might function beautifully, it could inadvertently nudge another gear away from its original alignment, which throws the entire mechanism off track. That’s when regression testing comes into the picture.
Regression testing is like meticulously checking every gear after any changes, adjustments, additions, or modifications, ensuring every function performs and stays in harmony. This method of application software testing involves a re-running of tests that cover a plethora of vital functionalities to verify they haven’t regressed after the new upgrades. Regression testing is a crucial part of the software testing life cycle.
This software testing process aims to confirm that all the current features and functions of the software are performing as expected after certain system enhancements. Regression testing also implicates retesting of previously tested features to ensure smooth functioning. It also includes re-executing previously executed test cases to check for any new or unexpected defects that might have happened due to the new functions addition, that could’ve affected its stability in any form. Regression testing also helps in the sustainability and reliability of the software system during the development or maintenance process.
Importance of Regression Testing
Regression testing is a crucial software testing practice/method to help stabilize applications, reduce risks, and guarantee the changes inserted into the codebase don’t hamper or negatively impact pre-existing functionalities. Along with that, it also ensures;
- Avoids User Frustration: Imagine the havoc that could happen if your app’s checkout suddenly started to malfunction. Regression testing helps you avoid such damaging and chaotic situations.
- Retains Software Quality: By frequently detecting and fixing regressions, you keep your software clean, clear, and polished, which leads to an enriched brand image along with satisfied users.
- Boasts Confidence in Developers: Regression testing allows you to catch bugs pretty early in the game, and allows your developers to push code fixings with better confidence, while also leading to quicker development cycles.
- Reduces Costing: Fixing any kind of regressions in the development cycle is way more expensive than detecting and fixing them early with testing.
Types of Regression Testing
Various regression testing techniques can applied based on the nature of your software. However, here are some of the commonly used techniques;
1) Test Selection
This method requires you to select particular test cases from your suite for the feature that needs retesting, depending on the changes done to the code during software development. It’s divided into 2 categories- obsolete, and reusable. Reusable tests can be utilized while obsolete remain helpless for future regression cycles.
2) Prioritizing Test Cases
This technique concentrates on recognizing and prioritizing the most complex test cases, instead of retesting every one of them.
3) Complete Re-test
This method requires re-testing the whole set of pre-existing test cases.
4) Corrective Regression Testing
This technique affirms the functionality of the existing code accurately, and checks if available test cases can be utilized. Additionally, it allows QA to move with test planning plus prioritization while blending new code changes inside the testing process.
5) Progressive Regression Testing
This testing approach requires the QAs to identify the code changes that need additional changes for the test suite. Hence, they’ll focus on upgrading test scripts to align with the new provisions. This process is only used when a newly added change affects the overall vision of the product.
The hybrid is a combination of Regression Test Selection and Test Case Prioritization methods. In this technique, instead of choosing the complete test suite, you only pick the test cases that are re-executed on an urgent priority basis.
7) Selective Regression Testing
This testing method is conducted to check how the code performs when new codes are added to the existing program. In this, a subset of test cases is selected based on the affected software areas of the recently modified.
8) Partial Regression Testing
It helps in recognizing issues that can come up when new codes are integrated inside the existing code. This method ensures that the app’s performance isn’t hampered or negatively impacted due to the new code.
Top Regression Testing Tools
Whenever you hire software developers for designing and testing any kind of software testing life cycle, these are some of the primary tools they should be well aware of or acquainted with;
TestSigma is an influential and fantastic AI-driven cloud-based test automation tool that offers impeccable benefits when it comes to regression testing. This platform is compatible with every possible device including mobile apps, web browsers, desktops, and APIs within the same location. Whether you want to conduct code-based or codeless automation testing, its amateur-friendly model makes it easy for both technical and non-technical users.
3) Katalon Studio
Katalon Studio is a prominent tool when it comes to automation via regression testing in application software testing. It supports multiple programming languages including Java and Groovy. Katalon renders seamless integration with JIRA, Jenkins, and GIT. The best part about Katalon is it easily integrates into your CI/CD pipelines. Lastly, this portal also reinforces the record-and-playback feature for recording user actions to utilize as test cases.
4) Apache JMeter
The Apache JMeter is one more open-source tool for regression testing automation. It is primarily used for testing web apps’ load, stress, functions, and performances. Apache JMeter is completely written using Java programming language. Additionally, this supports multiple platforms including Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Advantages Of Regression Testing
There are several advantages of regression testing when it comes to the software development life cycle like;
- Detecting bugs: It accurately helps in recognizing and catching new bugs, errors, new feature upgrades, updates, or code changes. This also helps in maintaining software quality.
- Cost-effective: Since regression testing helps you identify and fix issues early, it helps you reduce the cost and manual labor efforts that come with debugging and resolving errors that appear later in the development cycle.
- CI/CD Support: Whenever there are code changes during automatic testing, regression testing easily integrates into the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipelines. Apart from early error detection in the development process, it also affirms continuous software validation.
- Efficiency via Automation: Since automation tools make regression testing easy and efficient, it allows a quick and repetitive test execution. Not only does it save you time and resources, but it also helps you with frequent code changes in bigger, and complex applications.
- Guaranteed Stability: Regression testing ensures stability and security in the existing functionalities of your app. This ensures the proper functioning of working features, reestablishes user confidence, and avoids any inevitable issues due to broken components.
Disadvantages Of Regression Testing
Some of the disadvantages of regression testing faced by custom software development company(s) are;
- Mismanagement of Time & Resources: Regression testing needs to be conducted even if the changes are minor, and if executed manually can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive task. Especially if you plan to run numerous test cases in complex systems.
- Setup: Curating a replica to establish the ideal test environment setup can be a daunting task. When working with software testing discrepancies in environments can lead to inaccurate test results.
- Automation Difficulties: Without proficient resources and constant effort, executing and sustaining automated regression tests can be complex. You need accurate guidance otherwise automation plays to your disadvantage.
- Test Case Errors: From selection to maintenance, regression test cases require constant monitoring. Whether it’s constant updates or functionality changes, an inaccurate selection of cases makes maintenance challenging as well as increases the risk of overlooking anything critical.
- Incompletion: Any changes affect a wide range of modules and functionalities within the software, hence, making it challenging to achieve complete test coverage. Sometimes, regression testing generates false positives which is again a red flag.
Challenges in Regression Testing
A few common challenges observed by application software are;
- Finding a symmetry between the minimization of the test suites and confirming maximum test coverage is an excruciating challenge.
- Test suites automatically start growing as soon as regression testing progresses. Many a time, software testing companies face time and budget constraints, which again initiates difficulty in executing the whole test suite.
- Another recurring challenge in regression testing is the determination of frequencies. After every adjustment, modification, bug fixings, or build update, without careful planning can cause discrepancies in the original software module.
Best Practices for Regression Testing
The top best practices utilized by custom software development company when it comes to regression testing are;
1) Picking the Right Test Cases
You should most definitely select the cases that cover major relevant yet vital features of the software. These cases can be chosen via their requirements, user reviews, and product specifications, along with the calculated impact per risk ratio analysis of the upgrades or modifications. Also, the test case prioritization should be done according to their significance and execution frequency. A best practice for utilizing the test case repository or test management tool is to categorize, reserve, and record them for regression testing.
2) Test Execution Automation
The second and primary practice for effective regression testing is automating your test executions to the maximum possible limit. Automations help in saving your time and resources, while also improving the accuracy results consistency. Although it requires meticulous planning, designing, and supervision of scripts plus frameworks, automation enables you to achieve quick feedback loops, delivery, and continued integration. The best practice to ensure while implementing any test automation tool is to ensure complete support of the software’s tech environment, architecture, and platform.
3) Test Data Management
Effectively managing your test data is very crucial to regression testing. Test data is your overall input and output data that is used for executing and verifying all outcomes. Your test data should be relatable, pragmatic, and trustworthy while also being secured, monitored, and isolated. This helps to eliminate negative errors or contamination via external resources. A best practice in this segment is to use a strategy or tool that helps you with manipulating, crafting, and deleting test data.
4) Analysing & Improving
By reporting and examining your test results, you identify errors or blunders prematurely. All tech results should be calculated accurately and documented carefully and live updates should be sent to relevant stakeholders. Additional to this step comes the improvisation of test processes. All test processes should be checked, optimized, and reviewed regularly. Your analysis and improvisation goals should align with business requirements and the software system’s overall expectations. A good practice here is to use a test reporting dashboard for analysis, and a framework improvement model that elevates your overall test development processes.
Saving the best for the last, the final step in the best practices for regression testing is to learn. You can understand, implement, and increase your expertise by observing other testers, brands, or industries. Best practices in general are derived via a survey of proven solutions that have been utilised further and recommended by others like passing the torch. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, insightful data, or just a basic reference for enhancing your regression testing, approach the pitfalls and setbacks early. The best tip here is to employ a platform or a test community that shares knowledge of best practices.
Regression testing plays an essential role when it comes to the software development life cycle. You need expert assistance and proper supervision before proceeding to hire dedicated software developers. Every person involved in any software testing company, might not be aware of the full capacities and utilization that comes during regression testing. Hence, choosing a full-fledged tech solutions firm like Muru Technologies is not just obligatory but beneficial.
Muru Technologies boasts of some of the premium-level application software developers globally, who can assist you with each and every possible query you have about regression testing. Choose smart and happy testing!