Table Of Contents
- 1 What is regression testing?
- 2 The need for regression testing
- 3 When to apply regression testing?
- 4 How To Select Regression Testing Tools For Web Applications?
- 5 Best functional regression testing tools
- 6 Testsigma
- 7 Selenium
- 8 testRigor
- 9 Sahi Pro
- 10 Testlio
- 11 IBM Rational Functional Tester
- 12 Katalon Studio
- 13 Watir
- 14 Testcomplete
- 15 Ranorex Studio
- 16 Conclusion
What is regression testing?
Let’s say a developer introduced some changes and 2 days later the team observes that a feature does not work partially. This feature is not related to this developer’s change. However, since it was working fine a day later, all the changes may be reviewed by the manager. The conversation may start with the manager asking a question such as, “Did your changes regress?” To which the developer might agree after analysis or go into debugging mode. What the manager means to say by “regress” here is did your changes “send the application in a previously unstable state?” Obviously, nobody wants to stand on the other side and agree to that.
Regression testing holds down these issues and prevents the application from regressing. In simple words, everything that was working before should work after the changes too. Therefore, scrutiny is demanded and while the manual way is possible, in current times, regression testing tools do the job more swiftly. But they are so many in number that anyone who wants to implement them in their application can get easily confused. It’s even worse if they pick out the wrong one for them! To save this from happening, we have crafted a list of the best regression testing tools of the current year with their strength and weaknesses (if any). But before that, let’s brief ourselves on the core concept of regression testing and its usage in software testing.
Software is a compilation of big source code files that incorporate various functions of the application. It is worked upon by many developers and each developer writes code according to themselves. They might link things with other features, create dependencies, etc and it will not be known by everyone. When someone in the future makes any change – either correcting the bug or implementing an enhancement, they will never know which part of the code will affect which other part that was stable and tested earlier. Hence, we need something that can keep a watch on this and let us know in case there are any glitches and code compatibility issues.
Regression testing accomplishes just that. It is a process through which we run the test cases on the application with the latest code and test for its compatibility with the earlier stable codebase.
While this is the most important use case of regression testing, it may provide other benefits depending on tRegression testing accomplishes just that. It is a process through which we run the test cases on the application with the latest code and test for its compatibility with the earlier stable codebase. he project and its requirements. Let’s explore them in the next section.
The need for regression testing
In the above sections, we have established the general need for regression testing i.e. to verify that the new code does not give rise to any bugs in the features that were working correctly before. Apart from it (or sometimes as a result of this characteristic), we may reap other benefits such as checking the outputs of a lot of commands.
Regression testing helps in measuring the quality of output if that matters. For instance, if the product has a compiler then the “compilation time” is a good metric to have a look at when regression results are out. The same goes for projects that have size limits. Regression tests can produce compiled outputs and their sizes can be verified from the results. If you have encountered any such regression testing need which is out of what is generally perceived of it, let us know in the comment section!
When to apply regression testing?
A lot of testing techniques are used during the testing phase of the application. They need to be implemented at the correct times to yield the best results. So, at what time or in what scenarios should regression testing be applied?
Rectifying a bug
Whenever a code is added or edited to correct a bug, we must run regression testing to ensure that previously stable code is still stable. In this case, regression testing is even more important as there is a high probability that bugs would have arisen due to regression failures. It will also ensure that the bug is fixed correctly.
Implementing a new feature
When we implement a new feature in the application, we ensure through regression tests that the already existing features are still in a stable state. Later, the tester may write regression tests related to the new feature as well for future versions.
Changing the existing code
When existing code changes due to a change in previous requirements or some new requirement, we need to run regression tests and check the new code compatibility with older test cases. It will ensure the old requirements are also satisfied.
Changing any platform specifications
If the code is not changed but the change is in the platform specifications on which the app will run, regression tests should be executed to make sure the new specs satisfy the application behavior and functionality. For instance, changing the platform from Android 10 to Android 11.
As mentioned earlier, if regression testing fulfills any project-based requirements such as decoding the compilation time, we can know the results at a very early stage. This is because regression tests would be the first thing to execute on the codebase.
All these scenarios require a regression testing tool that will execute regression tests and will come with additional features to support the process. As a tester, what should be the things to look for when someone asks, does this regression testing tool look good for our team? Let’s find out.
How To Select Regression Testing Tools For Web Applications?
A few of the characteristics (or criteria) that we can look towards for shortlisting the best of the regression tools can be as follows:
Pipeline integration for CI/CD
An extremely important criterion for a regression testing tool is to have support for continuous integration and continuous deployment. CI/CD pipelines are today a standard for running various tests such as acceptance and unit tests regularly on every submitted code. Their integration helps testers work from the same platform and debug issues in a single place if any occur in the future.
Easy to script
Regression tests are huge in numbers expanding to thousands and they continue to expand regularly as features are developed. For this, a regression testing tool that can make the script-writing process easier is generally a good choice.
Easy to maintain
As regression testing saves time and costs in writing test scripts, a similar benefit is also observed in maintaining them. This also eases the work done on test modifications.
The reporting of a regression testing tool should benefit both the developer and the manager. A manager will observe the reports in a high-level view such as how many tests passed or failed, etc. A developer will need to check the failed test and rectify the code. But he should know the reason for his failure to do this in a shorter time. Therefore, a report of a regression testing tool should also keep the developer’s point of view in mind and at least hint to him about the error. The simplest solution for this would be mentioning the actions taken by the tests (or commands run) so that even if we don’t know what went wrong, we can mimic those actions and find out on our own systems.
Since we expect the test cases to be in thousands, executing them on a single machine would take a lot of time. Multiply this by the number of developers, as each of them will submit regression tests regularly. Sometimes it can be done twice or thrice by the same developer. Hence, parallelization is often aimed for, and a regression testing tool should support it.
Queue, Run, Save Functionalities
The last characteristic we should look for in a regression testing tool is its ability to queue up the requests on its systems safely. It should not just return an error with “Test System Busy”. Queuing will let the developer know that their tests will be run later on automatically. Once the tests are run, the tool should save the results according to the regression requests and make the reports and test runs available to the developer who pushed the request.
If the tool possesses these qualities (or most of them), we can shortlist the tool and analyze it further based on the project-based requirements.
Best functional regression testing tools
The following list explores the best functional regression testing tools with their most celebrated features. Please note that they are not in order or priority or any other ranking.
The first tool that comes to mind while dealing with automation challenges is Testsigma. The regression tests (or any other tests) can easily be automated for web, mobile, APIs and desktop from the same screen. Along with regression testing, the platform lets you automate every major testing type including data-driven testing, mobile app testing, and cross-browser testing. All these tests are written in the English language which makes it easier than ever for a tester (manual or automation) or even people from other backgrounds to write test cases.
When it comes to regression testing, Testsigma claims to speed up the testing process up to five times! With features spanning from integrations of pipelines to incorporating in-sprint automation principles, Testsigma is a complete solution for all your regression testing needs.
- English-based scripting – Testsigma’s test scripting is done using the English language which is easier to write, understand, debug, and maintain. A complex method of finding the element through its ID and then entering a text into it can be done simply by “Enter Harish in Name field”.
- Prioritized regression testing – Testsigma allows the testers to attach a priority to the suite of tests so that they are run before any other type. This execution model can also be replicated for critical modules or test case types.
- Support for parallelism – The platform allows test execution in parallel which helps save a lot of time for the testing team.
- Real devices – Testsigma provides real devices for regression testing. Testing on real devices provides accurate results and metric outputs.
- Schedule test runs – The test runs can be scheduled by the team to run at a certain time every day. This feature is useful when regular checkup is done at night.
- Detailed reporting – The tool provides detailed reports with multiple parameters that help analyze our runs in greater depth at a lower level. It helps in maintaining the test qualities and debugging in a shorter time.
- Integrations: Testsigma comes with in-built integrations in various domains spanning from bug management to issue tracking systems to CI/CD pipelines. They help in data flow across applications easier and make the complete testing phase faster.
- Chrome extension: Testsigma has its own Chrome extension that can record the actions performed on the web page and convert them to test cases. These test cases will also be in English as Testsigma follows.
- Low maintenance: English makes it super easy for anyone to debug or extended an existed test cases without taking too much time to understand the logic. It helps in decreasing the maintenance time and costs.
- Involvement of non-technical people: Since we deal with cases and scenarios in plain English, it is not important to have a technical person to understand the test case. Therefore, people from other teams can also engage and provide their input making the test cases richer.
- High test coverage: Often a very high test coverage is not recommended because of the complexities it brings with it. However, with Testsigma, complex test cases can be written, understood, edited as well as modified easily. This way testers don’t need to avoid high test coverage due to time wastage and can help make product quality better.
Since Testsigma is a complete test automation tool, you can expect a lot more interesting features when we perform testing other than regression.
Testsigma is also available as a free and open source version.
Selenium is a popular web testing tool that has been in use for the last 19 years. It provides a strong automation library with methods that are easy to implement and execute on various browsers. Selenium holds a little over 45% of the market share and could be the primary choice for people looking for a scripted testing tool. It helps in enabling regression automation that helps execute test cases automatically and faster than manual.
- Language support – Selenium is a scripted testing tool and is popular for its support for a long list of programming languages. If you are a tester who has previously worked on a scripted test automation tool, there is very little chance your known language is not supported by Selenium.
- Platform support – Selenium supports all the major platforms.
- Mobile OS support – Selenium helps automate tests for mobile web browsers for iOS and Android too.
- Parallelism – Selenium supports the execution of multiple tests at once using Selenium Grid.
testRigor works on the same principles of codeless test automation as Testsigma listed above. Using the English language as the medium of instruction, testRigor enables manual testers to write and execute automation tests without any additional effort. When used in full force on the product, testRigor claims to make automation 15 times faster, which is a significant upgrade.
- Low maintenance – Having English as the script language has the biggest advantage of reducing the maintenance of the tests.
- High test coverage – Since test writing becomes an easy job with testRigor, the tests can be written without thinking too much about the complexity they bring.
- Involvement of non-technical people – English-based test cases are easy to read and therefore non-technical people like stakeholders can also provide their input.
- Integrations – testRigor has a long list of integrations that can be used along with regression testing in the project from the same screen.
- Chrome extension – testRigor comes with its own Google Chrome extension that can capture the actions done on a web application and convert them to test cases .
Sahi Pro is a complete regression test automation tool to help build up regression tests for web-based applications, mobile apps as well as desktop applications. Sahi Pro is lightweight and can be used by people without technical knowledge as well. It provides a spreadsheet-like interface where the tester or other persons can define the steps of the business flow. Once done, they can use the Sahi Pro recorder to record the interactions and create tests out of it. They can later be used for refinements and adding more value to it preferably through data.
- Automatic waits – With Sahi Pro in place, you don’t need to implement waits at every point where loading is inconsistent. Sahi Pro claims to add automatic waits that avoid any test failures due to time issues.
- A framework for all – Sahi Pro provides a highly user-friendly interface keeping in mind that people from all domains should be able to use it. As a result, business analysts and other stakeholders can use it easily.
- In-depth reporting – To analyze the test results in-depth, detailed reports with graphical representations are presented that include summaries of execution as well. It helps quickly debug failures in regression tests and maintain them easily.
- Not browser version specific – A major problem with tools like Selenium is that they are required to be updated whenever a new version is released. It is then followed by browser driver downloads for all the browsers and then linking it with tests. Sahi Pro detaches itself from this constant loop and rarely requires any updates when a newer version of the browser is releas
With all these benefits, Sahi Pro stands to be a good regression testing tool with an open-source nature. However, the open-source free version comes with very basic testing features that may not be able to fulfill your requirements every time. This is one of the downsides that should be kept in mind before finalizing this tool.
A tool made just for regression testing is Testlio. While other tools provide a platform either online or a framework to download on a desktop, Testlio takes a different approach. The main aim of Testlio is to share the maximum load off the testing teams and follow a stepwise approach from understanding the product to creating optimized regression tests. The tool becomes a bridge between Testlio and the organization’s testers. Both can collaborate and see each other’s work on the same platform.
- High coverage: Testlio works with hundreds of testers on real devices with real browsers (not emulators) and on AWS farms to provide higher coverage and minimize the chance of a device-specific bug at the user’s end.
- Flexible: If the testers or the organization feel the need to collaborate with Testlio’s testers, they can do that within the platform. They can combine manual and automation or share the test case writing among themselves. Anything and everything is open for discussion as the team feels comfortable.
- Integrations: Testlio integrates with all the popular integration platforms such as GitHub and CI/CD tools to provide a smooth interface for testing.
- Integrated issue system – Testlio comes with an integrated issue-raising and tracking system which is highly detailed and helps keep track of all issues in a single place.
Testlio seems to be a good tool when the team is small and testers don’t mind sharing their work with other people.
IBM Rational Functional Tester
If something is there that does not care about the type of application you have and can provide automation regression testing capabilities to everything is IBM rational functional tester. Its vast range includes .Net, Java, and even terminal-based applications. It is popularly used in regression and GUI testing and is often referred to as “rational functional tester”.
- ScriptAssure technology – The ScriptAssure technology helps in keeping tabs on user interface changes. Hence, the changes can be easily tracked and modified in the scripts which in turn brings down the maintenance overheads.
- Vast support of the application – If the organization has multiple binaries for multiple platforms such as a terminal, .NET, etc, this tool can be used to its full potential as it supports almost all of them.
- IBM integrations – Since this tool is owned by IBM, it will provide seamless integrations across other IBM applications. This could be really helpful as a lot of work can be accomplished from a single screen rather than juggling between tools.
- Visual editing – IBM rational functional tester allows visual editing with the help of screenshots. This can introduce test cases in the suites without ever writing or reading the script code.
- Data-detection – The tool provides automatic data detection for creating data-based test cases for the suite.
Katalon Studio is a low-code, easy-to-use, complete test automation tool that takes care of not only regression testing but the phases before and after it. Used by more than 100 thousand companies in more than 160 countries, Katalon Studio is not only a tool but also provides an integrated development environment for fast script writing and execution. Along with its many features highlighted below, Katalon is also compatible with lots of integrations and pipeline third-party tools.
- Self-healing tests – Katalon Studio provides self-healing tests that are automatically validated when there is a change or broken object.
- Built on popular frameworks – The tool is built on top of Selenium and Appium which ultimately brings their advantages too when we use Katalon.
- Low-code – Katalon Studio does not demand complex scripts written in programming languages. Instead, a BDD-based language Gherkin is used to write test cases resembling the English language.
- In-built debugger – The tool comes with an in-built advanced debugger that helps debug errors in scripts faster than conventional methods.
- Record-and-playback – The record-and-playback facility of Katalon helps with writing tests and capturing screenshots with just a few clicks.
- Object spying – Katalon can automatically capture objects after locating them and store them in the test suite directly from the web application. This reduces the time to manually find locators out of the complete page code.
Web Application Testing in Ruby or simply WATIR is a library for automating test cases written for Ruby applications. It is open-source in nature and is available as a RubyGems gem. For someone working on Ruby-based applications, WATIR is one of the most interesting libraries due to its nature of executing tests similar to how people operate on a web application. Recently, Watir webdriver was also introduced in the same series of library ecosystems.
- Measuring performance – Watir allows the testers to measure a page’s performance using a performance object that has multiple properties.
- Advanced interactions – Watir allows advanced interaction APIs in its library that mimics a user’s actions on the web page such as for filling out forms.
- Wide range of platform support – Watir supports all the major browsers for performing test cases including internet explorer.
- Nerodia – For people who do not want to work in Ruby, or have experience in Python, or like using Watir on Ruby can also use its Python implementation called Nerodia. It is powered by Selenium but is in a very early stage.
Completing 24 years in the market, Testcomplete has proved to be a versatile automation testing tool with characteristics that are hard to ignore. Strengthening its wide platform range to modern features, Testcomplete provides a solution to each type of tester according to their requirements. It is owned by Smartbear and is trusted by big multinational corporations.
- Scripted and scriptless – Testcomplete provides the platform for testers who love to write scripts and those who do not. With this flexible approach, you can also mix up the test cases where focusing on scripted methods for easy ones and choosing to go codeless for complex scenarios.
- Platform coverage – Testcomplete can be run on desktop, mobile, or web applications written in different programming languages.
- Keyword-driven approach – The platform supports the keyword-driven testing technique which has proved to speed up the writing time of test cases.
- Integrations – Testcomplete comes with support for popular integrations that varies between code-collaborating software to CI-based tools.
If your requirements are beyond regression testing, then you can explore more of Testcomplete on their official website.
Providing a suite of software including web driver, Ranorex Spy, and Ranorex API, Ranorex Studio focuses more on efficiency than any other thing when it comes to automation regression testing. Its users have reported a 78% increase in efficiency, 43% shorter test cycles, and a 20% increase in productivity when they opted for this tool. These stats make it a must-have tool in our list of best regression testing tools.
- Codeless – Similar to most of the tools listed in this post, Ranorex Studio is codeless that facilitates script writing and maintenance to a great extent.
- Object recognition – With advanced object detection and recognition, the manual part of locating elements is eliminated, and the complete focus of a tester shifts to writing tests.
- Parallelization – Ranorex studio support parallel execution over physical and virtual devices minimizing the execution time of tests. You can also leverage Selenium’s Grid infrastructure as Ranorex deeply integrates with the open-source tool.
- In-depth reporting – Once the execution is completed, a detailed in-depth report is provided to the testers for quick analysis.
Apart from this, a tester can expect common features such as multi-device support and integrations with the common tools with Ranorex Studio.
Software development includes a lot of tasks handled by a lot of teams with each of them constituting a lot of members. If you work in a large corporation, there are many code changes pushed for production every day. Since the codebase is so big, all we can review from our end is whether it’s syntactically correct and bestow our experience of what could go wrong if we push this logic to production. We can never guess its impact on each functionality in our software, whether big or small.
Regression testing fills this gap and opens up a way where we can be assured that our functionalities remain intact with the new code. For efficient regression testing, we need tools that will help make things faster as they scale up. In this post, we highlighted ten such best regression testing tools keeping their diversity in mind. This list will help you analyze the best tools in the market and accurately choose the one that fits the best on your project. With this, we hope this list helps you in your future projects. Thank you for giving this post your valuable time.