What is Regression Testing?

Regression tests are a way to test a software application whenever changes are made to its code, in order to check those changes do not collide with already existing features, hence causing bugs. Since it’s common use for developers to make changes in the source code, regression testing is a crucial aspect of the software life cycle.

What types of Regression Testing exist?

There are at least 7 types of regression testing:

  • Corrective, which is usually done when no changes in the code are made, hence implying less run time.
  • Retest-all, which is used when minor changes are made in the code, but covers all scenarios and therefore is time-consuming.
  • Selective, focuses on only selected cases of a certain module which may have experienced changes in its code. It’s less time-consuming and facilitates testing of both current and new code simultaneously.
  • Progressive, also used when minor changes are made in the code. It facilitates testing an updated version of the product without affecting its current features, though it implies complex configuration and test preconditions.
  • Complete, usually done when the code undergoes many changes and no other changes are intended. Effective in quickly finding bugs within a short time span.
  • Partial, a selection of specific, related modules, prone to have been affected by changes in the code. Clean, efficient and effective when checking for bugs.
  • Unit, it focuses on a single unit of code, isolating it from the rest, every time the changes made in the code are completed.

With this in mind, we must acknowledge Visual Regression Testing is not a type of regression testing, but applies the logic of its methodology to focus only on the visual features (front end) of a software application. Intuitively we’re led to think its main purpose is to check for possible breakages in the front end caused by changes in the code. It is a –literal– snapshot of the software’s state which is later compared to a snapshot of an updated version of the application.

Let’s get a little deeper into that.

How is Visual Regression Testing done?

First let’s start by saying visual tests, while behaving in the fashion of functional tests, focus specifically on whatever [visual] output a software application may yield. In general terms, it is a way to understand what changes the user will visually experience in order to understand what he or she will be interacting with. It’s focused on the front end instead of the back end.

Setting up a visual test consists in creating a baseline image on the first run, by placing commands to capture a screenshot at determined points in the code. This baseline will be used in successive test runs. Whenever an image changes, the visual regression tool will show the base image and the generated new image (checkpoint). Should there be any changes, an image diff will be generated, highlighting the changes in the image by comparing the baseline against the checkpoint. When these differences occur the test will be considered failed.

What are the best Visual Regression Testing tools available?

Not an easy question. Truth is, different tools have their own pros and cons, and, in most cases, pricing is not transparent. We would recommend you to look at a few lists online, avoid companies that do not have any pricing available and go with companies that are not simply tools, but have real humans and outstanding customer success behind them to support your QA team.

What you should look for in a Visual Regression Testing tool

Rapid development means frequent changes in the UI. Autify’s Visual Regression feature will automatically spot differences and run tests without maintenance thanks to its no-code technology. Built-in image comparison is a big plus, a feature which other popular platforms lack. Besides has its own reporting functionality, sparing the need for third party solutions. And last but not least, Autify’s tech support makes for an absolutely ideal overall customer experience. You might want to check this article: Machine Learning Features in Autify for Mobile.

You can see our client’s success stories here: https://autify.com/why-autify

  • Autify is positioned to become the leader in Automation Testing Tools.
  • We got 10M in Series A in Oct 2021, and are growing super fast.

We have different pricing options available in our plans: https://autify.com/pricing

  • Small (Free Trial). Offers 400~ test runs per month, 30 days of monthly test runs on 1 workspace.
  • Advance. Offers 1000~ test runs per month, 90~ days of monthly test runs on 1~ workspace.
  • Enterprise. Offers Custom test runs per month, custom days of monthly test runs and 2~ workspaces.

All plans invariably offer unlimited testing of apps and number of users.

We sincerely encourage you to request for our Free Trial and our Demo for both Web and Mobile products.