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Smoke Testing Quick Tips with Example to Master Smoke Testing

Smoke Testing Quick Tips with Example to Master Smoke Testing

Smoke tests are often performed in conjunction with a new build or commit. Smoke testing is a manual process; however, automation has the potential to simplify the process. Any error signals that the system must be returned to the development team. We do Smoke Testing whenever there is a modification in the production to assure reliability. In layman’s words, we’re making sure that all of the critical features are operational so that there are no stumbling blocks in the current release.

QA team checks for showstoppers in the application that is under testing. Smoke testing in the practice of software development and software testing has become a commonly used technique for the early and continuous detection of software defects. There are many ways that smoke testing can be applied in software applications and systems. In this article, we explore some interesting history of how the term “smoke testing” originated, and then use that history as an analogy for finding defects in software and systems. We also show examples of how smoke testing can be designed and performed in a variety of contexts.


A developer can perform smoke testing before releasing a build iteration to test. By testing the most critical functions before releasing the code to testing team, you can catch the most annoying but easy to fix bugs. This helps testers channel their skills into catching the more complex ones.

The entire QA team sits together and discusses the main features of the software and the smoke test will be done to find out its condition. Once the software build is complete, it goes to the QA where critical functional test cases will be executed. Usually, Smoke Testing is done manually to verify navigation is happening smoothly without any hindrance to functionality. Sanity testing determines the completion of the development phase and makes a decision whether to pass or not to pass software product for further testing phase. In Figure 1, we see the steps involved in a basic smoke test to login to a mobile banking app, look at account balances on the main page of the app, then sign out of the app. A regression test might cover both preferred and non-preferred conditions.

  • Another example is how a plumber might inject smoke into a plumbing system to find leaks without the risk of water damage to walls.
  • In simple terms, smoke tests means verifying the important features are working and there are no showstoppers in the build that is under testing.
  • All the show stoppers in the build will get identified by performing smoke testing.
  • Smoke testing is the preliminary check of the software after a build and before a release.
  • After the build has been submitted to QA, smoke testing is performed.

Deep testing will not be done while performing sanity testing. Once the major build of software has been done, it will be tested to find out it’s working well or not. There can be a situation where, either the expected code changes are not there in the build or even that some major functionality is broken. Also, smoke tests are most efficiently and sustainably performed as automated tests, but can be performed manually. In Figure 3, we see one example of how smoke tests fit into the flow of a Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipeline.

This collection of test cases is intended to uncover construction problems. If these tests pass, the QA team moves on to Functional Testing. Smoke testing is performed anytime the latest software capabilities are built and incorporated with an existent build that is delivered in a QA/staging setup. It verifies whether or not all key features are functioning properly.

Since those early days, smoke testing has been used in a variety of contexts, including automotive repair, heating and cooling systems, and now, software applications. Example – A new registration button is added to the login window, and the build is updated with the new code. Consider Smoke Tests as a standard part of your software testing process. The key determinant of your smoke testing frequency is how frequently you’re able to add substantially new stuff to your product. As mentioned above, Smoke Testing focuses on the workflow of core applications so; we choose test case suits that covers the major functionality of the application. The number of test cases should be minimized as much as possible and time of execution must not be more than half an hour.

As a consequence, smoke tests restore the system to its original condition. Only when we have completed smoke testing will we begin functional testing. Smoke Testing is a software testing technique that identifies whether or not a software build that has been delivered is error free or not. Smoke testing confirms that the QA team can move on with further software testing. It is made up of a small collection of tests that are performed on each build to test programme functionality. Smoke testing is sometimes known as “Confidence Testing” or “Build Verification Testing.”

What does smoke test mean?

But in the later stage of application development, if we do smoke testing, the number of bugs that we are going to catch in smoke testing will be very less. Therefore, frequently the effort spent on smoke testing is less. Generally, whenever the new build is installed, we will perform one round of smoke testing because in the latest build, we may encounter the blocker bug.

definition of smoke test

This type of testing is generally done manually, but it can be automated. Once completed, the software build is sent to the QA team who will perform tests on its critical functions. If the tests fail, it will be sent back to the development team for fixing. In automated smoke testing, pre-recorded tests run on the build and record whether the functions work or not. While performing the functional testing, if the test engineer identifies the major bug in the early stages, sometimes it is not suitable for the developer to find a major bug in the initial stages. So the test engineer will perform the smoke testing before doing the functional, integration, system, and other types of testing.

We can see immediately in both of these definitions that smoke testing is typically not achieved in a single test case, but rather in a collection of tests. This collection of tests may vary in number, depending on the item being tested, but the goal remains the same – to find basic defects early before other work occurs on the item. Once the build has been released in QA and the smoke tests have been successful, we will move on to functional testing. If the smoke test fails, we stop testing until the build issue is resolved. It’s as simple as – at any given point in time – putting the product built thus far through a rudimentary series of happy path tests, to help bring out the simple yet critical bugs.

Techopedia Explains Smoke Testing

And when the customer performs the acceptance testing and does not find any issues and satisfied with the application because we already perform the smoke testing. Before performing smoke testing, QA team must ensure the correct build version of the application under test. It is a simple process which takes a minimum time to test the stability of the application. In Software Engineering, Smoke testing should be performed on each and every build without fail as it helps to find defects in early stages. Smoke test activity is the final step before the software build enters the system stage. Smoke tests must be performed on each build that is turned to testing.

definition of smoke test

If you know how to interact with a PC or mobile device, you’re pretty much set to do smoke testing. Suppose, we are using an eCommerce site, and the core working of this site should be login, specific search, add an item into the cart, add an item into the favorite, payment options, etc. After testing, the tester has to be sure and confident about the functioning of the function of the application.

Words Starting With S and Ending

Smoke testing is a type of preliminary software testing that is used to test whether the software is stable or not. It is a subcategory of test cases that aims to assess the core functions of the software. This then determines whether the build is stable enough to run further, more in-depth tests on. Here, the Test lead says that the application is ready for further testing. The test leads do not specify to do smoke testing, but still, the testing team starts testing the application by doing smoke testing. In this, the development team sends the application to the Test Lead.

If developers make builds frequently or implement continuous testing, then automating smoke tests will enable QA testers to give faster feedback on test builds. The term smoke testing originates from a basic type of hardware testing in which a device passes the test if it doesn’t catch fire the first time it turns on. With the help of smoke testing, most of the defects are identified at initial stages of software development.

Quick Tips to Master Smoke Testing

Smoke tests offer a simple, straightforward yet supremely effective option to speed up your bug fixing efforts. Developers and others alike can use Smoke tests in software projects, and can dramatically improve code quality. Traditional Test cycles help you catch most bugs, mainly by scientifically testing the code. They provide unmatched coverage and depth, and can help catch some of the most difficult to catch bugs in production – those that annoyingly surface during customer usage. And it all depends on how much ‘new’ stuff you’re putting into your product, and at what rate. In Extreme Agile environments, and if you have Continuous Integration and DevOps, well, go for as many smoke tests as you like or need.

Why Should You Plan for Project Requirements Even Before You Have Any?

If the test is successful, we will move on to functional testing. If the problem exists, the version is declined and returned to the development team for improvement. With a fresh build version, QA begins smoke testing once more. Smoke testing is conducted on new builds and will be merged with older builds to ensure the system’s accuracy. Before doing smoke testing, the QA team should ensure that the right build versions are used.

Genetic test means an analysis of human DNA, RNA, chromosomes, proteins, or metabolites, that detect genotypes, mutations, or chromosomal changes. When the time is less and the new build is ready for deployment, automation can be used to smoke test. The three basic operations in a database are added the record, edit the record, and delete a record.

#8 Use Smoke Tests to decide whether the code is ready for more advanced testing. So Sanity Tests have a much more specific scope compared to Smoke Tests, and happen later in the project or product lifecycle. If you are interested to learn more, the link above describes the differences in greater detail. You need to be thinking about 30 minutes – or at most 60 minutes – as duration of Smoke Tests.

The smoke tests certify the construction for more rigorous testing. The primary goal of smoke testing is to discover definition of smoke test serious problems early on. Smoke tests are used to evaluate stability of the system and compliance.

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