Regression testing has gained increased importance in recent years due to the growing popularity of the agile methodology.
Agile development is characterized by iterative and incremental software development cycles that prioritize flexibility, collaboration, and quick feedback. As a result, regression testing has taken on a more critical role in the software development process.
Nowadays, many companies prefer to outsource regression testing services to specialized firms to ensure the quality of their software products.
They also implement agile principles in their software development process to enhance their ability to adapt to changing market demands and rapidly deliver new features or functionalities.
What is Regression testing?
A regression test refers to a type of testing that aims to confirm whether changes made to the code of a software or application have any adverse effects on its existing functionality.
The main objective of regression testing is to detect any potential defects or errors that may arise from changes made to the software or application before they are deployed to production. This helps to ensure that any previously developed functionality remains intact and functional.
However, performing regression testing can be challenging if not adequately planned. To ensure that regression testing is effective and manageable, it is crucial to carefully select the relevant test cases and prioritize them based on their significance. This helps to avoid the overwhelming nature of regression testing and ensure that the test cases are executed efficiently.
Below are some guidelines that can be followed while selecting test cases for regression testing:
Keep the regression test suite up-to-date
Before starting the selection process, ensure that the regression test suite is up-to-date and that obsolete test cases have been removed.
Concentrate on recent code or functional changes
Start with test cases that correspond to recent code or functional changes. These areas are more prone to issues, and maintaining a history of functionality changes in test case documentation can help identify test cases that can be used in the regression suite later.
Ensure test cases map to business requirements
Select test cases that match the software requirements specified by the client, to ensure that the application’s functionality is working fine.
Select test cases in areas with frequent defects
Choose test cases in areas that frequently experience bugs or defects. These areas usually fail even with minor code changes and are likely to have multiple issues.
Select test cases for visible areas of the application
Select test cases that are visible to the user and have high priority from the user’s perspective.
Choose all integration and complex test cases
Include all integration test cases, where software modules are combined and tested together, as well as all complex test cases that may affect application performance or stability.
Consider the criticality and impact of bug fixes
Select test cases based on the criticality and impact of bug fixes. If the bug fix is low in impact and criticality, only high-priority test cases need to be selected. However, if the bug fix is high in impact and criticality, all test cases, including those of medium and low priority, need to be selected.
Include a sample of successful and failed test cases
Choose a sample of test cases that previously passed or failed to check if the application works as specified. Automation tools can be used to check the results of these test cases.
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Tips for successful Regression testing automation
Maintain and update the regression pack
To ensure that the software application remains stable and reliable over time, it is essential to maintain and regularly revise the regression pack. The regression pack is a collection of test cases that are executed each time new software updates are released.
These scripted tests are designed to verify the functionality of the application based on the requirements of previous versions of the software.
While it’s possible to incorporate Ad-hoc or random tests with the regression pack, it’s crucial to carefully manage the pack’s size and complexity. Regression testing can be a time-consuming and tedious process, and including tests that verify outdated or eliminated features can waste valuable resources.
Therefore, it’s essential to maintain the regression pack regularly, removing any tests that are no longer relevant or that have been replaced by newer tests. By keeping the regression pack up-to-date, you can ensure that the testing process is efficient and effective, allowing your team to focus on testing new features and functionalities.
Regularly revising the regression pack also allows you to identify any gaps in your testing coverage and ensure that all critical features and functionalities are adequately tested. This can help to prevent issues and bugs from arising in the software application and improve overall quality.
Prioritize highly-trafficked paths
It’s essential to prioritize and focus on highly-trafficked paths when testing a software application. These paths are the most frequently used and persistent use cases for the app and typically encompass critical functionality and prominent features.
To effectively test these paths, it’s crucial to understand the core customers and the standard highlights, traits, and collaborations that they rely on the most. This understanding can help in designing an effective regression test pack that includes tests to ensure that these core features are performing as expected.
The regression test pack should prioritize the tests that cover the highly-trafficked paths to ensure that these critical features are thoroughly tested. By giving extra attention to these paths, testers can identify any issues or defects in the core functionality and resolve them before releasing the application to the customers.
Taking a targeted approach to regression testing
It’s not always necessary to run a full regression suite for every build of an application. For minor releases, it may be sufficient to run smoke tests and regression testing only on the modules that have been updated. Organizing test cases in regression testing according to the modules of the application being covered by each test can simplify this process.
For example, if a minor release includes changes to the payment options accepted by an online store, it would be best to focus on running regression testing for the payment process, while omitting regression testing for other features such as searching for items and adding them to the cart.
By taking a targeted approach to regression testing, testers can save time and resources while still ensuring that critical parts of the application are thoroughly tested.
This approach can also help identify any issues or defects in specific modules of the application, allowing them to be addressed before release.
Incorporating both regression testing and validation testing into a comprehensive testing strategy
Regression testing is the process of retesting previously developed software to ensure that any changes made to the application have not resulted in new defects or issues. This type of testing is typically performed repeatedly to ensure that the software remains stable and performs as expected.
One strategy for effective regression testing is to include test cases in the testing suite that have previously identified bugs and glitches. This approach is useful because it ensures that any fixes made to these issues have been successfully implemented and have not caused new problems.
On the other hand, test cases that the software has successfully passed are better suited for validation testing. This type of testing focuses on ensuring that the software meets the requirements and specifications outlined for it, rather than identifying defects or issues.
By repeating these tests, testers can ensure that the software continues to perform as expected and meets the necessary standards for release.
Incorporating both regression testing and validation testing into a comprehensive testing strategy can help ensure that the software is thoroughly tested and meets the necessary quality standards.
By prioritizing the most critical and high-risk test cases and repeating them as needed, testers can optimize the testing process and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts.
LambdaTest – a digital experience testing platform allows developers and testers to perform automated regression testing in the cloud across multiple browsers and operating systems, making it easier to test the same functionality across various environments quickly.
This platform provides access to over 3,000 + real browsers, operating systems, and device combinations, enabling developers to test their software on a wide range of configurations.
LambdaTest also offers integrations with popular testing frameworks such as Selenium, Appium, and Cypress, making it easy to integrate into your existing testing workflow. With its scalable infrastructure, LambdaTest allows teams to execute automated regression tests in parallel, reducing the time required for testing and increasing the speed of deployment.
Run a full regression suite only when necessary
Regression testing is an important step in the software development process, but it can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
One way to streamline this process is to run a full regression suite only when necessary. For minor releases or updates, it may be sufficient to run smoke tests along with regression testing for any modules that have been changed.
To make this process more manageable, organizing the test cases in the regression testing suite according to the specific module of the application under test (AUT) that each test covers can be beneficial.
For example, if a release involves a change to the payment options accepted by an online store, it may be more efficient to run regression testing for the payment process specifically, rather than testing all of the other features, such as finding items and adding them to the cart.
By focusing on the relevant modules and tests, the regression testing process can be completed more quickly and with fewer resources.
The essential point to keep in mind when it comes to automation is that it can be tempting and offer a lot of benefits, but it demands careful planning and a compatible set of tests to achieve success. The key to automation lies in selecting the right test cases that are most suitable for automation.
Regression testing is often the preferred choice for automation because it is frequently repeated and focuses on the same functionality every time. This makes it an excellent foundation for automated tests that not only streamline the testing process but also offer more accurate and reliable results.
By automating regression testing, you can ensure that your software remains stable and reliable even as new features are added or changes are made. However, it is crucial to note that automation is not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be approached with a strategic mindset to ensure that it meets your specific requirements and delivers the desired outcomes.