What is Regression Testing?

Regression testing is type of testing carried out to ensure that changes made in the fixes or any enhancement changes are not impacting the previously working functionality. It is executed after enhancement or defect fixes in the software or its environment. It can be difficult to determine how much re-testing is needed, especially near the end of the development cycle.

This testing is done to make sure that new code changes should not have side effects on the existing functionalities. It ensures that old code still works once the new code changes are done.

Need of Regression Testing

Regression Testing is required when there is a

  • Change in requirements and code is modified according to the requirement
  • New feature is added to the software
  • Defect fixing
  • Performance issue fix

Regression Testing Techniques

Software maintenance is an activity which includes enhancements, error corrections, optimization and deletion of existing features. These modifications may cause the system to work incorrectly. Therefore, Regression Testing becomes necessary. Regression Testing can be carried out using following techniques:

Retest All

  • This is one of the methods for regression testing in which all the tests in the existing test bucket or suite should be re-executed. This is very expensive as it requires huge time and resources.

Regression Test Selection

  • Instead of re-executing the entire test suite, it is better to select part of test suite to be run
  • Test cases selected can be categorized as 1) Reusable Test Cases 2) Obsolete Test Cases.
  • Re-usable Test cases can be used in succeeding regression cycles.
  • Obsolete Test Cases can’t be used in succeeding cycles.

Prioritization of Test Cases

  • Prioritize the test cases depending on business impact, critical & frequently used functionalities. Selection of test cases based on priority will greatly reduce the regression test suite.

Selecting test cases for regression testing

It was found from industry data that good number of the defects reported by customers were due to last minute bug fixes creating side effects and hence selecting the test case for regression testing is an art and not that easy.  Effective Regression Tests can be done by selecting following test cases –

  • Test cases which have frequent defects
  • Functionalities which are more visible to the users
  • Test cases which verify core features of the product
  • Test cases of Functionalities which has undergone more and recent changes
  • All Integration Test Cases
  • All Complex Test Cases
  • Boundary value test cases
  • Sample of Successful test cases
  • Sample of Failure test cases

This type of testing typically carried out by testing specialist peoples. The automated testing methods are the best and safe option to carry out the Regression testing. In the market there are many free as well as free (open source) software testing tools are available. In the larger software development project the Regression testing is commonly used.

Some of the most commonly used regression testing tools list:

It is a verification method & mainly done in system testing but it applicable to all levels of software testing (Unit testing, Integration testing, System testing and Acceptance testing.)

Regression Testing and Configuration Management

Configuration Management during Regression Testing becomes imperative in Agile Environments where code is being continuously modified. To ensure effective regression tests, observe the following :

  • Code being regression tested should be under a configuration management tool
  • No changes must be allowed to code, during the regression test phase.  Regression test code must be kept immune to developer changes.
  • The database used for regression testing must be isolated. No database changes must be allowed

Difference between Re-Testing and Regression Testing:

Retesting means testing the functionality or bug again to ensure the code is fixed. If it is not fixed, defect needs to be re-opened. If fixed, defect is closed.

Regression testing means testing your software application when it undergoes a code change to ensure that the new code has not affected other parts of the software.

How to define the scope of regression testing?

The scope of testing is based on the how large fixes or enhancements of features. If this is impacting in the larger area of the application then scope will increase proportionally & it requires the deep testing of application including relevant test cases execution. But to analyze this tester should get the correct inputs from developer to decide the scope.

But if you are testing GUI applications the doing regression testing is very difficult. If the changes made in the GUI then all test cases written will not reused. In case if the project is big then it is very hectic work to update the GUI test cases. You have to write it again different test case for updated GUI once again.

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