Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is the initial testing process exercised to check whether the software under test is ready/stable for further testing. Smoke Testing, also known as “Build Verification Testing”.

The term ‘Smoke Testing’  came from the hardware testing, in the hardware testing initial pass is done to check if it did not catch the fire or smoked in the initial switch on.

Prior to start Smoke testing few test cases need to created once to use for smoke testing. These test cases are executed prior to start actual testing to check critical functionalities of the program is working fine.

Examples of Smoke Testing:

Let us assume that there is an application like ‘Student Network’ which has 15 modules. Among them, there are 4 important components like Login page, Adding student details, Updating it and Deleting it. As a part of smoke testing we will test the login page with valid input. After login we will test the addition, updating and deletion of records. If all the 4 critical components work fine then the build is stable enough to proceed with detailed testing. This is known as Smoke testing.

Smoke testing covers most of the major functions of the software but none of them in depth. The result of this test is used to decide whether to proceed with further testing. If the smoke test passes, go ahead with further testing. If it fails, halt further tests and ask for a new build with the required fixes. If an application is badly broken, detailed testing might be a waste of time and effort.

Smoke test helps in exposing integration and major problems early in the cycle. It can be conducted on both newly created software and enhanced software. Smoke test is performed manually or with the help of automation tools/scripts. If builds are prepared frequently, it is best to automate smoke testing.

As and when an application becomes mature, with addition of more functionalities etc, the smoke test needs to be made more expansive. Sometimes, it takes just one incorrect character in the code to render an entire application useless.

When to use smoke testing:

Smoke testing is used in the following scenarios:

  • It is done by developers before giving build to the testing team.
  • It is done by the testers before they start the detailed testing.
  • Smoke testing is done to ensure that the basic functionalities of the application are working fine.
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