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What Is Automated Regression Testing?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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Regression testing is the testing of software modules from prior releases of a program in an effort to uncover new errors created by the software developer. Automated regression testing refers to the process by which computer software is regression tested in an automated manner by using testing scripts. This type of regression testing is a process were test scripts are run against software code for the purposes of validating that newer versions of code did not introduce any issues with the prior versions.

Software development is the art of writing software code to complete a task in an automated manner, which typically increases productivity for individuals or organizations. The process by which software is developed includes a life cycle that requires significant testing before making the software available for public consumption. This testing can become tedious and repetitious if done manually, which is why automated regression testing was created.

Testing is a critical function for all software development as it is designed to ensure the software application meets the needs of the customers. The testing of software applications include four primary areas, which are unit testing, integrations testing, functional testing, and performance testing. Automated regression testing is the process by which the prior tests for these testing areas are retested for completeness.

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The testing of any software component requires the creation of test scripts. Test scripts are the instructions for completing a test, which include the requirements for inputs and outputs of a test case. Each test case is entered into a test script to create a full test harness of an application.

Test scripts can be automated by writing code that will execute the instructions within a test case. This automation is not required for testing of an application, but it is a best practice, as it increases productivity and reduces the risk of human error during testing. Automated regression testing is the process of running prior automated test scripts to ensure any new code has not introduced errors that were previously tested and averted.

Software can be thought of as a complex set of modules that rely on the complete cooperation of independent functions from both the hardware and software of a computer. It is critical that each iteration of software code be completely tested to ensure that the collaboration between these modules remains intact. Automated regression testing is a best practice process to ensure the continued interoperability between components is achieved for each version of the software.

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