QA & Software Testing
Regression testing has now become an essential part of the software testing life cycle as it helps in checking that the existing functionality of the software works as expected whenever the change is made to the software. Also with the advent of automation testing tools, it has become more easy and convenient for testers to run regression tests. But like every testing method or approach regression test automation also have some limitations which one needs to look upon before automating the regression test.
What is regression testing?
Regression testing is a type of software testing that validates that any new code change is the software that does not affect the existing functionality of the software. In Regression testing already existing test cases are fully or partially executed to ensure that existing functionalities of the software are not affected and they work as expected even after frequent changes.
Regression testing sometimes becomes tedious as testing the whole system again and again consumes time and fixing the defects requires efforts. Therefore testers use automation regression testing tools where pre-written test scripts are executed on code change with no human intervention to ensure that existing functionalities are working fine.
What are the limits of regression test automation?
As every testing method has its own pros and cons and similarly automated regression test also has some cons or we can say limits which makes it difficult for some organizations to automated their regression tests.
A false sense of quality – Automation regression test provides a false sense of quality as the automated test scripts will only look for those bugs for which it is programmed and hence some defects may be overlooked or remain unseen.
Lack of accuracy – Automation regression test can sometimes fail due to various factors such as bugs or error while running long test scripts which can give a false sense of accuracy.
Low chances of finding new defects – Automation regression test follows the same pre-defined path, sometimes with the same set of test data. Hence the chances of finding new defects are low as no new path is followed while testing.
Test cases require maintenance – The more test cases we automate the more test cases we require to maintain which further consumes more time and effort. Also if test cases are written too loosely they get passed in an automation test and if the test cases are written too rigidly they either fail and require to be updated every time a change is made which further requires more maintenance time and effort.
Time consumed in deciding what to automate- Regression tests are run in reduced time cycles, often and repetitively to identify that new change in the software does not affect the existing functionality of the software. But it is very difficult and time-consuming to identify which test cases to automate and which test case to execute manually.
Selecting the right automation regression test tool is not easy: Whenever we talk of automation regression testing tool the first tool that comes to our mind is the record and playback tool, but record and playback tools typically do not work well in automated regression tests as it involves a lot of rework. Also, there are various automation regression testing tools available but not every tool is best for every organization. Therefore many organizations find it difficult to identify right tool that caters to their requirements.
Automated regression test has helped testers worldwide to save considerable testing efforts and time involved in running a manual regression test. Also in today’s agile environment, frequent changes are made in software which makes it more necessary to run a regression test every time a change is made to the software. Here automation regression testing tools play a major role in saving testing time, effort, and speeding up the testing process.
Still, automated regression tests has some limitations such as a huge requirement for test case maintenance, lack of accuracy and reliability, the problem in finding the right testing tool, and several other that have been mentioned in this article that makes it difficult for organizations to fully rely on automation regression testing.
Leverage end-to-end regression testing services by an independent next-gen software testing services provider to ensure that your software remains defect-free even after frequent changes.
About the author:
I am a technical content writer and I write articles on various IT related topics. In this article, I have tried to share my views on the limits of regression test automation.