Why should regression testing be automated?

Due to fast-paced software development and testing environments, organizations often face time and cost constraints when it comes to thoroughly testing their web/mobile applications prior to their releases. Software regression can prove to be a setback for organizations as it can affect the software release deadlines and increase the development costs. Hence, a fair amount of regression testing is needed in every software release cycle in order to ensure that the new development is free from all kinds of bugs and defects.

Regression testing, a process of hunting the unintended changes in an application, is one of the most ideal candidates for automation. In fact, automation and regression testing go hand-in-hand. Automating regression testing is the first thing that comes into the picture when the organizations think of maximizing the potential and efficiency of their software testing team by leveraging automation. By automating the regression tests, testers can write automated script to check certain functions of the code at a much faster rate than a human tester can.

Automation of regression test cases, frees up testers from checking the regressions due to the changes/updates in the application and allows them to look after other unusual issues in the product environment. It is required to automate test cases which are stable and repeatable.

Why Use Automated Regression Testing?

The main objective for an organization is to release quality software products within the stipulated time frame and get as many happy face active customers as possible. Automation makes it a reality. Automation makes it a reality as it reduces the time taken to perform repetitive tasks

Automated regression testing allows the QA teams to perform more tests in less time. The saved time can be utilized by the software testers in performing more critical work such as high-level exploratory testing and looking after more complicated issues at the higher level. In regression testing, the same codebase needs to be tested for several different scenarios which can be very tedious and time-consuming. Due to time-constraints, if a defect or bug goes undetected into the production environment, it can lead to dissatisfaction among the customers and can increase the maintenance costs by a significant margin, post the release of the software.

With automated regression testing, an automated script can perform the regression test rather than manually performing the same test for every page on site under different scenarios. So, automated regression testing is beneficial in those scenarios that have to be executed repeatedly. For example: cross-browser and cross-device compatibility testing.

Hence, automating your regression testing can expand your testing capacity, thereby getting faster feedback and improved quality throughout the software testing phase.

When Automated Regression Testing Works Best?

Doing the same task over and over again is very tedious and nobody wants to do it, testers are no different. But, the problem is that every time an application’s code is updated, it becomes important to perform regression testing. Change in one section can affect other parts in an application because generally most of the software is interrelated with other modules. This is where automated regression testing works best. It can quickly find out whether the new addition in the code is negatively affecting other working parts of the application or not.

Few of the major points are below:

  • Automating regression test is the best solution if you want to check whether the new change in the original functionality of the software has not led to the origin of new bugs or stopped/negatively affected the previous functionality of the software, where you are repeating a test which you have performed before due to a change in the code, design, or anything which is connected with the overall framework of the system.

  • Automated regression testing works best when there is a significant amount of legacy code that is tested multiple times because in such cases, manual testing cost will be more than the cost of automation

  • It should be made sure that there will be ROI in the long run if the regression tests are automated - Hiring of resources and cost of the tool being used, cost of maintenance, time saved in the long run should all be figured out to calculate if actually automation will be the best solution. For eg. If the organization has plans to keep the application running and maintain it in the long run, then automated regression can prove to be beneficial otherwise it may become more of an investment.

If in an organization, the general development trend is to keep adding changes to an application’s existing features and functionalities ,then , the maintenance cost will be more than the cost saved by the automation of regression testing. Here, automation should not be opted.

The Importance of Automated Regression Testing

Nowadays, regression testing is gaining momentum as an essential aspect of a dynamic, iterative software development process, and all testers should take advantage of it. Manually testing the application with each release is time-consuming and needs more resources which might negatively affect the other features of the product and schedule of new projects.

Hence, it makes sense to opt for automated regression testing to speed up their software release without compromising the quality. With automation becoming the center of the software testing, the evolving requirements and features of open source testing can be easily handled by automated regression testing tools. Regression testing not only boosts the functionality of the program but also enhances the output/end result.

Automated regression testing can cover more scenarios and increases the probability of detecting defects. It detects the undesirable side of application which is caused by the changing in test environment and it’s very quick to find out the test results after deployment

Generally organizations first release their core functionality and then slowly add more functionality based on the user experience and feedback. With the growing functionalities, the application becomes more complex and hence the need of automated testing to reduce manual testing efforts also increases

Automated testing ensures stability, quality and the proper functioning of the software so that the best version of the product gets released into the market. It can be done on various scales, depending on the requirements of the application and the organizational structure. Effective automated regression testing is a fantastic thing.

Automated regression testing services

As regression testing, a black box testing technique, is commonly used in the industry to test the proper functioning of existing or old functionality of an application while performing new changes or modifications made in the system, it is considered crucial by the software organizations. Either the organizations can perform automated regression testing by their own QA team or they can outsource it by taking service from a professional automated regression testing service provider.

Companies who are planning to take automated regression testing services should consider the efficiency of the tools and various methods used by the service provider in regression testing which can help you get maximum test coverage in minimal number of test cases and eventually reduce your time to hit the market by a significant margin. Testsigma offers an intuitive and feature-rich AI-driven automated regression testing tool for Agile and Continuous Delivery. With Testsigma, you don’t need to worry about coding as there is no programming skill required. You can get started with its automated regression testing instantly as it offers a cloud-based test automation ecosystem with all the essential elements needed for automated regression testing. Artificial intelligence in Testsigma helps you maintain and rectify all the regression tests automatically for any update or change performed in the application.

The Role of Automated Regression Testing

Software organizations know the value of regression testing as even the most favorable new functions doesn’t matter if they cause problems in the operation of the old functions. Automated regression testing plays an important role in various cases including when you modify the code of the application during SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), if the application requirements changes in the middle of the cycle, when you plan to undertake enhanced/upgraded software or when you are looking to fix the bugs quickly. Under automation regression testing, test cases are re-implemented to check the functioning of the previous functionality and to find new bugs as a result of addition of new features or functionalities in the application.

Sometimes due to time and budget constraints, organizations don’t give much attention to the importance of regression testing and allocate very little time and resources to it. As a result of this, most of the time all the previous efforts on testing goes waste and the end result does not meet the required quality levels leading to dissatisfaction among the customers and product failures. Automated regression testing process solves this problem in many ways. As it speeds up the regression testing, it doesn’t affect the product deadlines and timely detection of bugs and non-working functionalities save a lot of time and resources spent on maintenance, thereby increasing the return on investment (ROI)

Advantages of Automated Regression Testing:

Automating the regression testing is a more effective solution which gives you greater process efficiency at a faster rate. Here are some of the best advantages of incorporating automation in regression testing:

  • Better ROI: It is no surprise that if you choose to go with automated regression testing, the early investment will be on the higher side, but since product development and release process is a long-term process, you will save a lot of time and resources through automation in the longer run which increases the ROI.

  • Cost Effective: With automation, a single qualified testing engineer is required to write the script to automate the tests which avoid the requirement of more number of testers performing the manual tests repeatedly. Fewer resources mean lower costs.

  • Running Tests 24/7: With automation, you can run your tests at any time of the day or night from any place of the world with the consistent error-free results.

  • Early Bug Detection: With automation, testers will be able to detect bugs and defects early in the software development cycle which obviously reduces the time spent on fixing them later on when the issue becomes more critical.

  • Saves Time: When a machine performs a task which is repetitive, the process is faster and more consistent than a human with fewer errors.

  • Reliability: Automated regression testing is way more reliable than manual regression testing as repetitive standardized tests are involved which are stable or does not require any human intervention.

Automated Regression Testing Resolution

1) Discover & Plan

a.Identify product release scope

b.Define test plan and activities

2) Design & Develop

a.Identify product release scope

b.Define test plan and activities

3) Execute & Report

a.Execute tests

b.Reports test results and bugs

4) Test Closure

a.Provide quality test reports

b.Perform post production testing

Here are some points to consider before going for the automated regression testing:

  • Write test scripts based on the workflow of the application

  • Risks related to the application workflow can be analyzed using the test results as input.

  • Include all those functionalities that are more frequently and are prone to high-risk workflow conditions.

  • Include all those test cases which tend to cause human error.

  • It is logical to maintain and control the version of the test scripts as it helps keep track of all the changes that you make to a testcase.

  • Test script operation can be automated based on the changes or updates in the code.

  • Include repetitive tests in the regression test suite which run for multiple builds

Automate regression test generation

Regression test generation should be supported by a sustainable process to ensure that the test case failures are reviewed and addressed on a daily basis. The end objective should be a robust regression test suite which evolves with the development of the application and becomes more intelligent day by day. Effective regression testing generates enough test code coverage to cover all the aspects of testing.

It has been analyzed in a study that there is a need for an automated regression tool for generating the regression test cases as and according to the user's needs. If these test cases will be generated and implemented by a tool, then the overall effort and cost can be reduced by a significant margin. By selecting an ideal regression testing automation tool you can not only maximize the effectiveness of your testing process but also meet your project requirements and manage the whole QA lifecycle smoothly.

But before evaluating an automation tool for selection, give attention to the tool’s ability to manage the complete QA lifecycle, i.e. test generation, editing, cloud execution, advanced notification and getting detailed reports. The auto-generated test by the automated regression testing tool can be used as a safety net to detect the location of errors more effectively while making changes in the code.

Automate regression test maintenance

Test automation scripts written for stable code are not reviewed on a frequent basis. Now when the code is changed during the modification of a tested feature or addition of a new functionality, the automation script will give false results leading to unexpected problems. If this continues for a longer duration, the management will see test automation as time and money waste process. In order to avoid this, it is important to continuously review/examine or maintain automated test scripts.

To avoid wastage of time and resources, test script maintenance should be included early in the software development cycle plan which will keep the cost of resources and time schedule in check with the development process. Whenever a functionality or the code that supports that functionality changes, make sure to update the tests that are required to verify that functionality.

As we know that maintaining regression tests is costly, especially when a developer’s effort is required to find the dependencies and update the test scripts according to the changes made in the code. This process can be automated to a large extent using the automation tool which can analyze the information gathered from the last tests run to automate the test updates required.

Automated Regression Testing

A software regression (an unwanted issue caused due to a code change) can occur after a new feature is implemented in a software application. If the software is not checked for regression on a regular basis, it will lead to defective products and applications which is devastating for a company causing reduction in the return on investment (ROI), customer dissatisfaction, lack of trust among the customers and loss of the firm’s reputation in the market.

Regression testing ensures that new software defects are detected and eradicated as soon as any change occurs in the source code of the software application. With the rise of agile, regression testing has now become an integral part of the development process. Now, given the fact that regression testing is redundant in nature, it becomes an ideal candidate for automation. Automating regression testing ensures that repetitive work can be automated and testers can focus on manual test cases which require more manual intervention.

Regression testing needs to be holistic in verification having the end objective in mind which can be balanced well with automation. An automated testing approach for reducing software regression issues can go a long way in building quality software products and maintain good customer relations and high brand value.

Choosing Test-cases to add to Regression Testing

Regression testing can become a challenge for the testers due to many reasons like time and budget constraints, increase in regression test cases with every addition of a new feature, minimizing test cases and maximizing test coverage, and determining the frequency of regression tests. Selecting test cases for regression testing is a challenging task.

Here are some of the most effective tips while selecting test cases for regression testing:

  • Include all the test cases which verify the core features/functionalities of the software product. Traceability matrix can be used to ensure that all the requirements are well tested.

  • Include the test cases for those functionalities which have undergone recent changes.

  • Include all the integration test cases in the regression test suite as last minute fixes can have serious problems such as breaking of integrity between modules, non-passing of messages and loss of data across the interface.

  • Include those test cases which are more prone to errors with even a small change in the code. These test cases can be tracked throughout the development cycle and covered in the regression test suite.

  • All the complex test cases should be a part of the regression test suite.

  • Categories the test cases: Reusable and Obsolete test cases in order to save cost and time.

Application of Regression Testing

It is important for the testers to note that even the smallest of alteration which seem insignificant to an application’s source code could surprisingly result in completely new or unrelated errors in the functions.

Regression testing plays an important role in testing the software applications in order to ensure that a change or an addition in the code has not broken any existing functionality of the application. Regression caused due to new changes performed in an application can be avoided by re-running the testing scenarios which were initially scripted when the problem was fixed the first time.

To make sure any aspects of your software application is not going unchecked; you can try some modern automated regression tool such as Testsigma. With zero programming knowledge requirement, Testsigma not only helps you run thousands of regression tests in parallel on the cloud and local devices but also streamline your testing and help you deliver high quality software applications.

The best part is that the artificial intelligence (AI) enabled automation tool can help you maintain and heal all the regression tests automatically even for a minor change in the software application. Investing in the tool will also ensure that you get the detailed test run reports and insights of each test environment.

Automated regression testing: Effective strategy

The first important thing in automating regression testing is to select the right tool for your project. Some of the key points to keep in mind before selecting an ideal automated regression testing tool are the ability of the tool to develop and maintain scripts quickly, the ability to manage QA lifecycle, ease of use by non-technical persons and reliability.

This is followed by following these best practices listed below:

  • Plan your entire QA strategy to be followed during the product lifecycle.

  • Identify the test cases which require automation such as those tests which are repetitive, prone to human errors, difficult to perform manually, and time consuming.

  • Make sure that development teams work closely with the testing team so that any miscommunication or unwanted gaps can be avoided and the overall efficiency of the entire development cycle could be increased.

  • It is important to start testing from the early days and more often as defects which are detected early have less impact on the project deadline and costs.

  • The best time to start your scripting is when some of the modules are stable and the testing team has found the bugs repeatedly. The QA team can then proceed with the automation regression testing of those stable modules.

Techniques for Automated Regression Testing

Regression tests are ideal for automation as it increases the test coverage at a lower cost as compared to manual regression testing. As lots of organizations prefer agile methodology, their releases are more frequent due to which they have to opt for continuous testing and automation for regression testing.

Here are various techniques for automated regression testing:

  • Retest All: In this technique, the QA tester executes all the existing test cases present in a collection without missing a single one. This technique is a bit expensive as it requires more time and resources.

  • Prioritizing Test Cases: In this technique, test cases are prioritized based on the frequency of use and to prioritize test cases, a level of expertise is required. Executing test cases having higher priority first help minimize cost and time spent on testing and uncover maximum number of defects. This technique is more useful in those cases where the codebase is very large.

  • Regression Test Selection: In this technique, a subset of the test suite is selected for execution instead of selecting all the existing test cases. The test cases are categorized into reusable test cases which are used in succeeding regression cycles and obsolete test cases which are not used in succeeding regression cycles.

Why is Automated Regression Testing Right For Your Project

Organizations build software applications to provide value to the customers. With time, customer needs change or the organization looks to add more features and better functionalities based on the customer feedback. As we know with each update or growing functionalities, the app becomes more complex. Hence there is a need to test for regression issues more frequently with every update in the code. Automated regression testing could be a life saver for these organizations.

Here are some of the reasons why automated regression testing could be right for your project:

  • Get Higher Test Coverage: As automated testing execute tests at a faster rate, it is feasible to increase the test coverage by doing more comprehensive testing which takes a lot of time with manual regression testing.

  • Higher Test Efficiency: As automated tests are fast in execution and takes less time, it increases the test efficiency.

  • Reusability of Tests: As regression testing is repetitive, automated test cases are reusable and hence save a lot of time in setting up.

  • Get Continuous Results: With automation regression testing, you can get continuous results which help you know when and where exactly the bugs are encountered and their causes.

  • Fast Results Automated regression testing gives you results with the very less effort without compromising on the quality.

What Is Automated Regression Testing?

Automation of regression testing usually applies in such cases where tests are repeatable in nature. The automation allows testers to spend more time on other important aspects of the product development.

In simple terms, automating regression testing is performing testing over a software product or an application using automated tools and techniques after making an update or a change in the product. The automation process makes the use of test scripts, workflow and other processes within a regression testing technique. Manually performing regression tests is quite a task as it takes a lot of time and effort which can be utilized in formulating new priority test cases. Hence QA testers go for automated regression testing to automate testing and reduce the time and effort invested in performing the testing process.

By using effective automated regression testing, software firms can minimize both time and money spent on finding and removing bugs from a software application. As the main objective of the regression testing is to check the proper functioning of the existing features in a software application, automation can fasten up the regression testing process and provides maximum test coverage at a much lower cost than manual regression testing. The extent of automation in the regression testing depends on the number of test cases which will apply over time.

Why Is Automated Regression Testing Good?

Automated regression testing is a process of verifying that the application has not regressed to a previous state using automation. As we know how costly regression can be for the software organizations, it is important to employ regression testing to avoid it. Though manual regression testing is an option, the process is costly, time-taking, tedious and error prone. This is the reason why automated regression testing is being opted by almost all the software testing teams across the organizations.

Now, why automation is a must, especially when it comes to regression testing is that regression testing is a redundant process as most of the test cases are repetitive which becomes a lengthy process, if done manually. In this era of automation, everything that can be automatable should be automated. If you are doing something manually which can easily be performed via automation, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table. The testers who would be performing these tests manually could be indulged in doing more valuable tasks which has the potential to generate more value for the organization.

It is good to re-run all the relevant tests on the regression test suite after every new change in the code base to ensure everything is working fine. So if you want to get rid of unwanted regressions, opt automated regression testing and save time and money for your organization.

Automate your Regression Tests Faster than Ever

FAQs on Regression Testing

Retesting is done after a bug-fix. It is re-execution of all the test cases that were failing because of a bug and should now pass after the bug is fixed. While, regression testing is execution of test cases to test the stable areas that may have been impacted by the fix. Regression Testing is not specific to a bug fix, it can be done after a change is done to the environment. The change could be - a new feature, an enhancement or an environment change but retesting is specific to a bug fix.

Read more to know about the differences here.

Common types of regression testing include :

  • Corrective Regression Testing : This type of testing is used when there are no changes introduced in the product's specification and the existing test cases can be used for performing these tests.

  • Retest-all Regression Testing : This involves testing all aspects of a software as well as reusing all test cases even where the changes have not been made.

  • Selective Regression Testing : In this type of testing, a subset from the existing test cases is used which reduces the effort required for retesting and the cost involved.

  • Progressive Regression Testing : This type of regression testing works best when there are certain changes done in the program specifications as well as new test cases are designed. This ensures there are no features that exist in the previous version that has been compromised in the updated version.

  • Complete Regression Testing : Complete regression testing is performed in case there are multiple changes done to the already existing code. On completion of this type of testing, the final system is made available to the user.

  • Partial Regression Testing : Partial regression testing is performed after impact analysis. In this testing process, the new addition of the code as a unit is made to interact with other parts of older existing code.

  • Unit Regression Testing : It is an important part of unit testing. Unit regression testing mainly focuses on the code unit and all the dependencies and interactions are temporarily blocked during the test.