What is Regression Testing?[Definition + Importance]

What is Regression Testing?

Regression testing is the process of retesting a web application or software system to validate that modifications, updates, or bug fixes have not introduced new defects or caused existing functionalities to fail.

Regression testing plays a crucial role in ensuring the continued reliability and functionality of the web application or software system. As web apps often undergo frequent updates, bug fixes, and enhancements, regression testing validates that the changes behave as expected and existing features remain stable after code changes have been made.

By performing regression testing in web application testing, development teams identify unintended side effects caused by the changes and ensure that the application behaves consistently across different browsers, devices, and operating systems. When performing regression tests, you may even want to know about functional testing or interface testing or usability testing. If you would like to know the testing process, best practices, and testing types, check out a complete guide about web application testing.

How to Do Regression Testing

The regression testing process involves the following steps:

  • Selecting a set of relevant test cases: Test cases are selected from the existing test suite that covers the critical functionality and affected areas of the software.
  • Executing the selected test cases: The selected regression test cases are executed to verify that the existing functionality as per the test plan has not been affected by the changes.
  • Comparing the results: The results obtained from executing the test cases are compared against the expected results to identify any discrepancies or failures.
  • Investigating and fixing regressions: If any regressions are found, the development team investigates the cause of the issues and fixes them before retesting.

Regression tests can be performed manually or using automated testing tools. Automated regression testing is often preferred as it can save time and effort by automating the execution of test cases and the comparison of results.

By conducting regression testing, software development teams can ensure that the changes made to the software do not break or degrade existing functionality and maintain the overall quality and reliability of the application.

What is the Importance of Regression Testing?

Regression testing is of significant importance in software development and maintenance for the following reasons:

  • Ensuring stability: Regression testing helps ensure the stability of the software application by verifying that existing functionality has not been adversely affected by new changes. It detects and prevents the introduction of new bugs or issues that can occur as a result of modifications or bug fixes.
  • Catching regressions: Regression testing targets explicitly the identification of regressions, and defects that have resurfaced or reoccurred due to changes in the software. By performing regression testing, these regressions can be caught early and addressed promptly, minimizing their impact on the system.
  • Preserving reliability: It helps preserve the reliability of the software by verifying that critical features and functionalities are still functioning correctly even after modifications. It ensures that the software behaves as intended and meets the desired quality standards.
  • Mitigating risk: Regression testing reduces the risk of introducing new defects into the system. It helps uncover issues that might have been overlooked during the development or modification phase, thereby minimizing the chances of potential failures or errors in production.
  • Supporting change management: Regression testing plays a crucial role in change management processes. It provides confidence to developers, testers, and stakeholders that modifications or updates have not caused any unintended consequences or negative impacts on the software. It allows teams to make informed decisions about releasing the changes to the production environment.
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction: By performing regression testing, software companies can maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. It ensures that existing functionalities continue to work as expected, avoiding any disruptions or downtime that could frustrate users. It demonstrates a commitment to quality and a proactive approach to delivering reliable software.

Overall, regression testing is vital for maintaining software quality, reducing risks, and instilling confidence in the stability and reliability of the application. It is an essential practice in the software development lifecycle to ensure that software changes do not unintentionally introduce new defects or impact the existing functionality. This process complements acceptance testing, another crucial testing phase that verifies if the software meets the specified requirements. If you want to know about acceptance testing, you can refer to our article on what is acceptance testing.

In conclusion, regression testing is a crucial process in software development that verifies the stability, reliability, and functionality of a software application after modifications or updates. By catching regressions, preserving reliability, mitigating risk, and supporting change management, regression testing plays a pivotal role in ensuring high-quality software and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.