What Is Regression Testing and How To Build An Effective Regression Testing Suite?
Test Automation
Ricky Philip November 11, 2021

App developers are constantly trying to improve their software to meet the growing customer demands and to outperform competitors. Therefore they have to roll out software updates and modifications almost every month across several features in the application. Hence, it is imperative that developers re-engineer or modify the existing software, add more elements, technologies, or functionalities in places where the updates are required. Also, they must be aware that even a minute tweak made in the application code can have unexpected consequences all throughout the solution. It can disrupt existing features or perform inefficiently on some devices.

To ensure that there are no such disruptions and that the changes made in applications are updated properly, regression testing is conducted in the software solutions. The regression test makes sure that the modifications both large or small are efficiently updated and added without disrupting any of the existing app functionalities. The intention of regression tests is to proactively identify errors that may have been accidentally introduced into a new build and to ensure that previously eliminated errors do not pop up again. Such tests can be executed manually on small projects, but in most cases reproducing a suite of tests each time an update is made is time-consuming and difficult to contemplate, so an automated testing tool is typically needed.

What is Software Regression Testing?

Some QA teams across the software development process try to avoid regular regression testing and tend to test the essential functions just once. They opt to test modules a single time to ensure that it works and if it does they proceed with the presumption that it will always function properly. To many of us, this might seem like the right approach because once the test is complete and corrections are made, the module has to work efficiently in the future. But this is not the case always; even small, apparently insignificant modifications to an application’s source code can have serious consequences on other modules in the application. And even though that module is initially tested and verified it still might break or have other reactions from totally unrelated new modifications. Therefore, when the QA teams run regression tests, they check to make sure that even the tiniest changes in the application will not affect other areas of the application and it will work efficiently just as required. 

Also Read: Why is API Testing Better Than Traditional UI Testing & What Are Its Benefits?

How to Build An Effective Regression Testing Suite

Here are four actions when creating your regression testing suite:

1. Prioritize your regression tests

Every application has a set of fundamental functions and other not so important or less needed functions. When building a regression testing suite, the initial process should be to evaluate and identify tests that are critical to the application or of high priority. The fundamental functions or the main purpose of the application must be considered of high priority and the rest of the functions should be a lower priority. The regression tests for these critical functions will assess everything from back-end engines, Application Programming Interfaces (API), and database connections or performance.

2. Build smoke tests

When implementing your critical and high-priority tests into a regression suite, name it the “smoke test suite” and test it on a daily basis or after each and every build. Complete the smoke tests prior to beginning any other testing so as to avoid random shutdowns. Testers can also automate the smoke tests, with Applause Codeless Automation (ACA) or scripted tests, to accelerate release velocity by enabling anyone to create test automation scripts. Therefore, if testers implement the tests straightforwardly, that is with one or two validation points, it makes failure analysis less complicated and simple. Also, keep in mind not to test every function with a smoke test; just include the fundamental components of the application, such as the core functions. The smoke tests will be able to then defect the errors in these areas and fix them or notify the QA teams.

3. Put in some manual effort

Subsequently, build a suite of tests for these core functions or for the critical purpose of your application. This is because core functions are mostly not independent and often contain complex interactions with other modules of the application. Due to the complexity of such interactions, it would be difficult for an automated testing tool to test and ensure its efficiency. By implementing manual regression tests, QA teams will be able to include exploratory tests that the automation tools will not cover. There are testing service providers that integrate both manual and automation testing into product or software testing. At ThinkPalm, we also leverage this combination of manual and automation testing to cover end-to-end testings or system workflows that are long and complex.

4. Test the integrations

Build a regression testing suite that effectively tests all your back-end messaging engines, Application Programming Interface (API) connections, and data feeds as well. Different applications will have a different integrated process that happens in the background which is not visible to the end-user. Sometimes, building a regression test suite for these types of functions could be tiresome and would often require a developer or IT assistance, but it is well worth the trouble.

5. Check App Performance

With each new change in the application feature or source code modification, the user experience changes and so does the app performance. Sometimes, as new features are added, the application tends to become much slower than it initially was. All this can significantly affect the efficiency of the application. If the application is not fast, responsive, and highly efficient, then the users will lose trust in it. Therefore, while you build regression suites, you must ensure that it accounts for performance testing. Testers must always develop a performance regression suite either with a performance testing tool, framework, or simple manual tests that check for low performing areas.

Also Read: Why Should Enterprises Automate Testing Especially Post COVID-19

Why Choose ThinkPalm Testing Services

At ThinkPalm, we offer manual and automated testing services for every industry or domain. Our team of expert technicians, experienced application testers have proficiency in different tools and offer complete software testing services. We eliminate the poor software quality and improve them which results in greater customer satisfaction. Through these sophisticated techniques and the help of continuous verification, validation, and quality assurance service, we bring in great advantage to all our clients. Testing services at ThinkPalm span the entire product life cycle. We have acquired deep domain knowledge in the fields of Datacom or Telecom, Networking, Wireless, CRM, Logistics, Web Applications, Custom Windows Applications, and Mobile Applications. If your business is looking to test software or products at a much faster time to market or with lesser cost, then contact us. Our experts will analyze your existing infrastructure and provide information on the right tools, technologies, test frameworks, etc required for testing your project. 

Author Bio

Ricky Philip is a content strategist, who has an unparalleled dedication to building productive and engaging website content that attracts traffic and increase search engine rankings. If not typing furiously on his keyboard, Ricky is constantly learning ways to enhance search traffic acquisitions.