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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Challenges in Regression Testing- Why we go for Automation

Challenges in Regression Testing

Eventually, in any software system, users may defects or we can say bugs in the
developed program. Normally, these bugs are fixed, the fixes are then tested, and the updated
software is released back to the users . However, since the software is so tightly coupled or we can due to the interconnected nature of software, even the smallest change can wreak
unpredictable havoc when the implications of that change are not properly understood.

Any software change, even one that corrects a known defect, can affect
a system in an unforeseen manner and potentially cause problems that are worse
than those that the change was originally trying to address.

Regression testing is the practice of retesting of a software system that has been
modified to ensure that no previously-working functions have failed as a result of
defect reparations or newly added functionality.

Comprehensive regression testing fully ensures that a software system is functioning as designed. Comprehensive regression testing, however, is rarely feasible, given the time and resource constraints placed on the typical software development team.

As a software system expands and evolves, it becomes more and more difficult to test every piece of functionality. This problem is compounded by the frequency of software builds. In an
environment where software builds are done on a nightly basis, comprehensive
regression testing of every build is essentially impossible. Typically, in these
environments, the testing of previous functionality is foregone to allow for testing of
new fixes and new functionality. This leaves open the possibility that the software
team will release software with undiscovered defects.

Hence we go for an Automation tool that helps us in addressing these challenges. Through an Automation tool, we create scripts and which are quite helpful in retesting the original system's functionality. Every time we get a new build, we execute the created automation scripts to check the previous working functionality. And the most important benefit of automation is that we can execute scripts in an unattended mode means it frees QA persons to do other important tasks while the scripts are running automatically.

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