Regression testing is a type of testing in which we can assure that any modification in the application module or code changes does not affect the existing features of the application. Regression testing can be performed manually or with the help of automated regression testing tools.
Regression Testing ensures that old modules are working as expected and are not affected by any recent defect fixing or addition of new modules. In Regression Testing, a group of test cases(full or partially selected) are executed to ensure that all features are working fine.
When the volume of test cases is high, and repetitive executions are required after every release, manual regression testing takes more time, effort and cost. With manual test execution, there are chances of human errors too which may translate into missed bugs and wrong test execution reports .
To eliminate the above manual effort that goes into repetitive execution of these test cases, automated regression testing tools are introduced, so you can automate the test steps and execute them on demand, also it provides a detailed test report.
Regression testing tools aim to save your time, money and resources in the long run. Also, they provide an easy to setup and execute test suite facility which we can discuss in the sections below.
Regression testing can be performed with the set of identified selective test cases which are executed whenever any changes, defect fixes or new functionalities are added to ensure that there is no defect existing in an already developed application.
The need for automated regression testing tools arises when the same test cases need to be executed repeatedly after each build release and increases accuracy of the tests and enables for faster feedback of the test runs.
Manual testing is time taking, and requires more cost and resources. Also, it’s very hard to uncover complex test cases every time. Hence, automated regression testing tools need to be implemented.
Automated Regression Testing tools can free up a testing team from running long and large amounts of repetitive tasks.
There are few points below which describe why we need automated
regression testing tools:
Everytime time a regression test can run, it’s highly repeatable and the same test cases can be run after every release. Manually running the same test cases again and again is time consuming, hence automated regression testing tools can be used to overcome this limitation
When a regression test case can be run manually, it’s hard to uncover all the defects as it depends upon QA knowledge, expertise so we cannot ensure the defects will be uncovered. In this situation we can use automated regression testing tools
Automated regression testing tools can be scheduled to run the test cases any time with no human intervention
A better test coverage as the regression test suites can be run as and when a new build of your software is released
Saves time, cost, effort and resources
Test cases management and maintenance of complex project
Bug fixes can introduce new issues and it is important to check if the existing functionalities and modules remain unaffected. Maintenance cost for the regression testing increased as the time passes, there are various approaches by which we can follow and reduces the cost
Automated regression testing does not suit for all the projects so before starting, survey to identify if automation is required or not. Test automation is suitable for large and mid size projects which provides time to write the scripts
Automated regression testing depends on repetitive bugs occurred during manual test cases are performed and the release is stable
It’s very important to set the priority of test cases and automate test cases which are critical and pose more risk
Identify how much percentage of overall test cases can be automated for maximum coverage. Ideally, regression test can be automated for around ~ 70-90% of the actual test cases which detects repetitive bugs
High Quality: As we know that humans make mistakes and if it’s more complex test cases, then chances are very high. Regression testing tools eliminate this risk and provide robust and error free test reports.
Productivity Boost: Manual testing takes time, effort to execute the regression tests so when automation regression is implemented, it increased the productivity by ~ 40% And, there’s more robust monitoring round the clock
Cost Saver: The latest codeless testing approaches does not require any professional skills to write the script, hence it reduces the cost by ~ 80%
Implementation and Speed: In AI driven tool implementation/setup is very easy and quick as well as perform fast modification when some changes occurred in the element locator or process. It provides parallel execution which makes it faster
Regression Testing Framework is providing a defined structure via which regression test cases can be created, managed, maintained and executed very easily.
There are various advantages of using a test automation framework:
A proper structure to manage tests including test cases and test suites
Maintain and manage test cases in a structured way
A medium to use and execute these test cases
Grouped test cases execution is easy
Testing is not limited to web GUI you can test APIs and backend ops as well
Detailed test reporting
Choosing the right regression testing tool is a challenge, there are various factors that need to be considered before selecting which
regression testing tool is suitable for the project.
Below are the few points which we can keep in mind while selecting regression testing tool
for a project:
Easy Creation and Maintenance of test cases:
This is one of the important factors because once the project is started and the complexity increases with high volume of test cases, it can become very difficult to manage and maintain these cases.
There is one more scenario, if at some point, changes have been done in the existing workflow, we should consider how easy it will be to modify the changes in the selected regression testing tool.
Detailed Reporting: The regression testing tool should provide detailed reports for the failed scenarios including logs, screenshots, video recordings and other information that may help a developer debug the cause of failure.
Easy & Quick to Setup: In any regression testing tool, one of the basic factors is; how easy and quick the tool can be set up as AI driven testing tool provides facility to setup on demand cloud based test environments very easily
Easy & Fast Test Execution: In agile methodology, the regression test cases needs to be executed frequently, thus easy and quick execution of test cases is very important. Features like parallel test execution and distributed testing should be considered here.
Reusability: The tool should support reuse of already automated test steps in other test cases.
Ease of integration with other tools: After each build release, there is a requirement to execute the respective test suites. So when we select the regression testing tool, we have to keep in mind about the ease of integration with CI/ devops and automatic execution of test suite after each release.
Technical Support: Support is a very important factor because once we are developing any complex application, it’s important that expert support is available if some technical difficulties occur and the testing should not be blocked because of issues in the tool.
As regression testing involves re-running existing test cases in order to check that the earlier functionalities are working as expected and the new code changes have not introduced any new bugs, it becomes a daunting task.
This is the reason why automated regression testing tools were introduced into the market to simplify the regression testing efforts. Automating the repetitive test cases saves a lot of time and is an efficient way of performing regression testing.
There are few automated regression testing tools that provide features of record and playback in which you have to record the test cases by navigating through the application and check if the results are meeting the expectations or not. There are more simpler but effective approaches to perform regression testing like the simple natural language test authoring like Testsigma does.
Software organizations can effectively reduce both time and money spent in finding regression issues from a software application by using highly efficient automated regression testing tools.
Automating the regression testing with these tools not only speeds up the regression testing process but also gives more test coverage at a lower cost as compared to manual regression testing.
As there are several tools available in the market for automating regression testing, software testers should pay special attention towards the advantages, limitations, efficiency of each tool and having your requirements in mind.
It has been found that a good automated regression tool can reduce the overall effort and cost of regression testing significantly. A good regression testing tool can increase the quality of your testing process and help you meet project requirements and the overall product lifecycle objective. Things to be considered before choosing a good regression testing tool are discussed here.
Detect Changes in the Source Code: Locate the changes in the source code and then identify the components that were changed and their impacts on existing features/functionalities.
Prioritize Changes: Organize the testing process based on the priorities of code changes with product requirements and then choose the corresponding test case and test tools.
Determine the Entry Point and Entry Criteria: Make sure that the application satisfies the eligibility before running the regression test.
Determine the Exit Point: Take a note that how much test cases executed, Is all requirement coverage has been made, and no critical issue logged
Schedule Testing Time: List out all the test components or modules and schedule the appropriate execution time for them.
In this technique, all the test cases in the existing test suite are re-executed in order to ensure that there are no major bugs/defects in all unchanged areas of the application as a result of a change in the code.
This technique requires a lot of time and resources and that is why it is more expensive as compared to other techniques.
Regression Test Selection:
In this technique, selected part of the test suites i.e reusable test cases, are executed. The selection of the test cases is done on the basis of the changes in the code.
Under this technique, the test cases are categorized into two categories including, reusable test cases (these test cases can be used in future regression cycles) and obsolete test cases (these test cases cannot be used in future regression cycles)
Test Case Prioritization: Under this technique, high priority test cases are executed ahead of the medium and low priority test cases. Prioritization of test cases depends on their criticality, business impact and key functionalities of the product.
Hybrid: A combination of both regression test selection and test case prioritization. Under hybrid technique, only those test cases are selected which have to be re-executed based on the priority, instead of selecting the whole test suite.
DevOps is used to describe the present-day practices which aim to bring software developers and operational staff together to work collectively in the same projects with common goals. The motive behind it is to bring down the barriers which conventionally have existed between the two sides of the IT department and get the working software product in the hands of the users as quickly as possible with faster and shorter release cycles.
DevOps enables the organizations to reduce the time and workload involved in releasing new versions of software which will effectively lead to shorter development cycles thereby saving time and money and giving the software organizations a competitive edge against other companies having longer and more conventional development cycles.
According to a recent survey, 54% of software companies have adopted DevOps and the interest around DevOps is increasing rapidly. Thus, Devops involvement is more in the setting processes between teams and the development operations to increase productivity and more frequent releases. You need to embrace and inculcate it [ that developers can do significant testing and code release ] Whether the developer is developing an application.
In an Agile environment, regression testing is always performed after integration testing and before user testing. As in traditional development environments, the software is only updated periodically, regression testing is less frequently used, but in Agile methodologies, changes in the software happens more frequently which is why regression testing becomes a regular companion for these practices.
Regression tests can be run as functional tests in order to verify the overall usability of the end product/feature. They can also be run as unit tests in order to check individual codebase.
Though regression testing is essential for DevOps, it can become time-consuming and expensive in some cases.
Here are some ways to ensure regression testing doesn’t hold back DevOps efforts:
Software organizations should put all their efforts in identifying the basic regression testing needs.
It is important to ensure that proper optimization is done to avoid time and money wastage.
Success of DevOps is highly dependent on creating a quality feedback loop for the developers as it ensures that the work being done by developers is actually effective.
With DevOps projects iterating so fast, regression testing needs to match up with the speed. Evaluating a software product efficiently and continuously plays an important role in giving timely feedback to the developers. The key to success is to make the projects ready for the market in quick time to get the maximum value out of it.
DevOps requires a high level of coordination between various functions of the development life cycle and makes it a more robust process between development and operations.
Automating regression testing gives that much-needed push to the project by solving the problems on time.
People working in development will find DevOps a little more familiar to work and eventually adopt it. This process helps everyone in the entire chain since environment and processes are standardized. It also gives freedom to all the stakeholders to concentrate on designing rather than worrying about the various building operations and QA processes.
Before selecting an automated regression testing tool for your organization, give attention to the following key points:
Evaluate the tool’s ability to handle the entire product development cycle which includes test generation, cloud execution, detailed result reports etc.
Analyze the skill level of your team based on which you have to take important decisions like whether your team can write the automated test scripts or need help in the same. Hence, choosing the automated testing tool which matches or is compatible with the skillsets of your team is important.
One of the key features of a good automated regression testing tool is report generation. As a tester, you would want to see the accurate results of your testing daily. A good regression testing tool tool consists of logs and dashboards that records and logs result reports which makes the whole testing process much smoother and effective.
The tool should give testers the ability to share their work with developers and other members of the team to get their valuable feedback at regular intervals.
Repetitive test cases volume are high and frequently release
There are many regression testing tools available in the market that could help in execution of regression tests and reduce the execution time and cost. A detailed discussion on these tools is done here.
Discussion about Regression Testing Approach or Techniques discussed here. You just need to automate the test cases by using these tools and execute those automated test cases every time you need to perform regression testing.
Here are some of the benefits of Testsigma’s automated regression testing tool:
Testsigma offers a cloud-based test automation ecosystem with all the essential elements required for an effective automated regression testing.
Testers can easily get started with the automated regression testing as it does not require any programming skills. As the tool uses simple English to automate regression tests, even SMEs and QA analysts can easily take part in the test creation and execution.
Testsigma is powered with AI which self heals regressions caused due to minor change in locators in the application.
With Testsigma’s automated regression testing tool, you can combine UI tests and API tests in one automated regression test suite and configure all the testing requirements.
AI-enabled tool helps create regression test suite automatically with all the affected tests.
Testsigma reduces the feedback time by a significant margin as it has the ability to run thousands of regression tests in parallel on both the cloud and local devices.
Create regression test suites, using the automatic suggestions, of test cases that have a direct impact on any change.
Testsigma’s automated regression testing tool can be easily integrated with the top continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools to run automated regression tests for each new build continuously.
The tool provides detailed test run reports for each and every test environment which help testers in analyzing the test results quickly and making right decisions.
With Testsigma, you can write custom functions for regression test suites and run automated tests based on prerequisite conditions and suggestions with the help of AI.
The tool allows you to easily build data-driven tests with various data inputs and set conditions to achieve maximum regression test coverage.
With Testsigma, you don’t need to carry forward your test backlogs as you can create new automated regression tests within the sprint very easily.
As Testsigma lets you perform continuous regression testing for Agile and Continuous Delivery, you can get timely feedback from the development team and take quick actions on the key issues.
Testsigma lets you automatically schedule and run automated regression tests for each new build which helps to keep feedback loop between developers and testers shorter.
Parallel test execution with Testsigma helps in reducing the test execution time significantly which allows the testers to find bugs faster.
With Testsigma, your automated regression testing can get new wings which can help you achieve goals really quick.
Every time a software developer makes changes in the code, they are keen to avoid breaking existing functions of the application. However, the application code becomes more complex when the new module code or any defect fixes are added, which leads to interdependencies and occurrence of problems.
In order to avoid such difficulties, the testing team performs regression testing to recheck the various components of the application following the changes in the code. This confirms that their core functionality, performance and interdependencies still work correctly as per the expectations.
Hence, in order to get the application as per the set requirements and expectations, regression testing is the most important testing process in the software development lifecycle.
In the SDLC, Regression testing is executed after the development phase, and just before the end of testing phase when it is verified that all the added functionalities are working and stable.
Let’s understand this with the help of a real world example. Think of an instance where your car’s air conditioner is not working properly. You take the car to the mechanic and he fixes the air conditioning.
When you check the car to ensure if it is restored to the initial working condition, you find that the gas tank sensor is no longer working. You must have realized by now that it is very important to check that all other functions are working as expected after the repair even before moving on to the next step because that will give the clearance signal to go to the next step.
Regression testing is executed:
When new functionalities are added to the application code.
When there is an environmental change, for example- updating the database.
When there is a need to improve the performance of the system for example, decreasing the loading-time of any page.
Sections that are dependent on environment settings changes
According to a report released by the World Quality Report, software companies spent around 26% of the IT budget on testing. It has been observed that around 40%-70% of the QA efforts go into regression testing which clearly shows its importance in the software development lifecycle.
Regression testing should not be confused for re-testing as the scope of regression testing is much broader than re-testing. Re-testing is done just to make sure that a specific code change works as per the expectations, whereas regression testing ensures that the entire system works as per the expectations after the change has been introduced.
Regression testing takes place along the software development life cycle so that enough time is available to accommodate adequate regression testing. Adequate regression testing means executing comprehensive regression tests wherein all the aspects of the system are tested and monitored effectively.
DevOps is crucial for any business which is willing to be inclined and competent enough to react and respond rapidly to the changing market demands.
In this competitive environment, the software development teams have to develop, design, deliver and then run the software products
as quickly and effectively as possible. The operational teams on the other hand are required to identify and resolve the issues
as soon as they are detected by effective monitoring, determining and removing operational failures.
Effective regression testing involves checking the source code every time a new integrated device has been made or for evaluating how a small update or
modification creates an impact on the performance during the peak workflow time. It also involves testing different patches before
they are to be introduced in order to ensure that they do not give errors/bugs. It helps analyze
how the software executes after any updates or modifications were made.
All these become part of DevOps workflow to protect against risks.As the goal of DevOps is to have short software release cycles, regression testing can
hinder the speed of this process. A solution to avoid this is to scatter the regression testing between iterations.
Starting the regression testing in the middle of iteration allows the testers to find bugs
as the new code settles in during the iteration.
This way, bugs can be fixed and verified in the following iteration. Scattering regression tests over iterations gives ample time for testers for thorough testing and allows the development team to focus on enhancing existing features in the meantime.
Today most organizations ensure that regression testing is conducted at all stages of the software development lifecycle. With the systems getting bigger and more complex day by day, the more the number of changes introduced in the software, more are the chances of new defects being introduced.
Hence, regression testing is an easy solution for risk mitigation and making the whole system better
Make sure to consider how to use the data incorporated from continuous testing in DevOps to improve future projects.
Scheduling environment for regression testing is nothing but fixing time and proper environment for performing the regression tests. Regression testing is very important after a change - maintenance of software, error correction, optimization, enhancement or deletion of existing features is done in an application to make sure
that the rest of the application still works as expected. The process of performing regression tests includes various steps of which
one of them is scheduling an environment for regression testing.
Schedules are very important for regression tests to maintain the rhythm for software development lifecycle. It defines the estimated time for performing the tests and gives an idea of how many resources will be performing a test activity and in how much time. Scheduling regression tests are effective for identification of functional errors. Testing of application on large scale needs to be performed in a wide variety of environments which copies the environment where the application is actually being used. One of the methods which is quite popular for doing this is 'service virtualization'. It creates a virtual environment that is similar to the environment where it is being produced. This provides testers an advantage to test their new code in an environment which resembles closely to the live production one.
An environment cannot be scheduled originally but virtually. So for regression testing, the environment and the situation that is created virtually gets scheduled. An environment can be scheduled anytime for such testing but it actually begins at that time when all the procedures and needs are stated.
To effectively mimic the production environment (as thousands of artefacts make up a single virtual test environment), everything should be considered such as software, hardware, firmware, networks and many more. It can become unmanageable if proper tools & needed environment are not used.
There are certain advantages of scheduling environments for regression testing which are as follows :-
It keeps an eye on software and schedules the testing time for application as per the production environment
It ensures that issues which have already been fixed do not occur again and again
It assures that any software updates or bug fixes do not affect the current or existing features and functioning of software
Scheduling environment for regression analysis plays an important role in the enhancement of software and improvement in its functionality while not disturbing its previously provided functions. Scheduling ensures time to time testing of the software, bug fixes and enhancements in programming of the application.
The cost of regression testing is directly proportional to the frequency of changes in the software. Hiring workforce for this task would not be economically feasible. Automation of test cases is more convenient and logical for the software organizations, as it would be cost-effective.
However, automation also depends on the number of cases which can be used again for the next batch of tests. Hence, having a test plan in hand before the start of automated regression testing makes more sense.
A test plan is a document which describes the software testing scope and a set of activities to be followed. On the basis of this test plan, a software product/application is formally tested in a project.
A Test Plan document consists of:
Scope, overall approach, resources and timeline(detailed schedule) of the planned testing activities.
Identifies the features/functionalities of the software product to be tested.
Identifies the features/functionalities of the software product which will not be tested and the reasons for not testing those features.
Provide references to the requirements and design specifications of the features to be tested.
All the testing tasks and who will perform each task
The test environment, test design techniques.
The entry and exit criteria to be used.
Describes the criteria to be used for passing or failing each test item.
Specifies the training requirements for the staff on the basis of necessary skill needs.
Risks identified along with the mitigation and contingency plan for each risk
Make regression testing part of your software quality control plan. Before finalizing your regression testing strategy, it is important to determine the project’s testing needs and the team’s preferences. Regression tests execute multiple times they need to be executed each time there is any change in the code. Hence in most of the cases, the regression test plan should include test automation. In fact, the testing team should have a mix of both manual and automated tests and make use of appropriate tools which suit the regression testing plan.
Here are some of the key factors to consider while defining a regression testing plan:
Understand the test coverage requirement clearly and define it as early as possible.
As some tests need to be executed in different configurations, define the environments you need to execute tests and what data you need to feed the application for these tests.
Define the tools and techniques to be used for the execution and maintenance of the tests and how are you planning to apply automation in the regression testing plan.
As some tests need to be executed in different configurations of the program, consider the test environments you need to execute the tests and the kind of data you need to feed to the application to execute these tests.
Define the reporting of test results by the testers with the level of details and priorities.
With the help of the above mentioned factors, you can ensure that your testing strategy and the regression testing plan is defined more effectively. The regression test plans need to be maintained not only to reflect new changes in the application code, but also to become more effective and efficient.
Choosing the right regression testing tools can identify all the bugs and eliminate them early in the software development lifecycle which help improve the overall quality of the software product.
Here are some of the most popular tools for automated regression testing:
Selenium: Selenium is the most popular automated regression tool for web application testing. It offers a complete suite of tools which offer ample regression testing functionalities with an ability to test all types of web applications. One of the best advantages of Selenium is that the tool is compatible with multiple programming languages, operating systems, and other testing frameworks. It is an ideal tool for large enterprises having quality assurance teams and advanced testers.
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. The Testsigma creates regression test suites, using the automatic suggestions, of test cases that have a direct impact on any change and can define prerequisites for regression test suites.
Ranorex: Ranorex Studio is easy to use, especially for beginners with a code-less interface. Ranorex can run multiple tests in parallel and has the ability to distribute them on a Selenium Grid using Selenium Webdriver.
TestComplete: TestComplete platform can be used to easily automate and execute regression tests in parallel with automated builds across mobile, web and desktop applications. It can automatically schedule and run regression tests without any manual intervention and has the ability to identify and fix bugs quickly.
Below are the good qualities in any automation testing tool:
Easy to Create Test Cases
Easy to maintain and management of test cases
Easy to setup and execute test suites
Detailed test reporting and log for failed cases
Quick management of test cases in case of any changes in the flow or element locators
Yes, you have to identify the test cases and can perform manual regression testing. The test cases can be managed via a test management tool or just an excel sheet. Need of automated regression testing is there when the same test cases group i.e. Test Suite executed multiple times and more frequently.
Below are few points which can explain when to choose automation regression testing tool:
Execution of repetitive test cases
Frequently execution of test suites
Limited time for Test Reporting after each build release
Automatic test cases execution and reporting
As covered above and compared with the various regression testing tools in aspect of Time, Cost, money, easy to setup etc it is very important to choose the tool which provides maximum feature. Carefully evaluate the regression testing solutions and participate in demos to understand what the tool offers and what requirements can be met.