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3rd March 2022

Retesting vs. Regression Testing

So you've just finished the planned testing of a new feature, and it's ready to go live. But before you do, you want to be sure that the new code hasn't broken anything else in the system.

That's where retesting and regression testing come in. But what's the difference between them? Welcome aboard and be ready to learn the nitty-gritty of the two.

What is regression testing?

Software development is incomplete without regression testing. By confirming that existing features still work after making changes, regression test cases help to ensure that the application functions as desired.

Smoke and Sanity testing are types of regression testing, and both can execute functional and non-functional tests during a regression test suite. New modules are never subjected to regression testing because their test data is complete.

Understanding why regression testing is so important will help you make the most of it in your development efforts.

When is Regression Testing performed?

It is essential to perform regression testing after a noticeable change to the code. When adding a new feature or after a bug fix, you can do this.

It is also important to run regression tests before releasing your software to ensure no failed test cases that could cause problems for your users. By doing so, you'll be sure that the software testing executed will not require re-testing.

test cases

Example of Regression Testing in Agile Framework

The role of regression testing in the development cycle is crucial, especially in an agile framework. In Sprint X, the developer works on Module 1, and the tester performs unit testing.

After developing and testing the module, you deploy it to an environment similar to production. In Sprint Y, Module 2 is completed and merged with Module 1. The tester performs different types of testing to ensure the product matches the defined specifications.

Perform unit testing on Module 2, and if you find it working as desired, initiate integration testing. This will ensure that the data transfer between modules is working fine. Regression testing checks if the integration of both modules has caused any code break.

The product is finally deployed to a production-like environment in Sprint Z and is ready for use by the customers. You are supposed to do re-testing regression testing for all the modules of the product. Thus, regression testing is an important part of the development cycle in an agile framework that you should not skip in your testing process.

The Purpose of Regression Testing

We cannot overemphasize the importance of regression testing regarding software development. This type of testing is essential for verifying that new code modifications have not caused any adverse effects on the existing features of an application.

By ensuring that all changes are regression-tested, developers can rest assured that their work will not break anything else in the system. This allows them to focus on improving the application's functionality without worrying about defect verification.

In short, regression testing is an important tool for keeping your software development process running smoothly.

regression test suite

What is retesting?

Software retesting is software testing that verifies a specific bug fix. Once a bug has been found and reported, it needs to be fixed by the development team. Once you implement the fix, retest the bug to ensure that the fix is complete.

Retesting is also used to confirm that new features and changes work as intended.

Example of Retesting

You discover a bug in your web application that prevents users from logging in. You report the bug to the development team, and they fix it. Once you complete the defect verification, you must retest the login page to ensure it works correctly with the same data.

If the login page works correctly, then the bug has been fixed. If the login page still fails, the bug still exists, and you need to report it to the development team.

The purpose of Retesting

When a software defect is found and fixed, it's important to make sure the fix works. This is where retesting comes in. It's a process of verifying the fixed defect by running the same test cases that identified the defect in the first place. If the tests pass, the fix was successful, considering it implemented.

When is Retesting performed?

Retesting is an important step in quality assurance; developers need to carry it out whenever they fix a defect in the software. It would help if you retest before regression testing, and the same tester who raised the defect should perform it. However, only retesting that defect's status changes to "awaiting retest."

Why use both Retesting and Regression Testing?

Retesting and regression testing are both important types of software testing. Retesting helps confirm that changes work as intended, while regression testing helps to identify any new regressions introduced by recent changes.

Using both retesting and regression testing in your software development process helps to ensure that your software is of the highest quality. They are both integral in the confirmation testing process.

Benefits of Retesting and Regression Testing

The benefits of retesting and regression testing include:

  • Ensuring that new features work as intended
  • Ensuring bug fixes.
  • Identifying any new regressions introduced by recent changes

Both retesting and regression testing are important for ensuring the quality of your software. Using both in your development process lets you know that your software is free of bugs and errors. Additionally, you can be sure that new features work as intended. This helps to improve the user experience and reduces the chances of your software rejection by users.

Key differences between regression testing and retesting

Regression testing is a type of software testing that seeks to identify defects introduced into existing functionality by changes in the software, such as modifications to code or configuration.

On the other hand, retesting is simply re-testing after a change has been made – for example, to verify that you have sorted the defect.

There are several key differences between regression testing and retesting:

  • Regression testing typically involves testing an entire system, while retesting is usually focused on a specific area of the code that has changed.
  • You perform regression testing only after you notice changes to the code, while you do retest before the release of the code.
  • The regression testing design ensures that changes have not introduced new defects, while retesting is designed to ensure that changes have not caused existing defects.

Both regression testing and retesting are important in ensuring the quality of software releases. However, to use the right approach for each situation, you need to know their key differences.

What are your thoughts on regression testing vs. retesting? Do you have any experience with either of these approaches? Share your comments below.

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Article written by Duncan Brigginshaw
Co-Founder and Technical Director

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