Unlocking The Difference Between Regression Testing and ReTesting

Unlocking The Difference Between Regression Testing and ReTesting

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Time to Market has become extremely crucial in today’s hyper-competitive business environment but quality should not be compromised to achieve that goal. The same principle applies to any kind of product (or project) development.

Even a single line of code change could cause havoc to working functionalities of the product. Identifying, resolving, and testing the functionalities after the said issue is fixed would again take a lot of time. This is where regression testing plays an integral role, as it ensures that not a single line of code change goes into production without going through rigorous testing cycles.

Companies are leveraging the combination of automation testing, DevOps, and CI/CD to ensure that testing can be done at scale. Regression testing can also be made a part of DevOps culture. However, many QA engineers are under the impression that regression testing is the same as retesting (or re-testing).

In this blog, we look at the integral differences between regression testing and retesting so that you can make the most out of these two types of testing.

What is Regression Testing?

The term regress indicates that you need to fall back on the previous state or condition. However, this is not a preferred state as it indicates that there were issues in the current software release and there needs to be a rollback to the previous release.

On similar lines, regression testing indicates rigorously testing the new code (or implementation) in order to verify whether the existing functionalities of the product are not hampered due to the changes in the source code.

Also Read – 5 Best Practices to Perform Regression Testing

The tests executed as a part of the regression test suite are extracted from functional testing requirements. This approach helps in ensuring that every piece of code change is thoroughly tested and has no side-effects on working features of the product.

Tests that make up the regression testing suite can be automated using automation tools, whereas the tests that fall in the retesting category cannot be automated (and have to be run in a manual manner).

Automation Testing

What is Retesting?

Retesting (or re-testing) is ideally designed for testing certain defects that you might have detected during the process of testing (ideally during the regression testing lifecycle).

Hence, regression testing is designed to improve the product quality by detecting unforeseen bugs that might have accompanied the newly implemented code. On the other hand, retesting is predominantly about fixing specific defects that your team would have already encountered during the phase of product testing.

In case you do not have in-house resources that have experience with regression testing, it is recommended to collaborate with a seasoned regression testing services company like KiwiQA. Such an association helps in ensuring that you make the most out of regression testing at scale!

Manual Testing

Difference Between Regression Testing and Retesting

Now that we have covered the fundamentals of both the testing methodologies, let’s look at the top level differences between regression testing and retesting.

  • Regression testing is performed on passed test scenarios, whereas retesting is performed on failed test scenarios.

  • Regression testing is normally used to check if a new piece of implementation has not created any side-effects on the working features, whereas retesting is performed for checking if failed test scenarios have been fixed in the current release.

  • Regression testing can be termed as unplanned (or generic) test activity, whereas retesting is a planned activity.

  • Regression testing can be accelerated using automation tools & CI/CD tools, whereas retesting has to be performed only using the manual approach.

Let’s take a detailed look at Regression Testing vs. Retesting comparison:


Regression Testing


Regression testing is performed for ensuring that recent code changes have not negatively impacted the working functionalities of the product. Retesting is performed to ensure that the defects that were encountered in the previous software release (or final release) are fixed in the current release.
It works by checking what  worked earlier is still working  after new software changes are implemented. It is about testing software that was not working earlier but seems to have been fixed in the latest release.
Regression testing is also termed as generic testing. Retesting is termed as planned testing.
Defect verification is not a part of the regression testing phase. Defect verification is an integral part of retesting.
Automation can be used effectively for regression testing. There is no scope for automation of retesting scenarios.
In case there is an abundance of QA resources, regression testing can be planned in parallel with retesting. If not, it should be considered at a lower priority than retesting. Since retesting is more about defect verification, it should be considered at a much higher priority than regression testing.
As regression testing is also done for passed test scenarios, it is ideal for identifying any potential side effects (of the newly implemented code). As retesting is performed only on failed test scenarios, it is ideal for checking if the said defect has been fixed in the current release.
Test scenarios for regression testing are majorly derived from FRS (Functional Requirements Specifications), product manuals, etc. Test scenarios for retesting cannot be derived before-hand, since this procedure only deals in checking if defects are fixed (or not).

It’s a Wrap

Both regression testing and retesting are an integral part of software projects since they help in building better-quality products. However, a conscious decision has to be made whether in-house resources or external resources from a reputed regression testing company should be deployed for performing regression testing at a large scale.

To summarize, it is important to adopt all the important software testing methodologies for ensuring that customer-delight requirements are met by meeting all the product quality guidelines.

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