The Role of Automation in Accelerating Regression Testing

Automated regression testing is a critical process for verifying that an application remains free of regressions, ensuring it does not revert to a previous state through automated means. Given the significant costs associated with regressions in software organizations, the adoption of regression testing is imperative.

While manual regression testing is a feasible option, it is plagued by issues such as high costs, time consumption, tedium, and a propensity for errors. This is precisely why automated regression testing has become the preferred choice for nearly all software testing teams across organizations.

What is Test Automation?

Test automation is a methodology involving the utilization of software tools to autonomously perform testing procedures. It serves the purpose of executing tests that would otherwise be excessively time-consuming, challenging, or unfeasible to conduct manually. Test automation also plays a pivotal role in elevating the precision and dependability of testing endeavors.

In a broader context, test automation stands as an integral component of the software development process, as it expedites the detection of bugs and flaws within the code, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the development workflow.

What is Automated Regression Testing?

Automating regression testing typically comes into play when tests exhibit a repetitive nature. This automation empowers testers to allocate more of their time and attention to other critical facets of product development.

In straightforward terms, automated regression testing involves the execution of tests on a software product or application using automated tools and methodologies subsequent to an update or modification to the product. This automation process involves the utilization of test scripts, workflows, and various procedures within the framework of regression testing. 

Manual execution of regression tests is a labor-intensive endeavor, consuming significant time and effort that could otherwise be directed toward creating new high-priority test cases. Consequently, QA testers opt for automated regression testing to streamline the testing process and reduce the time and resources expended on it.

Through the implementation of effective automated regression testing, software companies can trim both the time and financial resources allocated to the detection and resolution of software application defects. Given that the primary objective of regression testing is to verify the proper functioning of existing features within a software application, automation can accelerate the regression testing process while delivering extensive test coverage at a considerably lower cost compared to manual regression testing. The degree of automation within regression testing hinges on the number of test cases applicable over time.

Why Opt for Automated Regression Testing?

This section delves into the reasons behind the imperative need for automating regression tests.

  • Repetition: In agile projects that adhere to strict timelines, regression tests must be performed repeatedly. When handled manually, this process becomes increasingly time-consuming as the number of test cases escalates. Automation, on the other hand, offers efficiency even when tests need to be executed daily.
  • Minimal Human Intervention: Once test cases are automated, their execution requires no human intervention. These tests can be scheduled or triggered as required, with results available upon completion. This ensures round-the-clock testing without the need for continuous human oversight.
  • Reduced Turnaround Time: Manual testing pales in comparison to the speed of automated regression tests, especially as the number of test cases grows. Automated regression tests can swiftly certify a new build within hours, a feat that manual testing would take days to accomplish.
  • Enhanced Coverage: Automation allows for the rapid execution of the same test cases across various combinations of browsers and operating systems. Automation tools like LambdaTest enable simultaneous coverage of regression test suites across multiple devices, OS, and browser combinations. The comprehensive analysis reports generated post-testing are thorough enough to uncover underlying issues.
  • Efficiency: Humans are prone to errors when repeating the same task repeatedly. Conversely, automated regression tests are error-free, ensuring significantly improved results.

When is Automated Regression Testing Most Effective?

Repetitive tasks tend to be monotonous, and testers are no exception to this sentiment. However, the challenge arises when each update to an application’s code necessitates regression testing.

Modifications in one section of an application can potentially impact other interconnected modules, given the inherent interdependencies in most software systems. This is precisely where automated regression testing thrives. Its proficiency lies in swiftly identifying whether recent code changes adversely affect other operational facets of the application.

Key considerations include:

Automated regression testing is ideal when you need to ensure that alterations to the original software functionality haven’t introduced new defects or disrupted previously functioning aspects due to changes in code, design, or other elements linked to the overall system framework.

It’s imperative to assess the long-term return on investment (ROI) of automated regression testing. Factors such as resource recruitment, tool costs, maintenance expenses, and time saved in the long run must be evaluated to determine whether automation is genuinely the optimal solution.

For instance, if an organization intends to maintain and run the application over an extended period, automated regression testing can prove advantageous. Conversely, it may evolve into more of a financial commitment if long-term sustainability isn’t a priority.

Automated regression testing excels when a significant amount of legacy code necessitates repetitive testing. In such scenarios, manual testing costs often surpass the expenses associated with automation.

LambdaTest, an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform, that offers automated regression testing with popular frameworks such as Selenium, on an online Selenium grid of 3000+ real browser environments. With LambdaTest, you can use their online Selenium Grid to run thousands of tests simultaneously. This means your tests will finish faster, and you’ll get quicker feedback on your code changes. It’s a real time-saver!

How to Implement Automated Regression Testing?

  • Automating regression tests may seem intricate, especially for newcomers. Below is a step-by-step guide to initiating automated regression tests within a comprehensive strategy:
  • Grasp the Requirements: Begin by comprehending the testing requirements specific to your product as to whether the focus should be on the front-end, back-end, or a combination of both.
  • Select the Right Tool: Once the requirements are clear, choose an appropriate testing tool that aligns with your objectives. For instance, opt for Selenium for front-end testing or Rest Assured for back-end testing.
  • Identify Test Cases for Automation: Identify the test cases that should be prioritized for automation, categorizing them as P0s (high priority) or P1s (medium priority). Gradually incorporate P2s and other scenarios as needed.
  • Automate Test Cases: Proceed to automate the identified test cases using the chosen testing framework.
  • Execute Automated Test Cases: Before integrating them into your workflow, locally run the automated test cases to identify and rectify any false failures. Addressing false failures early prevents unnecessary alerts.
  • Build a Regression Suite: Once the test cases are stable and automated, organize them into a regression suite. Consider categorizing suites such as Smoke, Sanity, and Regression.
  • Implement Reporting: Integrate a reporting mechanism to disseminate test run results after completion.
  • Incorporate CI/CD Tools: Finally, leverage suitable CI/CD tools to schedule the automated test suites to run on a daily basis or whenever a new build is deployed to the QA environments.

The Significance of Automated Regression Testing

Software organizations recognize the critical role of regression testing in ensuring that new features do not disrupt the operation of existing functions.

Automated regression testing serves as a pivotal element in several scenarios, including code modifications during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), mid-cycle changes in application requirements, plans for software enhancements or upgrades, and the need for swift bug resolution.

Within the framework of automated regression testing, test cases undergo reevaluation to assess the continued functionality of pre-existing features and to identify potential new issues arising from the introduction of new features or functionalities.

Unfortunately, due to time and budget constraints, organizations sometimes underestimate the importance of regression testing, allocating minimal time and resources to this critical process. Consequently, prior testing efforts often go to waste, and the end product falls short of the required quality standards, leading to customer dissatisfaction and product failures.

Automated regression testing offers a multifaceted solution to this challenge. By expediting the regression testing phase, does not impede product timelines, ensuring timely bug detection and identification of non-functional elements. This, in turn, saves valuable time and resources allocated to maintenance, ultimately enhancing the return on investment (ROI).

Best Practices for Automating Regression Tests

Before concluding the discussion on Automated Regression Tests, let’s review some essential best practices to ensure robust tests that stand the test of time:

  • Keep Regression Test Cases Updated: Regularly update regression tests to incorporate the latest changes introduced in the application. This ensures that the test suite remains aligned with the most recent developments.
  • Categorize Tests Effectively: Categorize regression tests based on the application’s behavior. This categorization facilitates efficient issue identification and resolution. When a test fails, you can quickly pinpoint the relevant area of the application, streamlining communication with the development team.
  • Periodically Re-run Successful Test Cases: In an agile environment, it’s crucial to periodically re-run even the test cases that have previously passed. This practice helps ensure the continued proper functioning of the application, even after new updates or changes.
  • Thoroughly Analyze Test Reports: Despite conducting daily regression tests, allocate time to meticulously analyze test reports. This diligence ensures that no minor bugs or issues go unnoticed, contributing to a more robust and reliable application.


The rationale behind the necessity of automation, especially in the context of regression testing, lies in the redundancy of the process. Many test cases are repetitive, leading to protracted timelines when performed manually. In this age of automation, tasks that are amenable to automation should not be relegated to manual execution. Engaging testers in manual repetition of these tests represents a missed opportunity for cost savings and efficiency. These testers could instead focus on more value-generating activities for the organization.

It is advisable to rerun all pertinent tests within the regression test suite after each codebase alteration to verify the system’s continued integrity. By opting for automated regression testing, organizations can mitigate the risk of unintended regressions, ultimately saving valuable time and resources.