Release Testing: What It is, Types & How to Perform?

May 7, 2024Tejas Adesara
Release testing How to automate with Testsigma

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Testsigma is a popular codeless test automation tool that addresses the challenges encountered by the test automation industry. The tool lets you easily create release tests as you write a test in simple English. It implements artificial intelligence to automatically fix the tests where possible. It is a low-code testing tool that handles repetitive, complex, and time-consuming tasks. Those team members who can’t code can effortlessly and quickly accomplish automation testing using Testsigma.

History of Release Testing

Release testing has a history that goes way back to when the software was developed and launched in an ad-hoc manner. As software development methodologies evolved, people started giving more importance to product quality and customer satisfaction. And that made release tests a vital part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

In the 1990s and early 2000s, software development became more complex and widespread. And that made release testing more crucial in the software development journey. Around this time, Agile methodologies became popular, highlighting the importance of frequent releases and rapid feedback. 

And with DevOps and continuous delivery, release tests become more integral. Now, release test is integrated into the SDLC, automated, and is more data-driven. It helps businesses to make sure that their software meets customer expectations and is high quality.

What is Release Testing?

Release testing is the process of authenticating that a specific release of a software product fulfills the specified requirements. It ensures that the release of a software product is “ready for release” to the end users. It is carried out to detect and eliminate any defects, bugs, or issues that may have been left unattended during the development process.

Release Testing

Why Perform Release Testing?

  • The key objective of a release test is to authenticate that the software works as per plan and fulfills the stipulated requirements.
  • It helps in identifying errors and eliminates the defects leading to failures.
  • Release test facilitates the implementation of tests at different levels. Thus, it leads to fewer errors and also fulfills the customer’s needs.
  • It guarantees software compatibility with various hardware configurations, operating systems, and other software products.
  • It assesses software’s performance under different contexts, including stress testing and peak usage.
  • It ensures that the software fulfills stated data privacy and security requirements.
  • It makes the software more reliable and stable.
  • It curtails the odds of customer complaints and enhances customer satisfaction.

When should You do Release Testing?

  • This testing ensures the delivery of superior-quality software. Hence, it must be performed at the completion of the software development cycle, shortly before the software is released into the market. 
  • Performing this testing just before the software release helps release tests resolve detected issues and defects. Consequently, it leads to high customer satisfaction and minimizes the odds of customer complaints.
  • Apart from undertaking release tests shortly before the final release, it is also advisable to undertake regular testing during the software development process. Hence, it detects issues early and curtails the risk of expensive bugs.

Types of Release Testing

You can choose from different types of release tests to authorise the release of a software product. Here are the details of these types:

Functional testing:

This testing validates the software system against the functional specifications. It involves testing individual functionalities and features and testing the software product overall.

Performance testing:

It evaluates the software product’s reliability, performance, speed, scalability, stability, resource consumption, and responsiveness of an application under load.

Security testing:

It evaluates threats, vulnerabilities, and risks in a software application. It prevents hackers from accessing crucial data before the software product is released. Moreover, it avoids malicious attacks from intruders. It aims to recognize all potential weaknesses and loopholes of the software system that may lead to loss of revenue and data.

Compatibility testing:

This release test technique checks whether software can operate on various hardware, applications, browsers, mobile devices, network environments, or operating systems.

Usability testing:

It evaluates the software product’s utility and user experience. It tests the software product’s ease of use, navigation, and user experience. Moreover, it aims to detect any utility issues, gather quantitative and qualitative data, and understand the user’s satisfaction with the software product.

Regression testing:

It helps validate that a code change in the software doesn’t influence the existing utility of the software product. It ascertains that the software product works well with the newly implemented features, any modifications in the existing features, or bug fixes.

Automated testing:

This release test technique automatically performs testing using software tools and scripts. It involves different testing activities like functional testing, security testing, performance testing, and others. Its key benefit is that it can be performed more consistently and quickly than manual testing. So, it lets you detect issues earlier during software development.

Unit testing:

Unit testing focuses on individual components or units of a software system. It aims to validate that each component/unit of the software functions as intended and fulfils the requirements. The unit tests are automated and executed every time the code is modified. So, they ensure that the new code doesn’t breach the existing functionality.

End-to-end testing:

End-to-end (E2E) testing verifies the working structure of a software product in a start-to-finish process. It authenticates that all units of a system can execute under real-life situations.

Benefits of Release Test

  • Improves software product quality and performance:

This test helps to detect and solve any defects or issues in the software prior to its release. Hence, it always ensures high-quality software products. Moreover, it assures that the software functions as intended under different conditions. So, it leads to overall better performance and user experience.

  • Increases teamwork efficiency:

This test frequently entail collaboration between different departments and teams. Consequently, it leads to improved teamwork and communication. This helps the team members work more efficiently.

  • Decreases risks:

The ability to find and fix bugs in the testing process allows this tests to minimise the risk of lost business, user complaints, and deterioration of the organisation’s prestige in the market.

  • Cost-effective:

It is less expensive to fix bugs in the testing phase compared to fixing them after the software has been released.

  • Increases customer satisfaction:

Effective release test of a software product suggests that it will have fewer issues. Therefore, it increases the likelihood of fulfilling the users’ requirements and expectations and thus increases customer satisfaction.

  • Better project management:

With the help of this test, you can determine the required resources, tasks, and schedules contributing to an effective software release. So, it lets you better plan and manage the project.

Read here more on Release Management.

Understanding the Release Test Environment

Selecting the testing environment is crucial in release test. A release test environment helps validate a new software release. It closely mimics the production environment to create a production-like environment.

The following are the components of a typical release test environment,

  • Software and hardware infrastructure of the production environment
  • Test data for the testing process.
  • Test cases and test scripts to check the software against the customer’s needs and expectations
  • Automated testing tools and test frameworks to run tests and gather insights on the product’s performance
  • Isolate the test environment from the development and production environments. Also, update and maintain the release test environment regularly to make sure that it provides accurate results.

Pre-Release and Post-Release Testing

Pre-release and post-release are two phases of the software testing process.

Pre-Release Test

It takes place before the software is released to end-users. It is performed in the release test environment. It involves testing the software thoroughly to identify and fix defects, ensure that it meets quality standards, and validate its functionality against the specified requirements.

Post-Release Test

It occurs after the software has been deployed and is being used by end-users. The purpose is to monitor the software’s behavior in the real-world environment and identify any issues that may arise after the product release.

Should Release Testing be Automated?

During each release of the software, it can be tested on all compatible hardware configurations and operating systems. Manually iterating these tests is time-consuming and expensive. On the other hand, you only need to develop automated tests once for your software product release. Consequently, it will run repeatedly at no extra cost. So, automating this tests saves time and money.

When this test is automated, the same steps are accurately carried out whenever they are executed. So, it always accurately shows detailed results. We will discuss more about this in the next sections.

Steps to Perform Release Testing

In this section, we will look at the general steps to perform .

  • Create a Test Plan: Prepare a detailed test plan with clear test objectives, goals, and a timeline.
  • Define Acceptance Criteria: Determine the acceptance criteria for the product release.
  • Select the Test Environment: Create an appropriate testing environment that mimics the production environment.
  • Create Test Data: Prepare the various test data to be used during testing.
  • Design Test Cases: Plan and design test cases that cover all the possible user scenarios.
  • Execute Tests: Run the tests using automated testing tools or manually and monitor the test results.
  • Defect Management: Proper defect management helps you manage and track defects found during testing, including prioritizing and fixing them on time.
  • Generate Test Report: Create a detailed test report that outlines the test results, including the test cases executed, defects found, and the status of the product.
  • Final Release Decision: Based on the test results, decide if the product is ready for release or if further testing is required.

Why is Test Automation Important for Release Testing?

  • Test automation simplifies the feedback cycle and quickly validates the software product.
  • It identifies issues and bugs during the software development phase to boost the team’s efficiency.
  • After writing automation test scripts for this testing, minimal effort is required to frequently monitor and troubleshoot such test cases.  So, test automation makes sure this test boasts a high quality and reduces the odds of solving bugs after the product release. This suggests that one of the prime benefits of automation testing is a scaled-down business expense.
  • It saves time to ensure that your product stays bug-free even after the changes are implemented.

How to Choose a Tool to Automate Your Release Tests?

A test manager can follow the below steps to choose the most appropriate tool to automate.

  • Determine the requirement for the tool:

The first step is to accurately discern the requirements of your test tool. Make sure to document all the requirements. Subsequently, the management board and project teams must review the requirements.

  • Use your current automation tool as a benchmark:

You can consider your current open-source automation tool, for example, Selenium, as a benchmark to assess and choose the most suitable automation tool for your project’s release test. So, you must understand the pros and cons of using your current automation tool.

  • Analyse the tools and vendors’ reputation:

After you have considered your current tool as a benchmark, you must analyse the open-source and commercial tools in the market, according to the project’s requirements. Shortlist a few tools that accurately meet your defined criteria. The next task is to analyse the vendor’s reputation and experience in testing, the tool update frequency, after-sale support, etc.

  • Perform cost-benefit analysis:

Make sure to evaluate the cost and benefits before building a tool. It is recommended to discuss with the software vendor about the cost and benefits your preferred tools will offer. For example, you can choose an automated tool for this test if its software vendor mentions that it will fulfil all your requirements and is cost-effective. The balance between benefits and costs will influence your decision.

  • Assess your budget:

 Focusing only on the requirements and not the budget can incur a huge loss to your organisation.  If you have finalised a particular testing tool, make sure to assess its performance through its trial version.  It helps you determine whether it’s worth investing in it or not. Buy a testing tool that meets your budget and your requirements.

  • Thoroughly understand the tool:

Although your shortlisted tool meets your requirements and budget, you must assess its strong and weak points. You must try it in a practical working environment before purchasing its licence. Moreover, you can conduct a meeting with consultants and the project team to gain more insights into the tool.

  • Make sure your tool fits with your team’s skills

The tool should be easy to use and understand for your team.

Modern Release Testing

It uses the latest practices and tools to test product releases in a rapidly evolving technology landscape. Let’s take a look at some of its key features,

  • Agile and DevOps: Integrating modern release test into an Agile and DevOps development process will improve speed, collaboration, and continuous delivery.
  • Cloud and virtualization: Using cloud computing and virtualization technologies in modern release tests will help create scalable, flexible, and cost-effective test environments.
  • Testing in production: Modern release tests involve testing in production so you can easily identify and fix issues before they become critical.
  • Continuous testing: With continuous testing, you can ensure that the software is always in a releasable state.
  • Test automation: Automated testing is vital to modern release tests, as it reduces manual effort and improves efficiency.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: It may use AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) technologies to automate complex test tasks, which helps improve the quality and efficiency of testing.

Modern release test focuses on speed, test automation, and continuous testing to make sure that the software is high quality and meets user needs and expectations.

Testsigma to Automate Your Release Tests

Testsigma is a no-code test automation tool that lets you automate your tests for web, mobile, APIs, and desktop applications 5x faster. Test case creation and maintenance is as simple as writing a sentence in English.

Start automating your release tests for web, mobile, APIs and desktop applications, in minutes, with Testsigma.


Businesses today are releasing applications and software at a fast rate. So, the QA team must test and guarantee software product quality with each release. The release test guarantees that the release of software products conforms to the stipulated requirements and is bug-free. It aims to provide customer satisfaction by ensuring the high quality of the software product. An ideal release test approach optimises performance, speed, stability, reliability, and user experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Performs Release testing?

A separate team that hasn’t yet been involved in the system development performs release test. The mentioned team tests the entire version of the system before it is released. Essentially, the users themselves perform more testing to ascertain that the software delivery fulfills their expectations and business needs.

What is Pre-Release Testing? 

It is performed before the new release of any software product. Typically, it is performed in a release test environment. It entails performance, functional, security, and other types of testing as required.

It makes sure the newly implemented features don’t influence the existing ones. Also, it makes sure the old features continue working. Before every release, you must perform a regression test and validate that the new and old features work collectively to achieve a successful software delivery.

What is Post-Release Testing? 

It occurs after a new release of a software product. It supervises the software product’s utility and performance in the practical production environment. Moreover, it detects any bugs or issues that may occur after the release. Usually, this testing covers activities like supervising the software product’s performance metrics and preparing error reports. It also undertakes additional tests to detect and solve any issues.

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