Automation Anywhere Blog

Regression Testing and Recycling Your Automated Suites

If only a software bug fix would just… well, fix everything! Unfortunately, changing or tweaking one part of a complex system introduces a risk that another part will be adversely affected. Software program maintenance is one of the most testing intensive parts of any software project. In theory, all the tests already run on previous versions of the software need to be run again against the new or repaired version. In practice, such regression testing is often selective in its approach to keep testing efforts to a practical level. Good automated testing can however help regression testing in more ways than one.

Regression testing calls for smart use of existing and new tests, and benefits from test automation.

Four stage cycle of regression testing

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Better than Reinventing the Wheel Before a software application reaches the maintenance stage, the software project team already has multiple opportunities to use automated testing to reduce the time and effort for a quality product. For example, Testing Anywhere allows efficient unit testing, an activity that integrates with developer activity to accelerate coding and testing cycles as the system is being built. The good news is that the automated unit tests you create in Testing Anywhere can be directly applied to regression testing. This already helps accomplish a substantial part of the testing required for subsequent software releases. Watch Out for Regression Testing Sell-By Dates FDA rules state that eatables need sell-by dates so that shops can avoid selling food that’s gone off and people can avoid eating it. Now, regression testing isn’t the same as distributing food. However, in their own way, tests can go stale. Regression testing effectiveness can wither for a number of reasons. They can become brittle as software grows to accomplish new functions that earlier test suite design simply hadn’t contemplated. Or different people in a software product team can produce their own versions of the tests, with one version being a better overall choice. That means comparing automated test suites that do the same thing and eliminating the less effective one. Checking Tests In and Out of Your Library While recycling automated test suites can work well for regression testing, it’s a strategy that needs managing. Defining a repository of tests, in other words a test suite library, lets you sort out the best from the rest, according to your specific requirements. Keeping more rather than less is often the wiser policy. Even if some automated test suites have yet to catch a bug, they may still merit a place in the library. Examples include automated suites that deal with fault injection or boundary data tests. But make sure that if yesterday’s boundary data turns out to be normal by today’s standards, you’re not keeping test suites that have truly become useless. Testing, Re-Testing and Regression Testing There’s a natural flow from testing through to re-testing and regression testing. The activity for checking that a specific software issue has been fixed, re-testing, may or may not lend itself to automation. Regression testing on the other hand with its aim of universal coverage is a natural candidate for automation. Even tests run through graphical user interfaces can be easily automated with Testing Anywhere. Remember too that Testing Anywhere offers multiple possibilities to convert test suites of one kind to another, like the unit to regression testing mentioned above, but also functional to load testing, for example. If you’d like to know how Testing Anywhere, the automated software testing solution, can help you to rapidly put efficient and effective automated regression testing in place and much more, try a free Testing Anywhere trial to see what it can do for you.

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Automation Anywhere empowers people, whose ideas, effort and focus make the companies they work for, great. Delivering intelligent automation technology for business & IT processes so you and your company can always be depended on.