Regression testing is a necessary part of software development and maintenance, as it helps to ensure a program is working correctly after any code modifications, whether they are updates or bug fixes.
There are three commonly used techniques for regression testing, which use different scopes of testing suits.
Re-test All Technique or Confirmation Testing
The most thorough regression testing strategy is known as Confirmation Testing, or Re-test All. It is also frequently referred to as FRT or Full Regression Testing. As the name suggests, this testing method executes all of the test cases.
The large range of cases tested with this technique helps to get a broad view of the software behavior after modifications. For instance, it can be useful after bug fixes when there is a need to ensure the problem has been indeed resolved.
While Re-test All gives a deep insight into the code’s performance, the procedure requires a lot of time and can be rather expensive, especially when performed manually.
To decrease the number of test cases and the time required for testing, many teams prefer Selection or RRT (Regional Regression Testing) to Confirmation Testing. With this approach, all test cases are divided into two groups – reusable and obsolete cases. Only the test cases of the first category are reused in succeeding testing cycles.
In such a way, the amount of work is reduced, however, the technique requires careful impact analysis to avoid mistakes while classifying test cases as obsolete.
The suite used for regression testing can be reduced even more with the help of Prioritization or URT (Unit Regression Testing) which focuses exclusively on the most critical cases. On the one hand, this significantly limits the amount of information that can be gained through testing and makes the chances of omitting crucial test cases even higher. On the other hand, this strategy can be useful for testing minor changes of small features of the software that, in all likelihood, cannot affect the behavior of the entire program.
Mixed Regression Testing Strategy
As it has already been mentioned, Re-test All gives a complete understanding of code performance, albeit it can be counter-effective because of rather high costs. For that reason, many teams relying on manual testing mix several approaches to get optimal results with minimum expenses.
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One of the common testing plans consists of several phases.
The first one includes up to 14 cycles of Selection testing. The next step is the fifteenth testing cycle that is performed with the Re-test All technique.
After this step, there are up to 14 more cycles of Selection testing that end up with one FRT.
These steps are repeated as many times as needed, however, it is crucial to note that they should end with 10 Re-test All cycles.
Automation of regression testing reduces costs and time significantly, allowing teams to be more flexible with their testing strategies.
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