The Most Comprehensive and Friendly Guide On Smoke Testing [with Examples]

Smoke Testing

Smoke testing made the job easy for many testers when it was introduced. In this blog, I’m going to cover a most comprehensive guide on Smoke Testing, dealing all your queries regarding smoke test, like what smoke testing is and when we should use smoke testing, the advantages and disadvantages, and many more…

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Smoke Testing: What it is, Characteristics, Purpose, How to do & Many More?

Let’s discuss all about smoke testing and start with what is smoke testing.

What Is Smoke Testing?

Smoke testing is a software testing process that determines the stability of the software.

You carry out this testing at the initial stage of software development to check whether your application performs basic functionalities or not. It provides the confirmation to the QA team to process for further software testing.

It is basically a very initial level testing that does not test the application in-depth but just to check whether the basic features are functional. If you find the issue at an early stage with smoke testing, you save a lot of your time.

Let’s understand smoke testing.

For example, You are building one application like Whatsapp, and it is filled with tons of features.

Further development needs to be done to add more features and make it more stable.

However, the main functionality of Whatsapp is to send a message and to call; now, with this testing, you will be able to check whether the message and call feature, i.e. the core features, are working correctly or not.

If core features are not working, then further development does not make sense. So it checks the main function functionality and not in-depth problems.

Smoke testing is also called build verification testing.

Characteristics of Smoke Testing

Here are the recommended characteristics of smoke testing.

  • It should be scripted and documented.
  • This testing can be stable as well as unstable.
  • It should be carried out by the quality assurance engineers only.
  • Smoke tests need to be quick to run, whereas “quick” may vary depending upon any specific situation.
  • It should be self-scoring, like any other automated test.
  • It must provide extensive coverage across the system.

Goals of Smoke Testing

Smoke Testing aims to:

  • Detect any early defects in software products.
  • Demonstrate system stability.
  • Assure that even the minute functionalities of the program are working fine.
  • Demonstrate conformance to requirements.
  • Measure the software product’s stability by performing testing.
  • Test all the included functions and features of the software product.

Read also: Why Testing Software on Real Devices at Scale is Crucial?

When Is Smoke Testing Done?

Smoke testing needs to be done at the very start of the software testing process.

Once your software team is ready with the base code and basic build of the software, you need to deploy the application for testing.

It will check if the basic features are working correctly or not. When there is a change in the build, or a new build is delivered, this testing technique should be used.

This method of testing verifies the code’s stability for each sprint in which new code is deployed.

This testing method is used before any extensive functional or regression testing because it takes very little time to acquire a good overview of the new code’s stability.

Suppose the software is able to perform basic features like shifting from one page to another. In that case, your software is good to go by proper clicking of options, visual correctness, export and import of data, sending messages, etc.

So, if the software is once passed through smoke testing, further development and testing occurs in the software.

It tells you if the basic layout of your software is ready or not. If your basic software functions are not prepared, then you can work on them before going to the next stage.

Illustration for Smoke Testing
Smoke Testing

Who Will Do Smoke Testing?

Smoke testing is the responsibility of either the QA lead or the QA Engineers. If a new version of the software is created, it will be tested to see if it functions properly.

In one scenario, the QA team will make a list of all the critical features of the product. After that, smoke testing is done to ensure that it is stable and working.

During the development phase, smoke testing is carried out to see if the requirements are in line with the build.

The code testing we do in a development environment that is necessary to check the correctness of the programme before delivering the build to QA is called Sanity Testing.

It’s basically a procedure for ensuring that an application in development meets its fundamental functional requirements, and it is frequently done narrowly and deeply.

This testing assesses whether the development process is complete and whether the software product should be passed or rejected for further testing.

Moreover, you can do this testing either manually or with the help of automation testing tools like TestGrid.

Why Do We Do Smoke Testing?

Smoke Testing is one of the very important testings in software development since it assures the system’s accuracy in the early stages.

Doing smoke testing can save a lot of time and money. As a result, smoke testing ensures that the system’s working order is proper. Only when we’ve completed smoke testing will we begin functional testing.

Here’s what the smoke testing can do:

  • It will identify all of the show stoppers in the construction.
  • After the build has been released to QA, when smoke testing is performed, it identifies the majority of errors during the early stages of software development.
  • It makes detecting and correcting severe flaws much more accessible.
  • The QA team can use smoke testing to uncover faults in the application’s functioning that the new code may have introduced.

What Will Happen If We Don’t Do Smoke Testing?

Suppose we don’t opt for doing Smoke testing. In that case, it may result in the failure to detect some significant issues and errors, even in the later stages of SDLC, which could be a deal-breaker for future testing efforts.

If this type of testing is not used, there is a reasonable probability that specific integration issues will appear when other types of software testing are used.

Moreover, any new build that is released must be effectively smoke tested to determine whether the build can proceed to the next stage of the testing process.

How To Do Smoke Testing?

Here are the basic fundamental steps using which we do smoke testing.

The process for implementation can undoubtedly vary depending on your application and the setup of your build tool. However, the essential steps of testing will not change!

Basic Steps of Smoke Testing

#01 Get ready to take the test

You may need to undertake setup procedures after you’ve successfully completed the build and before you test your application. Copying files to the correct locations, setting up database tables, installing licenses, and running a server are all examples of this.

#02 Get hold of your test files

The very next step is to gather all the required information you’ll need for your smoke test. If you’re using Perforce’s smoke testing program, you’ll utilize the command line to download many test files to your local drive.

#03 Make a script for it

You will get more freedom if you use a single script for testing (while keeping the build script static). Your build tool should be used to execute your smoke test. Its report should be saved alongside the rest of the build files once it has been completed. If something goes wrong, the developers must be notified (along with an output of the script).

#04 Take care of the mess

You must clean up after the smoke test. Stopping a server, removing files, and emptying database tables are all examples of this. This might be done prior to the initial setup stage to ensure that the environment is clean before any tests begin.

Steps Involved In Smoke Testing

Identify smoke test cases: This is a critical phase in the smoke test process. It’s crucial to determine the smallest amount of test cases necessary to cover the product’s most important features so that they can be completed fast.

#01 Create smoke tests: The smoke tests that have been identified should be utilized to build test cases around them. Test cases are written by hand, and test scripts can be written to automate the process.

#02 Execute smoke tests: After the smoke tests have been built, they may be executed on the build and the results examined.

#03 Analyze smoke tests: Once the smoke tests have been completed, the results should be analyzed to determine whether the build was successful or not.

Smoke Testing Flow Chart

The flow chart below depicts how Smoke Testing is carried out.

It depicts that, after we do the smoke testing, we move on to functional testing only if we deploy the build in QA and the smoke tests have passed.

But, if the smoke test fails, we stop testing and first resolve the build issue as soon as possible.

Build 1.0

Types of Smoke Testing

We generally divide the methods of doing smoke testing into three types: Manual Method, Automation Method, and Hybrid Method.

#01 Manual Method

In this method, we need to run the smoke tests manually, and the scripts must be changed, or new scripts must be generated based on the necessity for each newly introduced feature. This is the most widely utilized smoke testing approach.

This testing is done to confirm that important path navigation is as expected and that the functionality is not hampered.

Once the build has been released to QA, high-priority functionality test cases must be created and tested to identify severe system flaws.

We’ll move on to functional testing only if the test succeeds. If the test fails, the complete build is rejected and returned to the development team to be fixed.

With a new build version, QA begins the testing once more.

We do smoke testing on new builds and incorporate it with older bodies to ensure the system’s correctness.

#02 Automation Method

In this method, smoke tests are done using automation testing tools like TestGrid.io, which uses a set of automated test cases. Developers may examine the build instantly with the help of automated tests whenever a new bug is discovered in the build.

Instead of doing manual tests every single time a new software build is deployed, we can record the smoke test cases using a tool and run it again and again.

It checks to see if the primary functions are still working properly. If the test fails, they can quickly correct the build and re-deploy it. We can save time and ensure a high-quality QA environment by doing so.

The most significant benefit of this is, we can record all the manual stages in the software build using a test automation tool like TestGrid.io.

#03 Hybrid Method

This method basically combines the manual and automated testing methods to increase the overall performance of software testing.

Essential Tips For Doing Smoke Tests

Here are a few of the very essential tips that you should consider while doing testing for any of your or your client’s software:

  1. Conduct smoke tests early on in the development of a project or product.
  2. Keep track of all smoke tests on a regular basis.
  3. It should not take longer than an hour to complete.
  4. You should carry out smoke tests for each sprint and release.
  5. Maintaining a test case repository is essential.
  6. Whenever possible, automate testing to save time and money.
  7. Smoke tests all crucial and critical functionalities in new construction.

Advantages of Smoke Testing

Here are the significant advantages of performing smoke testing in the early stages of the software development cycle:

  • Save time: You can use such testing before your software goes through manual regressive, as regressive testing takes more time. It takes only a few minutes; hence saves your time.
  • Find bugs at an early stage of the software.
  • Improves effectiveness of QA team
  • Improves the final product’s quality by uncovering the primary functionality issue in the software.

Issues With The Manual Method of Smoke Testing

Following are the limitations or the issues related to the manual method of performing smoke tests which are generally used at a ton of companies by QA teams of manual testers especially.

  • Outdated: It was effective and great before automation testing was not introduced in the market, as it used to save time for manual testers, but today with automation testing software like TestGrid, even the intensive level testing is done in a few minutes. Thus it is a bit outdated testing process now.
  • Not a substitute: Don’t consider it a gateway to skip detailed software testing; smoke testing is very basic, so it will not be effective for complex application and software testing.
  • Manual smoke time taking: You must consider to automate this test; if you are hiring someone or any tester in your firm is doing it manually, then it’s not the best ROI of your time and money, as such time and money for such a basic level of testing do not make sense.
  • Not accurate: Even if your software through smoke testing, you will surely able to detect some more bugs.
desktop illustration
Smoke Testing

How To Overcome These Issues Related?

The straightforward answer, go for Automation Testing.

It is the first basic testing process used earlier when there was no effective automation testing software. Today We have lots of automation testing software in the market, software like TestGrid.io, and you get your software and website checked in depth in the same amount of time or even less than it used to take earlier with smoke testing.

Read also: Challenges and Must-Do Right Practices in Automation Testing

Advantages of Automated Method of Smoke Testing

Here are a lot of benefits that you can get by automating the process of testing using the goos automation tools in the market like TestGrid.io.

  • Provide in-depth testing of your software and website
  • Avoid human errors, which are possible in manual testing.
  • It Saves time, as it takes place in just a few minutes, also saves time for hiring a testing team.
  • It saves money as software like TestGrid.io provides multiple websites and software testing features, unlike manual testing, where you need to pay a salary for every testing done.
  • Software like TestGrid.io tests even complex applications and websites thanks to its integration of many software in one software
  • Automation testing is more secure as compared to manual testing.
  • Automation testing software like TestGrid.io provides easy to understand instructions that even a person with no programming background can understand.
  • You don’t require coding, just a matter of a few clicks and testing done.
  • Codeless automation testing
  • Provide the best ROI for your time and money.

Read also: 19 Remarkable Benefits of Automation Testing that You Must Know

Conclusion

Performing smoke tests was the best way to save time and effort as if there were any bugs in the basic features of the software; so the team can resolve it was quickly and save the time of manual testers and the time of the entire software firm.

But today, you get lots of automation testing software, doing all testing from basic to advance at the same time as that of smoke testing, and you also get its features in automation software like TestGrid.io.

Automation software identifies all basic to complex bugs for you. And if you go for automation testing software like TestGrid.io, you get accurate test reports as well.

So instead of going for the manual method of doing smoke testing, go for automation testing software and test your software or website in depth in the same amount of time.

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