Regression Testing

Regression Testin

Regression testing is a technique that can be used in a number of the acceptance tests and system tests.

There are two main objectives to regression testing

  • The first is to make certain that a component with a defect that has been found and fixed actually does work and provides the expected outputs. Very often, programmers will “tweak” the code and report the defect fixed without truly resolving the cause of the defect.

  • The second objective is to ensure that the fix of the defect does not break any other code and introduce new errors in the component. It is in fact this possibility that makes regression testing necessary.

Regression testing validates the overall integrity of the system, not the fix of the initial defect itself.

Regression testing basically involves creating a complete set of test data, running the test, and then documenting the results.

When changes are made to the solution, this same set of test cases is rerun and the results are compared to the prior standard to look for unexpected discrepancies.

For example, you may have 500 test cases that have been built through the testing process. These test cases are all executed during the acceptance test. The results of the test may include a handful of errors. These errors are fixed and the same set of test data is run again.

However, this time a handful of other problems emerge that did not show up the first time.

This has pointed out two potential problems

  • One is that the correction of a prior error has led the logic down a path to another error in code that was not exercised previously.

  • The other potential problem is that correcting one or more of the prior errors actually introduced another error that did not exist before.

Likewise, you may build a large set of test cases to help in stress testing your solution. These test cases may not be the exact same set used in the acceptance test example above.

After the test has successfully completed, the results are saved.

Later, you may make some major changes that could affect the overall solution performance. At that point, you would do a regression stress test by running the same set of test cases again (or a slightly modified set of test cases to test the new features).

The new test results are compared with the old test results to validate that the overall integrity and stability of the solution are still intact.

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