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Smoke Testing – Software Testing

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Prerequisite – Types of Software Testing 

Smoke testing, also known as “Build Verification Testing” or “Build Acceptance Testing,” is a type of software testing that is typically performed at the beginning of the development process to ensure that the most critical functions of a software application are working correctly. It is used to quickly identify and fix any major issues with the software before more detailed testing is performed. The goal of smoke testing is to determine whether the build is stable enough to proceed with further testing.

What is Smoke Testing?

Smoke Testing is a software testing method that determines whether the employed build is stable or not. It acts as a confirmation of whether the quality assurance team can proceed with further testing. Smoke tests are a minimum set of tests run on each build. Smoke testing is a process where the software build is deployed to a quality assurance environment and is verified to ensure the stability of the application. Smoke Testing is also known as Confidence Testing or Build Verification Testing

In other words, we verify whether the important features are working and there are no showstoppers in the build that are under testing. It is a mini and quick regression test of major functionality. Smoke testing shows that the product is ready for testing. This helps in determining if the build is flawed to make any further testing a waste of time and resources.

smoke-testing

Smoke Testing

Characteristics of Smoke Testing:

The following are the characteristics of the smoke testing:

  1. Level of Testing: Without delving into specific functionality, the testing procedure is superficial and broad-based, covering only the most important features.
  2. Automation: Automated smoke tests are a common way to quickly and effectively confirm fundamental system functionality.
  3. Frequency of execution: Usually, smoke testing is done following the release of a new build or following significant code modifications. In order to identify major issues early on, it can be run either daily or per build.
  4. Time Management: The process of determining the build’s stability is usually swift, requiring little time.
  5. Environment: Usually, smoke tests are carried out in a controlled setting that is quite similar to the production setting.

Smoke Testing is usually carried out by quality assurance engineers. 

Goal of Smoke Testing :

The aim of Smoke Testing is:

  1. Stop Wasting Resources: Refrain from wasting resources on extensive testing if the core functions aren’t working properly.
  2. Time Management: Save time by recognizing show-stopping concerns early on, so that development teams may rapidly handle important issues.
  3. Making Objective Decisions: Establish a transparent and impartial framework for determining whether a software build is ready for more, in-depth testing or if it has to be fixed right away.
  4. Continuous Integration: Make sure that before every new build is integrated into the bigger codebase, it satisfies basic quality criteria in order to support the continuous integration approach.
  5. Communication: Give quick feedback on the stability of the build to the development and testing teams to help them communicate effectively.

Types of Smoke Testing:

There are three types of Smoke Testing: 

  1. Manual Testing: In this, the tester has to write, develop, modify, or update the test cases for each built product. Either the tester has to write test scripts for existing features or new features.
  2. Automated Testing: In this, the tool will handle the testing process by itself providing the relevant tests. It is very helpful when the project should be completed in a limited time.
  3. Hybrid Testing: As the name implies, it is the combination of both manual and automated testing. Here, the tester has to write test cases by himself and he can also automate the tests using the tool. It increases the performance of the testing as it combines both manual checking and tools.
  4. Daily Smoke Testing: Daily smoke testing entails conducting smoke tests every day, particularly for projects where the development process includes frequent builds and continuous integration. It aids in making sure every daily build satisfies minimal requirements for quality.
  5. Acceptance Smoke Testing: This kind of smoke testing is carried out to confirm if an application build satisfies the fundamental acceptance standards established by clients or stakeholders. It frequently takes place prior to more thorough acceptance testing.
  6. UI Smoke Testing: The user interface components of an application are the only focus of UI smoke testing. It checks that the fundamental user interface elements and interactions are operating as intended.

Applying Smoke Testing at Different Levels:

It is applicable at 3 levels of testing. They are 

  • Acceptance Testing Level: Smoke testing verifies that the software build or application satisfies the minimal acceptance criteria established by stakeholders or clients during the acceptance testing stage. The main emphasis is on confirming the essential features and functionalities that are required for the application to be approved.
  • System Testing Level: Smoke testing confirms that the integrated system operates appropriately overall at the system testing level. It verifies the system’s overall functionality, making sure that all the main parts and modules operate in unison.
  • Integration testing Level: Smoke testing is used at the integration testing stage to verify how integrated modules or components interact with one another. Its main goal is to guarantee that the system’s integrated components can properly communicate and work together.

Tools used for Smoke Testing:

  • Selenium
  • PhantomJS

These tools are used while implementing the automated test cases.

Advantages of Smoke Testing:

  1. Smoke testing is easy to perform.
  2. It helps in identifying defects in the early stages.
  3. It improves the quality of the system.
  4. Smoke testing reduces the risk of failure.
  5. Smoke testing makes progress easier to access.
  6. It saves test effort and time.
  7. It makes it easy to detect critical errors and helps in the correction of errors.
  8. It runs quickly.
  9. It minimizes integration risks.

Disadvantages of Smoke Testing:

  1. Smoke Testing does not cover all the functionality in the application. Only a certain part of the testing is done.
  2. Errors may occur even after implementing all the smoke tests.
  3. In the case of manual smoke testing, it takes a lot of time to execute the testing process for larger projects.
  4. It will not be implemented against the negative tests or with the invalid input.
  5. It usually consists of a minimum number of test cases and hence we cannot find the other issues that happened during the testing process.

Important Points:

  1. Smoke testing is a type of software testing performed early in the development process
  2. The goal is to quickly identify and fix major issues with the software
  3. It tests the most critical functions of the application
  4. Helps to determine if the build is stable enough to proceed with further testing
  5. It is also known as Build Verification Testing or Build Acceptance Testing.

References:

Several reference books provide information on smoke testing and software testing in general. Some popular ones include:

  1. “Effective Software Testing: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Testing” by Elfriede Dustin
  2. “Software Testing: A Guide to the TMap® Approach” by Joost Schouten
  3. “Testing Computer Software” by Cem Kaner, Jack Falk, Hung Q. Nguyen
  4. “A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design” by Lee Copeland
  5. “Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams” by Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory
    These books provide detailed information on various testing methodologies, techniques, and best practices and are considered good references for software testing professionals and students.


Last Updated : 10 Jan, 2024
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