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With gadgets and applications being launched and upgraded in real-time, organizations today are very alert regarding the business-critical need for ensuring performance and functionalities on a consistent basis.
Regression testing is a software testing process that validates whether the software developed and tested earlier performs the way it should after being interfaced with another software. It is a program development process, which is performed mostly by code testing specialists and involves multiple scenarios such as software enhancements, patches, configurations, etc. Going by the larger picture, regression testing helps ensure the desired user experience while an application upgrades and evolves.
During the regression tests, the test department coders develop code test scenarios and exercises that will be used to test new code units. This forms a test bucket. In the process, as the new version of a software product is released, the earlier test cases are also executed against the new version. In this way, it is ensured that all the previously enabled capabilities still remain operational. Eventually, the testers try to check whether the newly added code is integrating well with the earlier one.
Key Reasons for Considering Regression Testing
The importance of regression testing is further reinforced by the need to ensure that the end-user experience is as expected and the code is well tested. It increases the chances of identifying bugs/defects that might arise due to any changes, enhancements, fixes, or updates in the software. Hence, regression testing works effectively in integration testing, which makes it faster and less cumbersome when compared to the traditional modes of integration testing.
Enabling continuity of business, flawless software upgrade, and seamless integration are some of the key highlights of regression testing. This process gets even more efficient with automated regression testing, where most of these tedious testing efforts are automated and eased out. So, the previously developed test cases can be effectively executed on a new build, without much manual efforts. Automation of tests for regression will totally depend on the requirement of the project and its application. For instance, if test cases differ regularly, then there is a serious need for automation in the process.
Automation of regression tests is done by applying tools that work in a record and playback manner, where the test cases are recorded and then it is assessed whether the results are as expected. Some prominent regression testing tools for automation in the market are Winrunner, QTP, AdventNet QEngine, Regression Tester, vTest, Watir, Selenium, and SilkTest. These are both functional and regression testing tools that help in automating the process of adding and updating regression test cases.
Why is Regression Testing so effective in an Agile set-up?
Agile methodology of software development and testing is definitely transforming the way enterprises are taking their application development journey. Agile involves shorter and frequent testing cycles, which implies that the quality of the sprints need to be ensured every time the code/software is released. Regression testing comes in handy specifically during these constant churns and ensures that the earlier release is in sync with the new code.
- Continuity of business functions
Regression testing takes into account every aspect of the business functions, covering the entire system. Similar tests are run repeatedly over a period of time, where the results need to remain constant. In an agile set-up, it implies that regression tests must ensure stable results at the end of each sprint by testing the newly developed functionality, thereby ensuring an overall integrated functioning of the system.
Regression tests play a critical role in an agile environment, where with every sprint, the integration of the previous and the current release has to be ensured. This will eventually guarantee continuity of business functions.
- No tolerance for bugs
There is minimal or no scope for errors during constant releases in an agile set-up. Every code released in production needs to perform and give results as expected and enhance user experience. With regression tests, the software is made resistant against bugs even in the longer run, supporting teams to release faster with quality assurance. At every level of release, the application/software is tested for bugs and errors, adopting a zero tolerance policy towards bugs.
- Adding new functionalities
Businesses need to innovate and try new ways to enhance the user experience. This implies that during any application development process, there has to be full scope of introducing new functionalities and testing them for effective integration with the other aspects of the application. Agile development enables this, as it boosts continuous and gradual changes. Regression tests help ensure that even with these constant sprints and additions, the application continues to remain intact and integrated.
While the agile approach focuses on delivering the current functionality, regression ensures that everything works seamlessly. Teams are able to ensure the best quality of the solution across all the aspects – architecture, design, implementation, and testing. Regression tests are similar to buffers for teams while enabling a change or giving a fresh gig to the application. Just that it is important to ensure that the coverage of the regression test suites is adequate for the project.
- Automated regression for faster turnaround
Teams need to ensure an effective balance between speed and quality, which means they need faster and credible feedback. Particularly in an agile environment, it is important that the feedback comes in faster, so that the required action is taken. Hence, within an agile set-up the regression tests are run just after the changes are done and before the sprint is released. This helps in getting quicker response for better turnaround time and implementation. Automated regression tests enable faster results and repeated testing for similar releases. This helps to track any kind of unexpected behavior or error with the application on a constant basis.
Gartner’s 2017 application development predictions have focused on lean/agile, DevOps and enterprise-scale development practices, which will have a major impact on organizations and how they build and manage systems. Agile Development is evolving with every adoption and empowering businesses to innovate and transform user experience. Nevertheless, it is equally important for teams to ensure that quality sustains and is delivered to the end user. Regression Testing not only enables teams to ensure quality, but deliver a well-integrated software to the end user.
If the Regression Testing outcome does not play out as originally planned, it can be disruptive to the production environment. Users demand rapid changes to applications as their needs are more dynamic than ever.
Check out Cigniti’s systematic and well-defined regression test approach to perform effective regression testing for your business-critical applications.