Retesting | What it is, When, Benefits & Best Practices

Discover the crucial role retesting plays in software development. This guide will shed light on its importance and best practices to ensure software defects are resolved at scale.
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Amidst the ever-evolving landscape of software development, where innovation reigns supreme and technology advances ceaselessly, software reliability and functionality assurance take center stage. Enter retesting: a process that transcends mere bug detection, evolving into a meticulous journey of ensuring a flawless user experience. 

This article delves into the core of retesting – its definition, critical timing, the benefits it unfurls, and the best practices that amplify its efficacy.

What is retesting?

Retesting is the iterative process within software testing that focuses on validating whether specific code changes or bug fixes have successfully rectified the identified issues, unlike comprehensive testing, which examines the entire application, retesting zeroes in on the particularly problematic areas. It involves executing the same test cases that initially uncovered the bugs, but this time with the anticipation of confirming their successful resolution.

The Significance of Retesting: Ensuring Lasting Solutions

Software development is akin to a puzzle, with each piece of code contributing to the bigger picture. However, even the most meticulous developers encounter bugs and glitches. This is where retesting shines. Its role extends beyond a mere bug hunt and is a vital quality control checkpoint. By meticulously assessing the fixes made to address identified issues, retesting ensures that the solutions implemented are not just superficial patches but lasting resolutions.

Retesting doesn’t operate in isolation. It forms a symbiotic relationship with its counterpart, regression testing. While retesting aims to verify specific fixes, regression testing ensures that new code changes haven’t inadvertently disrupted previously functioning aspects of the software. When executed systematically, this dynamic duo enhances software stability and user satisfaction.

Characteristics of Retesting:  

Focused Precision: Retesting homes in targeted areas where defects were discovered. This surgical approach eliminates ambiguity, enabling testers to thoroughly validate whether the applied fixes have effectively eradicated the issues.

Reiteration of Test Cases: 

In retesting, the same test cases that initially identified the bugs are executed again. This repetition allows testers to confirm that the changes have resolved the specific problems without introducing new complications.

Validation, Not Exploration: 

Unlike exploratory testing, which seeks to uncover unforeseen defects, retesting is about verifying known issues’ resolution. Its purpose is to affirm that the software functions as intended after corrective measures.

Regression Checkpoint: 

Retesting collaborates with regression testing, ensuring the software’s previous functionalities remain unaffected. While retesting tackles the addressed bugs, regression testing guards against unintended consequences arising from new fixes.

The precursor to Deployment: 

As a crucial phase before software deployment, retesting provides the final seal of approval. It assures stakeholders that identified defects have been effectively rectified, reducing the chances of post-release surprises.

When to use Retesting?

Retesting finds its relevance in specific scenarios where its precision can be harnessed to ensure software quality. Let’s explore these situations in depth.

1. When There is a Particular Bug Fix Specified in the Release Note:

In the dynamic landscape of software development, fixes are commonplace. When a release note outlines a particular bug fix, retesting steps into the spotlight. It is especially crucial when the fixed bug impacts critical functionalities or user experience. By retesting the changes mentioned in the release note, development teams ascertain whether the issue has been effectively addressed and whether the software is functioning as intended.

2. When a Bug is Rejected:

In the intricate dance of software testing, not all identified issues are considered valid. Retesting takes center stage when a reported bug is rejected due to incomplete information or inapplicability. Testers execute the same test cases that initially brought the bug to light, following the updated information or criteria provided during the rejection phase. This is a systematic approach to either confirm the bug’s inapplicability or reveal its significance.

3. When a Client Calls for Retesting:

Client satisfaction is the cornerstone of software development. When a client reports an issue, their trust in the development process hinges on timely resolution. Retesting is mandatory if a bug fix is deployed in response to a client’s concern. By revisiting the reported problem, retesting ensures that the client’s experience aligns with their expectations. It’s a testament to a customer-centric approach and reaffirms the commitment to delivering quality solutions.

What is an example of retesting in software testing?

To grasp the real-world application of retesting, let’s delve into a couple of scenarios where this process plays a pivotal role in ensuring software quality.

Scenario 1: E-Commerce Checkout Bug Fix

Imagine an e-commerce platform where users encountered a critical bug during checkout. This bug led to incorrect calculations of the total purchase amount, causing financial discrepancies. The development team quickly identified the issue and released a bug fix. To ensure the bug was truly resolved, retesting was performed. The same test cases previously exposed the glitch were executed again, explicitly focusing on the checkout process. The retesting process verified that the calculated totals were now accurate, and customers could proceed through the checkout without any financial concerns.

Scenario 2: Mobile App Performance Enhancement

Consider a mobile app experiencing performance issues, causing significant delays when loading large datasets. The development team optimized the app’s performance and claimed to have resolved the loading time problem. However, before releasing the update, retesting was imperative. Testers executed the app with the same large datasets and measured the loading times. This retesting step ensured that the optimization changes had the intended effect. It also checked for unintended side effects, such as new bugs arising from the performance enhancements.

Revolutionizing the Retesting Process

In today’s software landscape, tools like Testsigma have revolutionized retesting. Testsigma’s intelligent automation platform enables seamless retesting by automating the execution of repetitive test cases. This not only saves time and resources but also enhances accuracy. By leveraging Testsigma’s capabilities, development teams can ensure that retesting remains consistent, reliable, and efficient across various scenarios and bug fixes.


Importance of Retesting Software

In the intricate realm of software development, where complex lines of code form the backbone of digital experiences, the importance of retesting cannot be overstated. This process serves as a stalwart guardian of software quality, ensuring that once-detected issues remain resolved and that new problems do not arise from corrective measures. Its significance can be summarized in the following points:

Assured Bug Resolution: 

Retesting is the final checkpoint that guarantees the effective eradication of identified bugs. It is a testament to the development team’s commitment to delivering a polished and seamless software experience.

Enhanced User Satisfaction: 

Software users demand reliability and functionality. By thoroughly retesting, developers create an environment where users can interact with the software without encountering known problems.

Mitigation of Regression Risks: 

As software evolves, changes can inadvertently introduce new defects. Retesting, in conjunction with regression testing, protects against such regression risks, maintaining the integrity of existing features.

Client Confidence: 

For businesses, rectifying reported issues swiftly and reliably is paramount. When performed diligently, retesting assures clients that their concerns have been effectively addressed, fostering trust and long-lasting partnerships.

Optimized Deployment: 

Before a software release, retesting provides the green light for deployment. It minimizes the chances of post-release complications and supports a seamless launch.

In the digital age, where user experiences define success, retesting is a cornerstone in the quest for impeccable software quality.

Phases of Retesting

Retesting unfolds in several phases, each contributing to the thorough validation of software fixes. Let’s walk through these phases in a conversational tone:

  • Bug Identification: This initial phase involves pinpointing the specific bugs that need resolution. These could be bugs reported by users, identified during testing, or even rejected bugs being revisited.
  • Fix Implementation: Once the bugs are identified, developers swing into action. They implement the necessary fixes or code changes, aiming to address the root causes of the issues.
  • Test Case Selection: In this step, testers select the same test cases that initially uncovered the bugs. These cases are carefully chosen to focus solely on the affected areas.
  • Test Execution: The chosen test cases are now executed against the modified code. This is where retesting truly takes place. Testers are looking for any indications that the identified bugs have been resolved.
  • Bug Verification: After execution, testers meticulously analyze the results. If the tests run smoothly without any indications of the reported issues, it’s a sign that the fixes are effective.
  • Regression Safety Check: Retesting doesn’t happen in isolation. To avoid unintended side effects, regression testing comes into play. This ensures that the fixes haven’t negatively impacted other software parts.
  • Documentation: Finally, the results and findings are documented. This includes information about the bug fixes, the test cases used, the outcomes, and any additional observations.

Each phase contributes to the holistic retesting process, culminating in a confident stamp of approval that the software is ready for deployment.

Pros and cons of retesting

Retesting is a double-edged sword in software testing, offering benefits alongside potential drawbacks. Let’s take a look at both sides in a concise table format:

Pros of RetestingCons of Retesting
1. Targeted Validation: Retesting zeros in on specific issues, ensuring they are resolved.1. Limited Scope: Retesting focuses only on identified bugs, potentially missing new or related issues.
2. Effective Validation: Fixes are rigorously verified, ensuring they function as intended.2. Repetitive Effort: Repeating the same tests can be time-consuming and redundant.
3. Confidence Boost: Successful retesting boosts confidence in software quality.3. False Sense of Security: Successful retesting doesn’t guarantee complete software integrity.
4. User Satisfaction: Resolving known issues enhances user experience.4. Missed Dependencies: Retesting may not catch problems arising from interactions between different components.
5. Post-Release Assurance: Retesting reduces the likelihood of post-release issues.5. Resource Intensive: Conducting retesting for every fix can strain resources.
6. Seamless Deployment: Retesting paves the way for smooth software deployment.6. Lacks Exploratory Depth: Retesting may not identify undiscovered issues.

How to Perform Retesting? – Manual and Automation

Ensuring the effectiveness of bug fixes through retesting can be achieved through both manual and automated approaches. Let’s explore each process step by step:

Manual Retesting Process:

  • Bug Identification: Begin by identifying the specific bug that has been addressed and requires validation through retesting.
  • Test Case Selection: Choose the original test cases that initially exposed the bug. These cases should be tailored to target the affected area.
  • Test Execution: Run the selected test cases on the modified code. Carefully observe whether the reported issue is resolved.
  • Verification: Compare the test results with the expected outcomes. If the issue is no longer evident, mark the bug as successfully fixed.
  • Regression Safety: While manual retesting, be cautious of unintended side effects on other software parts.

Automated Retesting Process:

  • Script Adjustment: Modify the automated test scripts to accommodate the bug-fix changes. Ensure that the scripts reflect the specific fixes being validated.
  • Test Execution: Run the adjusted automated test scripts on the updated codebase to confirm the resolution of the bug.
  • Verification: Analyze the test results and compare them with expected outcomes. Successful execution indicates bug resolution.
  • Regression Testing: Since automated tests can be extensive, ensure regression safety by executing related test suites to catch potential side effects.

Leveraging Testsigma for Seamless Automation:

Testsigma streamlines the entire retesting process. It enables easy script adjustments, execution, and results analysis for both manual and automated retesting. Moreover, Testsigma’s intelligent automation reduces human intervention, accelerating the process while maintaining accuracy.

Benefits of Using Testsigma for Retesting:

  • Script Optimization: Testsigma automatically adjusts test scripts for bug fixes, minimizing manual intervention.
  • Regression Confidence: Automated regression tests ensure that other functionalities remain unaffected by fixes.
  • Quick Turnaround: Automated retesting with Testsigma is faster, enhancing software release timelines.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: Testsigma provides detailed reports on test execution and outcomes, aiding informed decisions.
  • Resource Efficiency: By automating the process, resources are freed for more creative and exploratory testing.

Incorporating Testsigma into the retesting process transforms it into a streamlined, efficient, and accurate endeavor, reinforcing software quality.


How to Choose the Right Tool for Retesting?

Selecting the ideal tool for retesting demands a thoughtful approach. Consider factors such as the tool’s adaptability to your software’s tech stack, ease of use, scalability, and integration capabilities.

Furthermore, a robust tool should offer comprehensive reporting, smooth script adjustments, and efficient regression testing to streamline the process. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Retesting Tool:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the tool integrates well with your software’s technology stack and workflow.
  • Ease of Use: A user-friendly interface simplifies the learning curve and boosts productivity.
  • Scalability: Consider the tool’s ability to handle growing test suites and increased testing demands.
  • Reporting Capabilities: Comprehensive reporting aids in analyzing test outcomes and making informed decisions.
  • Regression Testing: The tool should facilitate regression testing to ensure overall software stability.

Things to consider while doing Retesting

When embarking on the journey of retesting, a few key considerations can make all the difference. Here’s a conversational rundown of what to keep in mind:

  • Bug Specificity: Focus on the bug you’re addressing. Ensure the retesting process is tightly aligned with the identified issue for accurate validation.
  • Test Case Selection: Handpick the original test cases that pinpointed the bug. This focused approach ensures a precise retest.
  • Fix Verification: Dive into the code changes made for the fix. Understand what has been altered before executing the retest.
  • Regression Vigilance: Keep an eye on related functionalities. Even if the bug is fixed, ensure that other software parts aren’t adversely affected.
  • Data Variability: If the bug was related to specific data conditions, test with various data inputs to confirm the fix’s universality.
  • Documentation Integrity: Maintain thorough documentation. Detail the bug, the fix, the executed tests, and their outcomes for future reference.
  • Environment Replication: Replicate the environment where the bug was reported. This helps ensure that the fix holds up under the same conditions.
  • Communication: Maintain open communication channels. Keep developers, testers, and stakeholders informed about the retesting progress and outcomes.

By minding these considerations, your retesting process can be well-guided and effective, contributing to software quality with confidence.

Best practices for Retesting

A handful of best practices can elevate your software validation game regarding retesting. Here’s a friendly rundown of what to keep in mind:

  • Thorough Test Case Documentation: Document your test cases with meticulous detail. This ensures that anyone revisiting them understands the context and purpose.
  • Isolated Test Focus: Concentrate on the bug at hand. Isolate the testing efforts to the specific area where the bug was identified.
  • Fixed Bug Validation: Don’t just trust the code fix; validate it. Test the fix rigorously to ensure the bug is truly resolved.
  • Regression Safety Net: While retesting, watch for unintended side effects on other software parts. Execute related test suites for a thorough check.
  • Data Variability Testing: Test with varying data inputs, covering various scenarios. This guards against the bug resurfacing due to unique conditions.
  • Frequent Communication: Keep everyone in the loop. Regularly communicate the retesting progress and outcomes to the development team and stakeholders.
  • Consistent Environment: Maintain consistency in your testing environment. Replicate the conditions where the bug was reported to ensure accuracy.
  • Validation Post-Fix: After the bug is marked as resolved, conduct a final validation to ensure the fix is holding up as expected.

By incorporating these practices, your retesting process can become a well-orchestrated symphony of software quality assurance.

Conclusion

As we’ve journeyed through the intricacies of retesting, we’ve uncovered its role in crafting impeccable software experiences. Retesting emerges as a sentinel of quality assurance, from targeted bug validation to user satisfaction, from regression safeguards to seamless deployments. Remember, in this dynamic digital landscape, the harmony of software perfection rests in the diligent hands of retesting.

Frequently Asked Questions