Software testing aims to detect and fix bugs to maintain the software application quality. However, carrying out software testing only once will not help. This is because the changes made to resolve one fault can alter the functionality of another. And thus giving rise to another defect in the software application. So to ensure a bug-free software application regression testing has come into the frame.
Regression testing is used by every development team. They process their software applications through regression testing after every change made to the software applications. Also, the best part of executing regression testing is that it does not require a new test script. The test case once scripted can be used to test the software applications even after changes are done.
Now another issue that can be thought of during the execution of regression testing is the effort and time required. So to this, we can say that of course regression testing requires a lot of effort and time because it has to be done after every change. However, this is only in the case of manual regression testing. Hence execution of automated regression testing can overcome this.
But what matters the most is that whichever technique is opted for, that is either automated or manual regression testing, will ensure bug-free high-quality software applications. So in this article, we will learn about regression testing, its importance, and how it helps in developing and maintaining a software application.
What Is Regression Testing?
We know very well that to cope with the fast-running industry software applications must have all the new generation features. This requires regular updation of the software application. Even the little changes made to software applications may result in the rise of new bugs. Thus, regression testing became the part of testing process.
Regression testing is an agile testing approach that continuously analyzes the software application and finds any new bugs due to the changes. It is an ongoing testing process that continuously repeats itself during the entire development of the software application. The test cases executed here are the same that resulted in the pass status for the previous version of the software application.
Regression testing somewhat sounds similar to retesting but they are not the same. This is because retesting aims to provide a bug-free software application after fixing the bug. Whereas Regression testing aims to ensure that the functionality of the software application remains the same after modifying and updating the code.
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Types of Regression Testing
There are various types of regression testing. On the basis of changes made to the code, you may implement the most suitable one.
- Complete or Full Regression: When there are too many changes in the code. They tend to affect the other functionality of the software application. In such scenarios, complete or full regression testing must be performed. Also when there is a requirement to add multiple features to the existing software application, there is a high chance of impact to the existing features and full regression must be executed.
- Partial Regression: When there are not too many changes in the code. Also when the changed code is integrated with the other parts of the code that are not changed. Partial regression needs to be performed. The main motive for performing partial regression is to see the effect of the code change on the unchanged code.
- Unit Regression: When regression testing and unit testing are carried out at the same time or when regression testing is carried out while unit testing is in process, it is termed unit testing. The main motive for performing unit regression is to test every unit of software application at an individual level.
- Corrective Regression: Corrective regression as the name suggests aims to ensure the correctness of software applications. It is the type of regression testing that requires less effort. In this type of regression testing, there is no need to change the code. Also, it is preferable to use when you know that adding new functionality to the existing one would not affect or produce bugs in the software applications.
- Selective Regression: When we want the testing procedure and its result should not impact the entire development process. We use selective regression. Also, this allows us to compare the effect of the existing code as well as the new code on the software application. We conduct selective regression. In selective regression, only the common elements are implemented. These include functions and variables.
- Re-test Regression: This is done to certify that the code change has not affected the software application’s functioning. Also, this is performed to ensure that the software application is bug-free. This process is done for testing the entire software application. Thus requires more effort and cannot be rested upon automation testing.
Advantages of Regression Testing
Here is a list of advantages you will get when regression testing is performed.
- It increases the quality of the software application.
- It ensures the correctness and well-being of a software application.
- It ensures a bug-free software application.
- It ensures that once a bug is resolved, it will not occur in the future.
- It allows the integration of automation testing tools.
Disadvantages of Regression Testing
With advantages, there are several disadvantages too. Here is a list of them.
- It takes lots of effort when done manually.
- It is time-consuming.
- It produces a lot of bugs even after a little code change.
- These need to be performed repeatedly.
Why Regression Testing Is Important
Regression testing is important for the following reasons.
- It helps us to detect bugs produced due to the code change.
- It ensures the correct functioning of the software application.
- It improves the overall quality of the software application.
- It improves the performance of the software application.
- It ensures early fixing of the bugs.
- It ensures the stability of the software applications. It does not let the changes negatively impact the software applications.
- It brings up confidence in the software applications. This is because the software applications have been tested with every change made. Thus fixing up bugs at the same time if found.
Strategy for Regression Testing
The strategies you must follow while performing regression testing are as follows.
- You must re-execute all the test cases irrespective of whether changes are made or not.
- To save time and effort you must go with automation testing.
- You must repeatedly execute critical and complex test cases.
- The primary focus should be on high-priority test cases.
- Check the stability and correct functioning of software applications continuously.
- Customize test cases for added features.
- The test cases must be bifurcated into two groups. One must contain all the reusable test cases while another with obsolete test cases.
Challenges of Regression Testing
Here is a list of a few common challenges faced by most of the testers and developers.
- The test cases of regression testing require frequent changes and improvement. This leads to the usage of a lot of resources. Thus making it costly.
- Also, it requires a lot of time to re-run the existing test cases multiple times. Also, there is a chance of the addition of new test cases after every change made to the code.
- It includes more complex test cases which requires a generous amount of attention.
- With the increase in complexity, maintenance is also required to handle them.
- Regression testing is best executed when a little effort and attention is given to it manually. This increases the overall execution time of the software applications. Thereby increasing the total development and deployment time.
Best Practices for Regression Testing
Here is a list of best practices that can be followed to overcome the challenges faced due to regression testing.
- The test case suite must be frequently updated. This will include test cases to test existing features and the added features of the software application.
- Prioritize the features that are mostly used by the end-users. Test them regressively and ensure that no bug will be found at the user end.
- Integrate frameworks that will help in maintaining regression testing.
- Based on the requirement, update your test design. Do not stick to the test design once created.
- Opt for automated regression testing as they can save time and effort. This will help you to focus on other complex issues and the development of software applications.
With this, we came to the end of our discussion. Hope you have developed a knowledge about regression testing. Why is it important? What are the strategies and best practices that you must follow? Its advantages and disadvantages.
So to sum up things let me recap some of the essential points. First of all regression testing is not a complex process. But requires a generous amount of effort when done manually. So it is best suggested to save time and effort, opt for automated regression testing. Next, regression testing should be executed irrespective of what type of changes are made. This simply means whether the change is small or big it shouldn’t matter. It must be executed.
Finally, even though regression testing consumes a lot of resources and is not very cost-effective, you must perform it. This is because it reduces effort and time. Thereby easing the lives of the development team.