What is Regression Testing ?

Iteration Regression Testing

Dictionary meaning of the word "regression" is "the return to a former or less developed state." So, testing done with the aim of catching any regressions in an already tested functionality is called Regression Testing.

These regressions in the code can occur as a result of “bug fixes”, “new features added to the code” or “changing requirements”. The aim is to test all the code that could be impacted due to recent changes to ensure that no new bugs are introduced in an already tested functionality.

Although regression testing is confused with retesting many times, testers should remember that retesting and regression testing are different. Read in detail the differences of Regression Testing vs Retesting.

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Iteration Regression Testing

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What Do We Do In Regression Check?

During the development phase - developers, testers and the stakeholders are worried more about the quality and correctness of new functionalities being worked on and not so much about the existing functionalities that were thoroughly tested and stable. But, more often than not, customers would still be using the existing functionalities much more than the new ones.

Developers, certainly, work on a new piece of code when working on new functionality but they are supposed to integrate it with the existing system and make any necessary changes in the existing code to make sure everything works well. During this time, it is highly likely that there could be some functionality in the existing code that might have been broken.

Hence, to make sure our end users get the same experience with the product as they were getting even before the new changes were pushed, regression testing needs to be executed. The regression test cases are choosen from already created functional test cases. One of the preferred way of tracking the creation and execution of these test cases is via a requirement traceability matrix.

Having continuous testing along with continuous integration for the automated test cases helps catch the bugs as soon as they are checked in. For this you need a test automation tool that integrates seamlessly with your CI/CD workflow.

Testsigma is one such tool that integrates with all your popular CI/CD tools easily and sets you up for continuous testing without any delays. Book a demo with the experts to set up continuous Regression testing.

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Regression Check In Automation

Why Should Regression Testing Be Automated?

Why Automate Regression Tests

If you have a product that has a big regression test suite and is under active development, the best advice will be to automate the regression testing. Reason being, Regression Testing is the only kind of testing that needs to be repeated multiple times. It could be before every release when complete regression testing needs to be done or it could be after every change is done to the code, in the form of partial regression testing.

Why Automate Regression Tests


If your team has decided to start with test automation, you may still face some challenges as mentioned below:

  • Selecting the Right Tool: Selection of the right tool is important for the success of test automation otherwise it can quickly become a time consuming and tedious task with no returns.
  • Skilled Resources: If you choose a tool that requires the automation testers to possess some specific skills, then either you need to hire the people with these skills or need to train the present resources. Both of these mean investment.
  • Selecting a Proper Testing Approach: You might have the tool and skilled resources but you can’t just jump into test automation. You will have to first chalk out a plan on how you want to proceed with test automation. You might need to create a framework or you might need to use a tool that won’t require you to create one.
  • High Upfront Investment Cost: After hiring/training of resources, selection of the test automation tool, there are other costs that you will need to think about. Like infrastructure. You also need to factor in time for test automation and test case creation into the test automation cost because these activities take up most of the time. After that you need to evaluate the net returns.

To make sure that you get a return on investment you make into test automation you need to be aware of all the costs and then decide on the tool.

For eg. Investing in a tool that is easy to learn and does not require you to invest in infrastructure takes care of 2 areas for you. In addition, if it also makes test case creation simpler and easier, then it further reduces your investment cost and enables returns faster.

Testsigma, does all of these for you

It allows to automate test cases while writing them in simple English, maintenance time is reduced by its AI/ML backend. Don’t worry about the infrastructure too - because it is completely cloud based and allows you to scale as your test cases grow.

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Key considerations for automated regression testing

  • Before deciding for automation, a proper analysis should be done for the cost of automation and if that will have an ROI in the long run. If the project is such that once it is released, the amount of testing and development will be negligible, the automation will prove to be a waste of time and resources.
  • If regression testing is decided to be automated, automation of only those test cases that are stable and passing should be targeted. This saves any unnecessary time spent in troubleshooting a test case and prevents any wrong assumptions about the test scenarios.
  • Not all test cases need to be automated. Start automating test cases according to priority. Like, automate the high priority ones first and then move to lower priority ones. If there are test cases that will rarely be executed in the real world, leave them out.

Read more details on how to best automate regression testing effectively.


Challenges faced during automated regression testing

  1. Sometimes too many changes done to the product during a sprint makes the automated regression tests useless because the tests need to be updated according to the changes which might not be possible in the same sprint.
  2. With every sprint, there are more features and functionalities added and thus more test cases need to be added to the regression test suite every sprint.
  3. If the automation tool being used was not selected after good research, there will be a lot of test cases that will be flaky and a lot of time will be spent in maintenance of the test cases
  4. All the test cases that were executed for a feature or a function cannot be automated always so figuring out the right mix to cover the maximum code and test the maximum functionality is important and is a big challenge

Read more about the challenges faced when Regression Testing is automated in an agile environment.

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Automated Regression Testing Tools

There are many tools that can be used for automation of regression test suites, few of them are listed below:

Automated Regression Testing Tool Testsigma


Uses simple English words to automate complex tests. An ideal tool to automate regression tests with suggestions of affected test cases.

Katalon Logo


This tool has an IDE called Katalon Studio that supports creation of test cases in JAVA and Groovy. It also has a Katalon Recorder.

Selenium Logo


This is a free tool for automation of workflows on websites

Ranorex Logo

Ranorex Studio

Has options for record and play as well as automation in a programming language.


Automated regression testing in Agile : why, what, and how?

When software development is done following agile methodology, new changes are pushed to the product every sprint and the expected output for a sprint is supposed to be a working deliverable. This means that the product should be tested and working in each and every sprint. Hence, after all the changes the product’s regression testing will be important at the end of every sprint.

If the regression testing at the end of every sprint was supposed to be done manually, it would eat up a lot of time and resources. Thus, automation of the regression test cases will play a very important part in saving the time and keeping the quality of a product consistent every sprint.

During automation, what needs to be automated needs to be decided with utmost care. The high priority test cases should be automated first starting with the automation of smoke and sanity test cases . And, also, if there are some areas of the product that are prone to changes and are not stable yet, the changes should be avoided.

The automation should be done using a tool that supports the automation of regression test cases.

Although most organizations now follow Agile because of the speed it renders to the complete development process, it does pose some regression testing affected challenges. Read the details about overcoming automated regression testing challenges in Agile here.

The right way to implement automation in a scrum is the in-sprint automation way. Implementing Insprint automation ensures that all tasks taken up in a sprint are automated in the same sprint. And also means the tasks are marked done according to the real definition of ‘definition of done’. Read about the challenges of insprint automation of regression testing here.

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Read about Regression Testing in agile in detail.


What can you do to make automated regression testing of the UI economically feasible?

A test automation framework is the set of rules, a predefined structure or guidelines that the automated test cases should follow. It is essential to have the structure in place for the best outcome of the test automation activity.

For the automated regression testing of the UI to be economically feasible, there are few points that should be considered before automation is put into place:

  • Automation should only be preferred when there will be an ROI in the long term because of this, automation of applications that are supposed to have active development and maintenance for a long time are preferred.
  • Automated test cases should be easy to execute, easy to maintain and any failures should be reported properly and on time.
  • Only those areas should be automated that are not expected to change often.
  • Automation should be high in quality, flaky automated tests are an on-going investment with zero returns.
  • Test cases should be executed on all the different supported devices and screen resolutions to catch important bugs before they reach the customer.
  • The automated testing tool being used should be such that it supports you in saving cost overall, do remember that training, hiring, infrastructure cost and time spent are all costs or investments that go into automation.
Test Plan details AI Driven Test Automation Software Tool Testsigma

Advantages of Regression Testing/Importance of Regression Testing:

  • When the code base for the product is huge and there are a lot of test cases that need to be executed for regression testing, automated regression testing saves precious time, effort and resources that would otherwise be spent on manual testing.
  • Automated Regression Testing reports any errors quickly in a matter of a few hours, which would otherwise take days if tested manually.
  • When done manually, humans could skip some test cases. This could be because they are new to the functionality, or there is not enough time for the following steps, or just due to genuine mistakes. Automation makes sure no minor functionality is missed out.
  • To save time, manual testers may have to limit the test cases executed to high priority ones, while all the test cases that are automated can be run any number of times, often after every single change. Thus, the quality is checked at every moment.

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Types of Regression Testing:

Experts have tried to come up with as many as 7 types of regression testing, but, on a broad level there are only 2 types of regression testing:

Complete Regression Testing Complete Regression Testing:

This is when a complete regression test suite is executed. There could be multiple scenarios in which this is done:

  1. The complete regression test suite is automated and could be executed frequently after any change.
  2. Regression Testing done after many changes that could impact the majority of the application code.
  3. After changes in requirements or functionalities are done that did not require any changes in the existing test cases.

Partial Regression Testing Partial Regression Testing:

This type of testing is done when only a portion of the regression test suite is executed. This can be done in multiple scenarios as listed below:

  1. When there are localized changes that don’t need complete regression testing.
  2. When the project is such that deployments are made quickly after fixes and need partial regression testing to be done to save time.

The kind of regression testing being pursued decides the way the test cases for regression test cases are selected for execution. Also, read more about the iteration and full regression testing in agile.


Techniques of Regression Testing:

According to the type of project and its needs, different regression testing techniques can be employed as listed below:

  • Re-execution of all test cases in the regression test suite
  • Execution of selected test cases based on impacted areas. Create Test Plan AI Driven Test Automation Software Tool Testsigma
  • Execution of selected test cases based on priority. Read more on how to prioritize test cases here . Edit Test Suite AI Driven Test Automation Software Tool Testsigma
  • A hybrid approach to execute selected as well as prioritized test cases.

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How To Perform Regression Testing?

Regression Testing can be manual or automated. If the number of test cases are small in number, it can be managed in less time manually too but if the number of regression test cases is large, automated regression testing is the ideal solution. The goal is to automate the regression test suite here.

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All the test cases that were created for stable features are added to the regression test suite. When automated, all the test cases added to a regression test suite can be executed after every change as the testing will be automated and the time taken would be less too.


Who should perform Regression Testing

  1. Who Performs Regression Testing New Testers

    Testers who have not tested the feature before but are capable of executing the documented test cases. In such cases, the documentation should be up to the mark for newbies.

  2. Who Performs Regression Testing Functional Tests

    Testers who may not have executed the functional tests but have good knowledge about the features that need regression testing and can catch any major bugs, if any, introduced in them.

  3. Who Performs Regression Testing Major Bugs

    Testers who previously executed the functional tests for the features that need to be regression tested.

Testsigma allows you to automate test cases in simple English. Thus, it can be easily learnt and understood by non-technical members of the team too and can help jumpstart the automation of regression testing.

Are you looking for a test automation tool that will make your test automation inclusive then yes Testsigma is the tool for you.

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Regression Testing: Strategy, Framework, and Best Practices

According to the type of project, the regression testing strategy can be decided. Example: If the project has a lot of development work going on in parallel, it will be a good idea to do a regression test once all the development work is completed.

If the project is such that there won’t be much time for regression testing at the end, regression testing will have to be executed after every change.
Here, selective regression testing will be needed, for which:

  • For every change, impacted areas will have to be determined
  • For the impacted areas, high priority test cases will have to be executed

Framework will have to be defined for regression testing keeping below points in mind:

  • Test suites and test cases should be created with a proper structure to facilitate regression testing
  • Pass/Fail report for the test cases should be reported after the execution
  • All the test cases should be assigned priorities Edit Test Suite AI Driven Test Automation Software Tool Testsigma

Best Practices for achieving best results are:

  • If not after every change, regression testing should be performed at regular intervals
  • Impacted areas for all the changes that have been done since the last regression test should be tested
  • All the regression test cases should be up to date
  • High priority and critical test cases should always be executed during a regression test
  • All the bugs caught while a regression test should be reported
  • Regression testing should be done in a way to minimize efforts and maximize results

Codeless automation testing of UI regression testing

There are many applications that have an elaborate UI and need UI regression testing to be automated for best performance at all times. There are many automated testing tools that offer codeless automation of UI regression testing.
Some of the popular codeless automation testing tools are:

  • Selenium Logo

    Selenium - record and play feature(Selenium IDE) can be used here to achieve codeless automation.

  • Sikuli Logo

    Sikuli - Python-based GUI automation tool, uses image recognition algorithm for element selection.

  • Katalon Logo

    Katalon - very similar to Selenium, and its record and play feature can be used to achieve codeless automation.

  • Testsigma Regression Testing Tool Logo

    Testsigma - An ideal automated regression testing tool that suggests relevant or affected test cases after a feature enhancement/bug fix. Testsigma lets you run regression tests right after the first check-ins, automatically, within a sprint.

    Affected Test Cases AI Driven Test Automation Software Tool Testsigma
  • SeeTest Logo

    SeeTest - A mobile automation tool that supports image-based as well as object-based recognition.

  • test.ai Logo

    Test.ai - AI-powered bots that generate and execute test cases for testing UX of a mobile application.

Read details on Selenium Alternative for Automated Regression Testing here.


How Much Regression Testing Is Required?

There could be 2 solutions:

  • If all the test cases in the regression test suite are automated, then this suite can be run from time to time, preferably after a certain number of changes, because running them after every change could amount to unnecessary test execution.
  • If the test cases in the regression test suite are not automated, they will have to be executed manually. When the application is a big one and has a good number of test cases added to the regression test suite, the decision to execute all of the test cases after every change will not be the best solution.

There could be multiple approaches that could be adopted according to the need of the project and focusing on the optimum use of resources:

  1. Have the regression test suite ready and decide how much time the complete execution will take.

    Execute this regression test suite after all the changes are included and tested functionally and the next thing to do is release!

    Of course, this is not a solution if quick deployments need to be done after a few fixes.

  2. After a fix - a bug fix, a new feature integration or some change in the requirements, do an impact analysis of the change.

    And according to the change and the time allotted for regression testing specific to that fix, execute the high priority test scenarios.

Read the details on how to decide when to start regression testing and when can it be considered complete.

If you are looking for a tool to quickly automate your regression test suite and be able to execute them everytime there is a change, check out Testsigma!

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Regression Testing vs Functional Testing

While Regression Testing makes sure that there are no regressions in a product in related areas after a bug fix or a change, functional testing ensures the functionality of a product is according to the requirement specifications.

Regression Testing can include both functional testing and non-functional testing. Usually, it is the test cases created during functional testing that are included in the regression test suite once the functionality being tested becomes stable.

So, eventually functional testing becomes a subset of regression testing.

For more details on Functional and Regression Testing, read here .


Must-have features for automated regression testing tool

  • Easy test authoring: The automated regression testing tool should allow quick test creation and edits because the number of regression test cases increase every time there is a new feature added and every time there is a release. AI Driven Test Automation Software Tool Testsigma
  • Run Automated Regression Tests after every build: The automated regression testing tool should allow execution of automated regression tests as often as required. For this, the test execution should be quick and easy and should support parallel test execution.
  • Quick Actionable Feedback: The feedback and reports provided by the automated regression testing tool should clearly identify failures and action items to proceed. This helps make regression testing and working on feedback easier.
  • Saves time through Parallel execution: Time is of utmost importance in the software industry and continues to be as the competition in the market increases. Thus, parallel execution becomes an essential element to save the precious test execution time.
  • Prioritize the test cases for regression testing: Most of the time, it is not required to execute all the test cases after every change. A regression testing tool should allow configuration to select test cases to be executed according to priority. This saves time as well as resource usage.
  • Identifies affected tests: If a regression testing tool is able to identify affected tests because of a change, it saves a lot of debugging and maintenance time that is otherwise spent by developers and automation testers to identify the affected tests after every change.
  • Easy to Maintain: Maintenance is an activity that takes the largest amount of time after test case creation for an automation tester. If a tool can save your maintenance time then go for it.
  • Schedule automated tests to run automatically: It is essential to be able to schedule automated test runs to be able to use the time when the team is not at the office. This adds to the team’s efficiency and productivity.
  • Detailed Reports to Determine Release Readiness: Before a release, it is essential to know the status of the release from all perspectives. This helps decide for the apt time for release. An automated testing tool that generates such reports can save a lot of time spent by Managers in gathering such statistics.
  • Allows collaboration: When test automation becomes a collaborative activity, quality becomes a team responsibility and activity. And, that is the goal of modern software development. If a tool encourages collaboration, that is the tool that can help you address quality from all perspectives.

Check our blog here for more details.

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FAQs on Regression Testing

Whenever there are some changes introduced to some part of the code in the application under test in the form of bug fixes, enhancements, changes in requirements or features, there is a probability that some functionalities in the related areas of the code could be impacted.

Thus, the objective of Regression Testing is to make sure that the features and functionalities, that were tested to be stable before a change was made in code, continue to be stable even after the changes.

Regression Testing could be automated or could be performed manually depending on what processes are adopted by an organization for a product. If automated, the regression testing will necessarily be performing the same steps again and again.

But if done manually, the testers can use common sense to not repeat the same steps for all the test cases and try variations of it to uncover any new bugs.

Regression Testing can surely be automated. To proceed with automation make sure below 2 conditions are met:

  • Application under test is planned to be under active development for a long time

  • The number of regression test cases for the application under test are quite a lot such that it will take a long time to execute manually.

If the regression test cases are automated, much time won’t be lost even if all the test cases were executed. Thus, in such a scenario, how much regression testing does not need to be thought about.

But, if the test cases are not automated and time is a constraint - which usually is - the best way to go about it by following below steps:

  • Analyse the change and the impacted areas because of the change

  • For the impacted areas, execute high priority test cases

  • For the application as a whole, execute the critical test scenarios before any deployment or release

Regression Testing is absolutely essential to minimize the number of issues reported by customers post release. But there are times when the managers and stakeholders don’t realize the importance of regression testing and thus, don’t assign the time for it.

Being a tester, below are few things that can be done:

  • Discuss the importance of regression testing with your management and project stakeholdersWith every change testing - try to execute at least the critically important test cases for impacted areas.

  • Before every release - create a release checklist that includes execution of the most important workflows that a customer will go through for sure.

  • When possible, automate the regression test cases.

During the SDLC(Software Development Life Cycle), features are added to a product incrementally. Once a feature is tested thoroughly and is deemed stable, the test cases created for the testing of that feature are added to the regression test suite that will be executed when further changes will be made in the application in the future.

The test cases in the regression test suite can be easily automated as these are stable and the process of automating them is called regression testing automation.

  • When the code base for the product is huge and there are a lot of test cases that need to be executed for regression testing, automation saves precious time, efforts and resources that would be spent on doing the testing manually otherwise.

  • Automated Regression Testing reports any errors quickly in a matter of hours which might have taken days if the testing was done manually.

  • When done manually, humans could skip some test cases because of being new to the functionality or shortage of time or just by genuine mistake. Automation makes sure no minor functionality is missed.

  • To save on time, for regression testing, manual testers decide on test cases according to priority while when automated all the test cases that are automated can be run any number of times, often after every single change. Thus, the quality is in check at every moment.

Regression Testing involves execution of test cases corresponding to stable features and functionalities for an application. These test cases need to be executed multiple times, sometimes after a change in the code in the form of bug fix, enhancement, new feature, change in requirement.

Because these test cases need to change rarely and are executed multiple times during the SDLC(software development life cycle) for a project, they become a perfect candidate for automation

Agile development focuses on development in iterations, thus testing is also done in iterations. But, the end result for each of these iterations is a working deliverable. To be able to have a working deliverable at the end of every sprint, it is essential to do regression testing before the end of every sprint.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

There are organizations that don’t give so much importance to testing as compared to the speed of deployment and thus there are times when regression test automation is not a part of DevOps. But, even then there are organizations that have understood the part that regression testing plays in maintaining overall quality of a product and thus, have integrated it into their DevOps.

Now, as people are becoming more and more aware about maintaining quality of an application, experts are advising companies to include regression test automation under DevOps to enhance quality feedback loop.

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