There has been one underlying and common secret behind brands such as Amazon, Apple, Walmart, etc. rising to fame today. It is their command and laser-focus over continuous testing.

In the world of software testing, there are many different kinds of testing techniques such as unit and integration testing, system testing, smoke testing, quality assurance, functional testing, and non-functional testing. Among the methods listed above, smoke testing comes as a prominent one.

What is Smoke Testing and Where does it Help?

A software test life cycle should begin with this form of testing. During smoke testing, the build gets verified. Whenever a new build or a change to the build goes to deployment, this method of testing comes into the picture.

The core purpose of Smoke Testing is to ensure the code remains stable during new releases. As this testing method provides a quick overview of the new code’s stability ahead of a comprehensive functional or regression testing, it acts as a critical precursor.

Why Smoke Testing is Important

Smoke tests help identify when a particular product is ready to undergo further testing after it has undergone rapid regression tests for its major functionality. It is a largely accurate method for identifying defects at the outset of a software development process.

This method of testing is usually used by the QA team, though developers will occasionally utilize this method, as well. A successful test of the smoke can be used to continue with the building process – otherwise the build is denied.

The Process

Test cases covering the most prominent system functionalities are usually covered in smoke testing. This method of testing is aimed at verifying that the critical functionalities of the system work correctly, not to perform exhaustive testing.

You can use this to check the performance of some basic functions of web apps and mobile apps, like certain login features, mobile app installation and running, and checking the responsiveness of GUI features of web apps.

Is smoke testing done by everyone? No.

Testing smoke is usually done by a QA Lead. New software builds get tested to find out if they function efficiently. An example would be for QA to list all the software’s important features. The functionality and stability would be tested under smoke testing. During the development phase, smoke testing is used to ensure that the requirement matches the build. An automated tool can be used for performing smoke tests, while it can also be performed manually.

Count on some ultimate benefits of Smoke Testing

  1. Tests are conducted in a very short period, thus resulting in fast feedback and ensuring that the build can be moved forward for further testing.
  2. Assume the following. Early detection of show-stopping bugs and the savings of time
  3. Ensures that a build is stable enough to be accepted or rejected for further testing
  4. Early detection of critical bug blocks and speedy resolution of problems
  5. The process of detecting and correcting major issues earlier during the software testing life cycle improves quality by enabling major issues to be detected earlier and corrected
  6. Provides the test team with a way to find all the obvious bugs without spending too much time and effort testing
  7. Allows project managers to monitor software development progress and eases progress assessments

How to take smoke tests to the next level?

  • Test a product or project early on during its development
  • Document all smoke testing regularly
  • The duration of a smoke test shouldn’t exceed an hour
  • Each sprint and release should include these tests
  • Every time a new build is deployed, these tests must be run
  • Maintaining a repository of test cases is essential
  • Reduce time and cost of smoke tests by automating them where possible
  • Validate all essential and critical functions across new releases

Two leading Tests – Smoke & Sanity, which one is better?

In software testing, smoke and sanitation tests are the most overlooked. Many studies have been conducted on this topic, but most of them are misleading. In the following report, we try to clarify misunderstandings.

  • In smoke testing, stability is verified, whereas, in sanity testing, rationality is verified.
  • Both developers and testers are responsible for smoke testing, while testers are responsible for health testing.
  • Sanity Testing verifies the latest features of the system, such as bug fixes. Smoke checking verifies the system’s core features.
  • Tests for smoke and sanity are subsets of regression testing and acceptance testing, respectively.
  • It is standard for smoke testing to be recorded or scripted, but no sanity test is conducted.
  • Sanity testing is limited to testing one part of the device, but smoke testing covers the whole thing.

Way forward

Smoke testing is an essential part of Software Engineering as it identifies defects in an early stage. During the smoke test activity, the software build is tested before entering the system stage. For every build that goes to testing, smoke tests are required to be conducted. Both new development and incremental upgrades of the system are subject to this requirement.

A quality assurance team must ensure that the application version under testing is the right one before conducting smoke testing. Using this simple process, the application’s stability can be tested in a short period. Smoke tests are useful for reducing testing effort and improving quality. Depending on the client and the organization, smoke testing can be performed manually or automatically.

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Written by Infiwave Solutions