What is Regression Testing? Definition and Top Tools

What is Regression Testing? Definition and Top Tools

What is Regression Testing?

Regression Testing is typically a type of software testing that is used when confirming that the most-recent program or code-related changes have not affected the existing features in an adverse manner. During regression testing, it is determined that the software or application works fine in regard to the new changes and bug fixes. Regression testing is majorly about re-executing the already executed test cases in order to confirm if the application is working appropriately.

Why do we need to perform regression testing?

There are several reasons why one should perform regression testing. The main aim of regression testing is to ensure that the application works fine when a change is made in the code. We have to test if the modified code affects the other parts of the application or not. If not, great! But if it does, changes must be made accordingly. This results in improved product quality and confirmation that the issues fixed won’t happen again. 

How to perform Regression Testing?

If we want to perform regression testing, we must find the bugs in the code first. When the bugs are identified, appropriate measures are taken to fix them. After that, relevant test cases are selected from the test suite that covers both the modified and the affected parts of the code. Some techniques while performing regression testing include

  • Re-test All – One way of performing regression testing is re-executing the whole test suite. This is actually an expensive process as it requires more time, resources, and efforts to re-execute the entire test suite. The failures detected in this process are reported forward to be fixed. 
  • Regression Test Selection – Another way for regression testing is selecting a specific test suite from the entire test suite. So, instead of executing the entire test suite, we will execute the selected test suite only. The test cases are selected on the basis of the changes in the source code.
  • Prioritize the Test Cases – In this method of regression testing, you will have to evaluate the business impact of the changes, the criticality of the changes, and their frequency. After that, you can prioritize the test case that would suit the best. 
Types of Regression Testing
Test cases are basically divided into two categories:
  1. Reusable test cases – These are the test cases that can be used in the future regression cycle as well. 
  2. Obsolete test cases – These are the test cases that can not be used in the future regression cycle.

5 Best tools for regression testing:

There is a tool for almost everything in today’s market. Some tools that can help you with your regression testing cycle include:

Regression Testing Tools
  • Selenium – This is one of the most known and powerful tools in the market for regression testing. It offers great flexibility and compatibility with various different browsers. Also, it supports numerous programming languages, frameworks, and libraries. 
  • IBM Rational Functional Tester – This tool is the first love for automation testers across the globe. This commercial tool supports a large variety of applications and is capable of creating different types of scenarios quickly. 
  • Micro Focus Unified Functional Testing (UFT) – Formerly known as Quick Test Professional, UFT is one of the most popular testing tools. It is majorly known for its activity recording feature which allows the users to record their activities and further convert them into scripts. 
  • Test Sigma – This is a regression testing tool that suggests relevant and/or affected test cases after a bug fix or code change. It is an easy scriptless testing tool that lets you run the test right after the first check-in within a sprint. 
  • Sahi Pro – This is an ideal tool for automation regression testing. It offers various features like data-driven suites, email reports, and an inbuilt Excel framework. 

Regression Vs Re-Testing:

Most people misunderstand the concepts of regression testing and re-testing to be the same. That is actually not true. They are two very different concepts. 

Regression TestingRe-Testing
Regression testing is performed to analyze the
effect of the new code changes on the application.
Re-testing is performed when a test case fails in order to confirm that it passes in the final execution.
Defect verification is not a part of regression testing. Defect verification is a part of re-testing.
You can also do automation testing while performing regression testing as manual testing can be quite expensive and time-consuming.You can not perform automation testing while performing re-testing. 
Regression testing is executed only if either the code or
the working environment is modified.
Re-Testing does not have anything to do with the modifications. It executes a defect under the same code and circumstances.
Regression Testing is also known as generic testing.Re-Testing is more of planned testing. 

What are the side effects of regression testing?

Where there are several advantages of performing regression testing, there are some disadvantages as well. 

  • Regression testing must be performed even on the smallest changes in the application to analyze the impact of the change. This can be quite frustrating sometimes. 
  • In case automation is not used in the project, it can get very tedious to execute a single test case again and again. 


Change is an inevitable part of the world. It is an impossible task to avoid them. But you can ensure that the change does not affect your developed application in an adverse way. Regression testing is a way of doing that. This ensures a better quality of your product and that your product works fine even after making some changes. There are many tools in the market that can help you make your work easy. So, choose wisely, and all the best!