In an era where continuous delivery and integration have become the strength of modern software development practices, effective and well-organised testing strategies are more important than ever. A crucial element of these strategies is Regression Testing, a type of software testing that certifies that formerly developed and examined software still executes as expected after changes or alternation. These modifications may include system improvements, arrangement changes, patches, or error fixes. With each substitution, there is a possibility that existing functionalities could split, leading to software mortification.
By incorporating regression testing into the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, testing teams can promptly recognize and describe issues that could otherwise go invisible until later stages, certainly saving notable time and resources. This article will explore the steps and considerations in incorporating regression testing into your CI/CD pipeline, improving the productivity, dependability, and standard of your software development procedure.
What Is CI/CD Pipeline?
A pipeline is a procedure that steers the process of software development through stages of building, testing, and code deployment, often referred to as Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). The primary objective of automating this process is to reduce human error and maintain a uniform methodology for software release.
The tools incorporated within the pipeline might include code compilation, unit tests, code analysis, security measures, and the creation of binaries. In containerized environments, this pipeline would also encompass the packaging of the code into a container image, which can then be deployed across a hybrid cloud. Overall, CI/CD forms the structural foundation of a DevOps methodology, bridging the gap between developers and IT operations teams to deploy software.
How To Integrate Regression Testing Into Your CI/CD Pipelines?
Integrating regression testing into your CI/CD pipeline associates a number of steps. Here is the generic directive you can follow:
Identify Test Cases
Recognizing test cases is a vital step for the integration procedure. To point out the best test cases, the prerequisite description and design contract should be the earliest sources. Assure that every requisite is balanced by at least one test case. This helps to create thorough inclusion of the application’s performance.
Also, features or functionalities that are frequently used should have high precedence during regression testing. An error in these fields can strikingly smash the consumer experience, and therefore, they should be closely tested. Moreover, categorise bug-prone domains, select test cases from former cycles and review test cases for newly integrated features.
Create Automated Tests
Once you’ve analysed the test cases, use automated testing tools to generate your tests. Go for a test automation tool that is easily adaptable to your technology stack and adjusts well with your development and testing technique. Tools such as JUnit, Selenium, TestNG, Appium, and many others are accessible and broadly used. Some aspects to consider when selecting an automation tool include language support, ease of use, outlining capabilities, community support, and price.
Store Tests In A Source Control Management System
Store your automated test scripts in a Source Control Management system (like Git) alongside your application code. This makes it super flexible to version control your tests, trace modifications, and ensure your tests are always reconciled with your application code. Don’t forget to arrange your test scripts in an analytical and compatible manner, typically replicating the construction of your application code. Deliver relevant names for your test scripts and preserve clear, thorough documentation within the test code itself. This will assist your team in acknowledging what each test does and how it should be used.
Configure Your CI/CD Server
Once your tests are prepared and preserved in a source control management system, compose your CI/CD server to convey the code and the tests. Next, your CI/CD server should activate a new build whenever there’s a modification in the source control management system. This could be when new code is accomplished, a pull request is made, or when a particular command is run. Keep in mind that with certain pipeline setups, you might activate builds at other times as well.
Set Up Test Environment
Ensure you have a committed test environment that closely reflects your production atmosphere. This comprises the operating system, software, databases, and configurations. By building a test environment that’s as adjacent as possible to your production environment, you can better forecast how your application will behave once it’s employed. This environment is where your tests will execute.
For that you can leverage cloud based testing platform such as LambdaTest. LambdaTest is unified intelligent digital experience testing platform that allows enterprises to test their websites over 3000+ environments including real device cloud.
Moreover, with the help of features like parallel testing, you can terrifically cut down your test cycles. Beyond this, LambdaTest also supports solid integrations with some very popular CI/CD tools, making it a perfect choice for teams who seek to incorporate automated regression testing into their CI/CD pipeline.
LambdaTest ensures your software’s integrity and reliability, hence letting you focus your time on feature development and less on bug hunting. In the end, it helps deliver an enhanced user experience and a superior product.
Run And Analyze Regression Tests
As soon as new code is integrated into the main branch, regression tests should be triggered in the CI/CD pipeline. The goal is to identify any issues caused by the changes in the new code at an early stage. After the tests are executed, analyze the results. If any tests fail, the developers should be notified immediately so they can fix the issues. The build should not pass unless all regression tests pass.
Continuously Review And Update Test Cases
As the application progresses, your test cases should develop with it. Constantly analyze your test cases and upgrade them as needed. This guarantees that your regression testing will cover all applicable parts of your application.
Remember that the CI/CD pipeline should be designed to provide quick feedback. Running all regression tests after each code commit may slow down the feedback process. You can group your tests into different suites that can be run at distinct stages in the pipeline. For instance, smoke tests can be run after every obligation, while full regression tests can be run overnight when developers are less likely to be holding for feedback. This process will not only make sure the quality of your software but also diminish the time taken to find and fix faults.
Challenges With Regression Test Automation
Regression test automation is a very powerful approach to testing. However, it comes with its own challenges. Here is the list of some most common challenges with regression test automation:
- Maintaining Test Scripts: As the system changes, the automated test scripts also need to be upgraded. This is a complex problem because every alteration in the GUI or API can smash the test scripts.
- Choosing The Right Test Cases: Not all test cases are worth sending for automation. Teams often tussle with recognizing which test cases are good candidates for automation.
- Non-Deterministic Tests: Some tests are non-deterministic, meaning they may pass or fail; nothing can be predicted about them. This makes it tough to rely on these tests as they don’t persistently produce similar results.
- Infrastructure Issues: Automated regression tests often require a strong test environment that replicates the production environment. If the test environment is not stable or lacks valuable resources, it can lead to invalid positives or negatives.
- Lack Of Skills: Automated testing requires knowledge of testing frameworks and programming. Not every tester might have these skills.
Solutions To Deal With Regression Test Automation Challenges
You can easily overcome the challenges of regression test automation by implementing the following solutions:
- Invest In Good Practices: Acquire methods such as test-driven development (TDD) and behaviour-driven development (BDD). These operations entice you to write tests before or alongside your application code, making tests a central part of your development process rather than a last formality.
- Identify Tests For Automation: Apply a strategic perspective when determining which tests to automate. You should give attention to automating tests that are performed continuously, are time-consuming, and are highly prone to human bugs. Also, consider automating tests for critical path scenarios.
- Deal With Non-Deterministic Tests: Non-deterministic tests need to be checked properly to make your test suite dependable. First, try to look out for the cause of the randomness. If the non-deterministic behaviour is due to the concern in the application itself, affix the issue. If it’s due to the test or the testing environment, upgrade the test or balance the environment.
- Improve Test Infrastructure: Infuse in a stable testing environment that replicates your production environment as firmly as possible. This might involve using technologies like Docker or cloud-based testing environments.
- Train Your Team: Training is a crucial part of acquiring the latest technology or strategy. Prepare your company team on the testing tools and frameworks you’re using, as well as standard best practices for test automation.
- Use Page Object Model: For UI test automation, think about using the Page Object Model design figure. This representation entices you to make an object for every page of your application. These objects act as a bridge between that page, allowing your tests to unite with the page without knowing the characteristic of the page’s design. This makes your tests more feasible to alter in the application’s UI.
- Continuous Review And Update: Regularly check your test cases and remove any redundant tests. It’s a good practice to keep your tests upgraded with the system to ensure they are still efficient.
Remember that while automated regression testing can significantly improve the productivity and dependability of your testing process, it’s not a miracle drug. Manual testing still has its importance, specifically for usability testing and exploratory testing. The aim is to find the stability between automated and manual testing for certain circumstances.
Combining regression testing with CI/CD pipeline is a critical step for easing your software development procedure. This integration even allows for prompt observation and correction of any unexpected errors which result from new code changes. Hence, using regression testing with CI/CD ensures the continuity of your application’s functionality and the overall quality of your product. While this process can sound complicated and difficult, it isn’t with the help of the right tools.