Successful Regression Testing

How do you define regression testing?  What is regression testing?  Why do you do it? Why do you need a solution?

Let’s start by seeing if we can agree on the answers to these questions.  Regression testing represents the IT safety net, it is the mechanism which ensures that an entire application will perform as it should even after changes have been made.

Regression testing covers the entire application

Regression testing is totally different to functional testing which is directed at the specific areas which have been changed. Instead regression tests cover the entire application looking for any unintended consequences of those changes, looking for those areas which could have  a catastrophic impact on the business.  Ideally the regression test is the last activity before changes are moved from the staging environment into production. 

"We are executing about 650 different test scripts as part of our Regression packs using TestDrive and to have that in place is of enormous value to the business. The alternative would be to get people out of their day jobs and run tests manually and we are just not in a position where we can do that."

Phil Court, Head of Technology Delivery at Marston's Plc

Running a regression test manually


In theory you can perform a regression test manually, but it will be a huge burden on not only IT staff but will also require considerable resources from then business. You could perhaps take this approach when a major application is first implemented but it is a non-starter as a regular activity.

However, before we dismiss a manual approach to regression testing, let’s consider how a human approaches such a test. Yes, they need to navigate through the application but equally, and this is the key, they also need to examine each screen to ensure it contains the intended information.


Access every element of every screen - report every difference.

So a regression test is so much more than simply automating the navigation of an application, much more than driving transactions from ‘A” to ‘Z’. And by definition a few spot checks on specific data items doesn’t meet the standard either – if you knew where the failures were going to manifest themselves you wouldn’t need all those people.

Therefore we need a regression testing solution that will execute data-driven transactions through an application – and there are plenty of them. But we also need a solution that can access every element of every screen, verify them automatically and report every unexpected difference – there’s only one of such solution, and it’s called TestDrive.

Automated Regression Testing

Accelerate your quality processes and increase test coverage. See what is involved in creating and maintaining automation, how it can be maintained, a major issue for those managing and caring for automation suites and how it can be used on a wide variety of applications in a true end-to-end regression test scenario.Watch or download the transcript.

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