Conducting Parallel Testing in Regression
Today, there are many types of testing methods in the software development lifecycle, each having advantages and disadvantages in terms of efficiency, time-saving, cost, reliability, usability, and so on. In general, we can categorize software testing methods under four main headings: functional testing, non-functional testing, manual testing, and automated testing.
In this article, we will focus on what automated testing is, why it is useful, the main techniques in automated testing like regression testing, and some popular tools for automated testing.
What Is Automated Testing?
In general terms, automated testing is testing software or programs utilizing some automation tools for many edge cases instead of a human-driven manual process of monitoring and validating a product. In the market, there are some popular tools that offer a wide range of services for automation testing like Selenium, WebDriver, Appium, and Cucumber.
Figure 1: Automation Testing Lifecycle
Why Is Automated Testing So Useful?
The primary benefit of automated testing is that you can make sure that the CI/CD requirements in your software development lifecycle are satisfied by automatizing the testing process. Therefore, its usage in DevOps teams has started to increase tremendously.
In addition to that, you can take advantage of automated tools in your project to enjoy faster times to market, faster deployment opportunities, more efficient workflows, higher volume of tests, stress testing, better accuracy, better insights, continuous quality, cost and time efficiency, and faster bug detection.
What Is Regression Testing?
Regression testing is a type of software testing performed to check all the changes made in the application environment, the features newly added to the application, the existing problems after the previous errors were corrected, and new errors that have resulted from the new features.
The tests that are performed again after the necessary changes and fixes are made in the application environments are called regression tests. This ensures that the problems identified in previous tests are fixed and that newly added features work smoothly and no new bugs occur.
Why Should We Apply to Regression Testing?
Regression tests are very important because most software nowadays is developed using an iterative development process. In the iterative development process, short loops are used by adding some new functions in each loop. In this scenario, it makes a lot of sense to run regression testing in each loop to make sure that newly added functions don’t break existing ones.
The effects of software errors or regressions (poor performance), functional and non-functional improvements, patches made to some areas of the system, and configuration changes can be monitored through regression testing.
Automated Regression Testing
Automated regression testing is a technique that removes all human-driven steps from typical regression testing and utilizes automation-based tools in software testing. Automated regression testing principally automates the workflow, plan, scripts, and other stages inside the manual regression testing cycle.
After automated regression testing, you can be sure that the software has been executed correctly in the update duration and that it supports all other services that complete the main software functionality.
Additionally, automated regression testing offers features like support across various platforms, risk-based regression, time-saving in execution through parallel testing, faster functionality coverage with unit and API tests, performance impact analysis, and continuous testing methodologies.
Parallel Testing in Regression
What Is Parallel Testing?
In general, we can classify software testing under two main concepts in terms of working methodology: parallel testing and serial testing.
Parallel testing is an automation testing technique that can execute many edge test cases with different combinations of electronic devices such as computers or mobile phones and web browsers at the same time.
For example, if you have 10 edge test cases and one of them runs in 20 minutes, you will have to wait for a total of 200 minutes for all cases. However, if you use parallel testing in 5 parallel points, it will complete all processes in 40 minutes. As seen from this example, this technique can save you a significant amount of time. On the other hand, it may require many systems or cloud resources for this testing operation.
Figure 2: Parallel Testing Methodology
Benefits of Parallel Testing
Having understood what parallel testing entails, we can list some important benefits of it. Parallel testing saves time, is cost-effective, offers better coverage, optimizes the CI/CD stage, and enhances testing.
How Can We Conduct Parallel Testing in Regression Testing?
There are many robust and effective tools in the market that you can utilize for parallel testing in automated regression when it comes to the application stage. I personally prefer using free tools for this, especially when trying a tool for the first time, as it helps me understand the full scope of its usability before committing to it.
Every product needs enhancements and updates. Therefore, there will always be a need for software testing tools. And then if you can automate a necessary process, you should always go for it. The products that utilize automation tools will always benefit from the automation process.
I hope you found this article informative and that it helped you decide whether automating parallel regression testing is the best solution for your use case.