Ankur Jain
Written By Ankur Jain QA - Team Lead

What is Regression Testing? Definition, Types, and Tools

post date
August 2, 2023
What is Regression Testing Definition, Types, and Tools
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Imagine creating a fantastic software application, and working hard to make it the best it can be. But wait, there’s a problem. Whenever you make changes or add new features, bugs might sneak in and cause trouble. That’s when “Regression Testing” comes to the rescue!

Regression testing is like a superhero for software. It checks your software, again and again, to make sure that any changes you make don’t mess up the whole thing. It’s like a watchful guardian, keeping your software safe and secure.

In this blog, we’ll explore regression testing in a simple way. We’ll learn what it is, look at the different types, and discover the handy tools that make it super effective. So, let’s get started on this exciting journey into the world of regression testing!

What is Regression Testing?

Definition:

Regression testing can be defined as the process of retesting a software application after making changes, updates, or additions to its codebase. Its primary objective is to ensure that the recent modifications have not introduced new bugs or caused any unintended side effects that could negatively impact the overall functionality of the software. In simpler terms, regression testing is like a safety net, catching any potential issues that might arise as a result of code changes, and ensuring that the software remains stable and reliable.

Purpose:

The main purpose of regression testing is to maintain the quality and integrity of the software throughout its lifecycle. As software evolves, developers continuously make improvements, fix bugs, and add new features to meet user demands. However, these changes can unintentionally create new problems elsewhere in the codebase. Regression testing plays a crucial role in identifying and addressing these issues early on, preventing them from snowballing into major problems during the development process or after the software is deployed.

By conducting regression tests, development teams can have the confidence that their changes have not negatively impacted existing functionalities. This allows them to catch and rectify potential defects swiftly, reducing the risk of costly and time-consuming fixes down the line.

Moreover, regression testing is an essential part of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) workflows. It enables development teams to automate the testing process, ensuring that software updates can be deployed smoothly and without causing regressions in previously functioning areas of the application.

Types of Regression Testing

"Types

When it comes to maintaining the quality and stability of a software application, regression testing plays a crucial role. It involves retesting the application after code changes to ensure that the new modifications haven’t introduced any unintended defects or impacted existing functionalities. Within the realm of regression testing, various approaches can be employed based on specific testing requirements. Let’s explore some common types of regression testing:

1. Corrective Regression Testing:
Corrective regression testing is perfect when no code changes occur. In this approach, the focus is on verifying the existing functionalities and related test cases to ensure that the current system is functioning correctly. Instead of creating new test cases, the QA team retests the components that have already been tested in previous cycles.

2. Progressive Regression Testing:
Progressive regression testing is preferred when introducing a new component into the system. This approach allows for the modification of testing requirements and the creation of new test cases to verify that the changes do not adversely affect the existing components. It ensures that the integration of new elements is seamless and doesn’t disrupt the overall system’s functionality.

3. Selective Regression Testing:
In selective regression testing, only specific pre-existing test cases are covered. Instead of retesting the entire system, the QA team chooses specific test cases to execute. This approach is useful when time and resources are limited, allowing the team to focus on critical components while ensuring proper testing coverage.

4. Partial Regression Testing:
Partial regression testing is conducted to gauge the impact of adding new components to the system. It involves testing both the new functionalities and the existing ones to analyze their interactions and ensure that the changes do not introduce defects or conflicts. This approach provides valuable insights into the overall system behavior after incorporating new elements.

5. Complete Regression Testing:
As the name suggests, complete regression testing involves testing the entire system as a whole. It is similar to acceptance testing and is usually performed just before the final release of the product. This comprehensive approach ensures that the entire application, including all its modules, is thoroughly tested to identify and rectify any potential issues before deployment.

6. Retest-All Regression Testing:
Retest-All regression testing involves re-executing all the test cases in the testing suite to ensure there are no bugs or issues due to recent changes in the application’s source code. While this approach offers comprehensive testing coverage, it demands significant time and effort from the QA team compared to other types.

How to do Regression Testing

Top Regression Testing Tools

  • Selenium:
    Selenium holds a prominent position among regression testing tools. It excels in browser-based and cross-platform regression testing, offering automated test scripts through datasets. Selenium’s versatility makes it suitable for large-scale quality assurance testing, empowering knowledgeable testers to conduct thorough evaluations.
  • Katalan Studio:
    Katalan Studio provides an end-to-end regression automation testing solution, catering to web services, web apps, and mobile app testing. It aims to simplify the testing process, making it accessible even for novice testers. The tool’s comprehensive features include reporting and advanced analytics, enhancing the testing experience.
  • Watir:
    Watir is an open-source tool for regression testing written in Ruby. It offers test cases that are easy to read and understand, backed by a lightweight and flexible user interface. Watir’s interactive capabilities for website testing make it highly sought after in the testing community.
  • IBM Rational Functional Tester (RFT):
    Rational Functional Tester, developed by IBM, is a versatile testing automation tool that supports regression, functional testing, data-driven testing, and more. With its wide application coverage, including web apps, .NET, Java, SAP, and emulator-based apps, RFT simplifies the testing process for testers worldwide.
  • Apache JMeter:
    Apache JMeter, a Java-based open-source software, is primarily used for measuring test case performance. Its core features include load and performance tests, measuring service performance, and providing a regression testing suite for end users.
  • AdventNet QEngine:
    AdventNet QEngine is a well-known regression automation testing tool extensively used for web applications. It is platform-independent, user-friendly, and provides multi-platform support, making it a preferred choice for many testers.
  • Subject7:
    Subject7 is a widely used enterprise-level regression testing tool for desktop, web, and mobile apps in the cloud. It supports high-scale parallel execution and stands out both technically and financially, making it an attractive option for testing professionals.
  • TimeShiftX:
    TimeShiftX is an innovative regression testing tool that aids companies in gaining a competitive edge by reducing test cycles and resource needs. It facilitates quick software releases, making it highly popular among testers.
  • Cerberus Testing:
    Cerberus Testing is a 100% open-source regression testing automation tool supporting web and mobile APIs. With its focus on less coding and more efficiency, it offers reusable test modules and test data, making it a preferred choice for testers.
  • Testsigma:
    Testsigma is an ideal automated testing tool for regression testing, offering scriptless test cases in plain English. It supports CI/CD workflows with Jenkins, JIRA, Slack, and allows users to write custom functions and define prerequisites for regression test suites.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Regression Testing

Regression testing is an essential practice in software development that offers both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore them in detail:

Advantages:
  • Bug Detection: One of the primary advantages of regression testing is its ability to detect and identify bugs introduced by code changes. By retesting the application after each update, regression testing helps catch issues early, preventing them from escalating into major problems later.
  • Software Stability: Continuous regression testing ensures that the software remains stable and reliable throughout its development lifecycle. It provides confidence to developers and stakeholders that existing functionalities remain intact, even as new features are added.
  • Enhanced Software Quality: By identifying and fixing defects promptly, regression testing contributes to overall software quality. It helps deliver a polished product that meets customer expectations and reduces the risk of software failures in production.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Detecting and addressing bugs early in the development process is more cost-effective than dealing with them later when they may require extensive rework. Regression testing allows for efficient bug resolution, saving time and resources.
  • Automation Efficiency: Automated regression testing tools enable the execution of repetitive test cases quickly and accurately. Automation helps streamline the testing process, allowing testers to focus on more complex scenarios and exploratory testing.
  • Support for Continuous Integration (CI): Regression testing aligns well with CI practices, where code changes are frequently integrated into the main codebase. Automated regression tests can be integrated into the CI pipeline to ensure that each code change doesn’t break existing functionality.
Disadvantages:
  • Time-Consuming: Regression testing can take a significant amount of time, particularly for large and intricate applications. Running extensive test suites after every code change may lead to longer development cycles and slower delivery times.
  • Resource-Intensive: Automated regression testing tools often require significant initial setup and configuration. Maintaining test scripts and test environments can demand substantial resources, particularly for organizations with limited testing expertise.
  • Test Data Management: Ensuring that test data is up-to-date and relevant for each regression test can be challenging. Inadequate test data management may lead to inaccurate test results or overlook potential issues.
  • Test Case Maintenance: As the application evolves, test cases may require frequent updates to reflect changes in functionality. Test case maintenance can become a burden, especially when test cases overlap or duplicate functionality.
  • Test Environment Challenges: Creating and managing a representative test environment can be complex, especially for applications that interact with various external systems, databases, or third-party services.
  • False Positives/Negatives: Regression tests may sometimes produce false positive or false negative results. False positives occur when the test flags a defect that doesn’t actually exist, while false negatives miss actual defects, leading to potential issues going unnoticed.

Implementing regression testing with careful planning, automation, and attention to resource management can ensure that the benefits outweigh the challenges, leading to improved software quality and customer satisfaction.

Regression Testing

Difference between Re-Testing and Regression Testing:

Re-Testing:

  • Involves executing specific test cases that previously failed.
  • Validates if the reported defects have been successfully fixed.
  • Limited in scope and targets only the specific test cases related to the identified defects.
  • Performed during later stages of testing after bug fixes have been implemented.

Regression Testing:

  • Involves re-executing the entire or a subset of the test suite.
  • Ensures new code changes or additions do not introduce new defects or impact existing functionalities.
  • Has a broader scope and checks the overall system behavior.
  • Performed whenever there are code changes or updates to the software, regardless of previous defects.

Conclusion

In the world of software, “Regression Testing” stands tall, ensuring that updates don’t bring new bugs. With various types and handy tools like Selenium and TestNG, it safeguards software quality. Our expert software tester company promises the best, so count on us for reliable and top-notch results. Choose regression testing, and together, we’ll create software that excels in the digital landscape. Trust us for flawless testing and a seamless user experience!

Ankur Jain
Written By Ankur Jain QA - Team Lead

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