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Software Regression Testing Best Practices

26 Jan 2011

The word “regression” means a return to an earlier or previous state.

In the Software Testing world, it means, the exclusive retesting of a software application system that has been altered to ensure that any bugs have been repaired, no other previously working functions have flunked as a result of the fixtures and that newly added features have not produced problems with previous versions. Software Regression testing best practices are initiated after a software developer has attempted to fix a distinguished problem or has added a source code to a program that may have unwittingly introduced errors. In other words, it is a quality control measure to ensure that the fresh modified piece of a code still abides with its specified requirements and non-modified code has not been impacted by the maintenance activity.

In a test organization, software test professionals prepare test scenarios and exercises that will test new units of a program along with the previously working features. The identified test scenarios help in formulating a robust set of test cases which are called as ‘test bucket’. Before a new version of a software application or product is released, the former test bucket is run against the new version to make sure that all the old capabilities of a program still work. There are plenty of cases that the old test bucket might not work in. Even due to a small modification or adding new piece of code to a program to enhance the program features will easily introduce errors into code that is not designated to be altered.

Instituting a policy for habitué of software regression testing is the key to achieving successful, reliable, and predictable software development projects. Software regression testing is the only reliable method to verify that code base alteration and accessions do not leak away the application’s existing functionality. Software development organizations often give up on regression testing as they find it perplexing and hard to maintain. But the major reason for failure with software regression testing is the absence of a well-defined and enforcing policy and an organizational commitment to that policy. Most of the software development organizations assert critical functionality once, and then assume it continues to work unless they deliberately alter it.

Software regression testing is tightly linked to functional testing of a software program, and is built from the successful test cases developed for functional testing. These test cases are organized in a test bucket and rerun as regression tests and become the means for verifying that the application continues to work correctly as a new code is being contributed. These test cases from the test bucket can be and should be alerted during any discrepancies between current responses and control responses to maintain the assurance of a working program.

Effective regression testing best practices necessitates the guidelines for regression system exercise, and then the execution and consolidation of those guidelines along with supporting technologies and contours into software test life cycle to ensure that teams apply the policy systematically and on a regular basis. It also necessitates a means to monitor and measure the software application as well as report the data that is being tracked.

The purpose of regression testing best practices is to discover unexpected faults of a program, especially those that occur because a programmer did not fully understand the code correlations when modifying or extending a code. Every time a code is modified or used in a new environment, Software regression testing best practices are to check the code’s integrity which is nearly impossible for a software test professional. The best way to perform regression testing is to develop an automated script to ensure that errors are detected and fixed as soon as possible.

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