Cloud applications, as we’ve mentioned before, have led to a rapid increase in the amount of software updates that organizations have to test. Given that organizations use an average of 103 separate software-as-a-service applications, that’s A LOT of testing. In particular, regression testing – that is, testing that everything else still works after an update – has skyrocketed. Which is a problem, given that regression testing in most organizations is not the smoothest of operations.
In this blog, we’ll be looking at four of the most common challenges with regression testing – and explaining how our Test Automation solution can solve all of them.
Challenge 1: knowing what to test for
Many regression tests are run using automated scripts based on code. Because of that, they tend to be relatively prescriptive – test A looks for X, test B looks for Y, and so on. But that approach is only truly reliable when you can be confident that you know everything that you need to test.
In the growing complexity of modern enterprise IT, it’s far harder to be confident that you know all the different ways things can go wrong, and therefore harder to test for them. Relationships between third-party services and your central system, or between cloud apps and on-premise applications, can introduce unforeseen complications.
Our Test Automation solution solves this problem by taking a different approach to testing. Rather than tests that look for specific changes or issues, our software looks at a piece of software and shows you everything that’s changed. Often, our customers find that our solution highlights changes they would never have otherwise noticed, letting them fix bugs that would otherwise have slipped into production.
Challenge 2: updates can break test scripts (even code-free ones)
Because most automated tests are prescriptive, they follow a specific set of steps: inserting data into a form, checking that a database change is made correctly, clicking a button, and so on. But what if a form changes? What if a button has different text or takes the user to a different URL? Most test scripts simply stop at this point, unable to continue because the next step is missing. If you aren’t watching the test, you might only discover your testing has ground to a halt after hours have passed (and if you are watching automated tests, that sort of defeats the point of automated testing).
The way we’ve overcome this challenge is to create test scripts that are self-healing. Using advanced AI object recognition, our Test Automation solution can recognize elements of an application even if they change, allowing it to continue a test where other scripts would fail. If it absolutely can’t work out what to do, the system allows you to update the test script in real time to keep things moving.
And, on a similar note…
Challenge 3: updating your test library is a pain
If your software changes so significantly that your tests break, then you need to set up new tests. Depending on how your automated testing works, that might involve coding, or it might involve setting up steps in a code-free test editor. Either way can be time-consuming.
Plus, on top of that, you need to make sure you’ve deleted or archived the old test script so nobody runs it accidentally. And potentially change any accompanying documentation instructing test managers which tests they need to run so that nobody tries to run a test that doesn’t exist anymore. In short, it’s all a lot of work that you could do without.
Because our Test Automation solution is able to self-heal its test scripts and because you can edit tests on the fly, our users tend to update their test libraries far less often than others because the library is essentially updating itself. On top of that, we’ve built an incredibly intelligent (if we do say so ourselves) test management system that makes sure updated tests are included in all the right test schedules so that managers are never caught out.
Challenge 4: it’s not just about functionality
Regression testing usually focuses purely on functionality – which makes sense – but there are other factors that are important. Do images appear in the right places, at the right sizes? Is all the text spelled correctly? Even questions about system performance can be hugely important. If an updated application works but takes twice as long to do so, that will have a major impact on productivity. If you’re testing front-end applications, these factors could affect customer satisfaction or even their ability to buy from you.
I mentioned before that our Test Automation solution shows you all changes, rather than looking for specific changes. What I didn’t mention is that it checks for all those things I just mentioned alongside the functionality of an app. It can even handle spellings in languages other than English! So if you work with us for your regression testing, you can be confident that your applications aren’t just working their best – they’re looking and performing their best, too.
Regression testing in action – CertainTeed
To give you an idea of what our solution can do, you should check out our case study about our work with CertainTeed. They were dealing with a high rate of updates – so much so that necessary checks on software weren’t always happening before changes were released to production. Using our software, they got the problem under control – and got happier users and increased trust in IT into the bargain.
“Zero bugs reaching production… hundreds of man hours saved”
— Marc Croquette, IT Director
If you’re anticipating – or already dealing with – more regression testing than your processes are designed to cope with, perhaps we can help. You can click here to learn more about our test automation solution and how it can help you – or, if this blog has blown you off your feet sufficiently, you can just click here to contact us and start a conversation about how we can help your organization.