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Software Testing - Smoke Testing

Software testing is done to improve its quality. A testing technique which is performed at the initial stages of software development life cycle (SDLC) is known as smoke testing.

What is Smoke Testing?

The smoke testing is done to verify if the important functionalities of the software are working as expected. It is also known as the build validation testing or confidence testing. It is primarily done to detect errors in the most important functionalities of the software before starting with exhaustive testing. It determines if the build is stable enough to carry out further testing. It is performed after the software has been unit tested, and integrated with all the other components, prior to starting the functional testing.

Once the smoke test cases get successfully executed on a build, the testing team gets the green signal to proceed with more testing. The smoke tests do not cover everything but include tests which cover the critical functionalities to verify a new build. Thus it only validates if the prominent features of the software are working and there are no showstopper defects. It is a smaller version of running the regression tests. In short, a smoke test is done to test if the build can be used for more testing without facing any major issues.

Characteristics of Smoke Testing

The characteristics of smoke testing are listed below −

  • It does not go deep into any functionalities of the software, it is at a high level and covers only the important features.
  • The smoke test cases are mostly automated.
  • The smoke test cases are either executed on a new build or after major code changes to detect errors early.
  • They are executed on a daily basis or on a new build.
  • It does not require much time to execute them.
  • The smoke tests are executed in an environment similar to that of production.

Objectives of Smoke Testing

The objectives of smoke testing are listed below −

  • It stops wastage of time in further verifying the software if its most critical features are not working.
  • It saves costs by reporting the showstopper issues at the early stages of SDLC.
  • It is a consistent yardstick in measuring if exhaustive testing can begin or the build should be fixed right away.
  • It supports the establishment of the continuous integration process in software development.
  • It provides feedback to the development and testing teams regarding the available software build.

Different Types of Smoke Testing

The different types of smoke testing are listed below −

  • The smoke testing can be performed by executing the test cases manually.
  • The smoke testing can be performed by executing the test cases by automation.
  • The smoke testing can be performed by executing the test cases by both manually and via automation.
  • The smoke tests can be run daily to support the continuous integration process in development.
  • The acceptance smoke tests are executed to confirm if the software build is as per the basic acceptance standards given by the clients. These tests are run prior to a detailed acceptance testing.
  • The ui smoke tests are focussed on the GUI of the software.

At Which Testing Levels are the Smoke Testing Methods Used?

The different levels on which smoke testing are used are listed below −

Acceptance Testing Level

At this level, the smoke testing verifies if the software build meets the minimal acceptance conditions from the clients at the time of acceptance testing. It mainly covers the main features of software that are needed for the software to be approved.

System Testing Level

At this level, the smoke testing verifies if the software is working once its multiple components are integrated together.

Integration Testing Level

At this level, the smoke testing checks how the interaction among multiple components takes place.

What are the Different Smoke Testing Tools?

The different smoke testing tools are listed below −

  • Selenium − Selenium is an open-source and a portable automated software testing tool for testing web applications. It has capabilities to operate across different browsers and operating systems.
  • Cypress − Cypress is an open-source and free test automation tool, which can be used extensively in the long run. It is mainly used for front end test automation. This tool is mainly developed to solve the issues that the teams face, while automating an application.
  • TestNG − Testing is the process of checking the functionality of an application to ensure it works as per requirements. Unit testing comes into picture at the developer level where adequate measures are taken to test every single entity (class or method) to ensure the final product meets the requirements.
  • Postman − Postman is an Application Programming Interface (API) testing tool. API acts like an interface between a couple of applications and establishes a connection between them.
  • Robot Framework − Robot Framework is an open source test automation framework for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development. It follows different test case styles − keyword-driven, behaviour-driven and data-driven for writing test cases.

Advantages of Smoke Testing

The advantages of smoke testing are listed below −

  • It can be performed very easily.
  • It detects showstopper bugs at the early phases of SDLC.
  • It identifies the correct build on which exhaustive testing can be performed.
  • It enhances the software quality.
  • It brings down the probability of encountering risks while using the software.
  • It helps to speed up the testing process.
  • It saves a lot of time and effort in testing.
  • It reduces the possibility of encountering errors while several components are integrated in the software.

Disadvantages of Smoke Testing

The disadvantages of smoke testing are listed below −

  • It only covers the important features of the software and does not verify any of them in detail.
  • If the smoke tests are not automated, then it may take a long time to complete them for bigger projects.
  • It does not cover all possible scenarios (positive, negative, and edge) or use cases for a requirement.
  • It only covers the normal flows and does not include any complex business flows.
  • It only has a few test cases and hence not capable of identifying all the errors in the software.

Key Features of Smoke Testing

The key features of smoke testing are listed below −

  • The smoke tests are executed only at the initial phases of SDLC.
  • It confirms if a particular build is suitable for detailed testing.
  • The basic intent of running them is to identify the critical and showstopper defects early.
  • It covers the main and critical features of the software.
  • It is also called the build acceptance or verification testing.


This concludes our comprehensive take on the tutorial on Software Smoke Testing. We’ve started with describing what is smoke testing, what are the characteristics of smoke testing, what are the objectives of smoke testing, what are the different types of smoke testing, at which testing levels the smoke testing are used, what are the different smoke testing tools, what are the advantages and disadvantages of smoke testing, and what are the key features of smoke testing. This equips you with in-depth knowledge of Software Smoke Testing. It is wise to keep practicing what you’ve learned and exploring others relevant to Software Testing to deepen your understanding and expand your horizons.