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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Explain Automation of Smoke Testing?

Smoke testing though being a very useful, quick  software testing methodology, if not carried out in an automated way can take up a lot of time and efforts. 

Need for Automation

There is one more thing to manually carry out smoke testing which is that if later if you come to know that the testing was being carried out in wrong direction then it will surely give you a headache to perform whole of the testing once again and again if required. 

Why automation of smoke testing useful?

- Automation of smoke testing proves to be very useful in saving time and efforts.
- Smoke testing is considered to be one of the most effective ways that are used for the validation of the changes that are made to the software system or application program code at a high level before a detailed testing is undertaken on the new build. 
- Carrying out smoke tests can help a lot to stabilize the builds and verify that there are no major problems in the software system or application.
- The reliability factor of the smoke testing determines the success of the smoke test i.e., the more you can rely up on the smoke test for finding major problems, the more you can cut down the costs and increase the quality measures of the software product or artifact.
- Smoke testing provides a reliable, scalable solution that can be quickly and easily be automated. 
- One of the best things about automating the smoke test is that it does not require any programming.
- Smoke tests can be quickly written and automated by testers of any skill level within few minutes.

What functions are provided by the tools used for automating smoke tests?

There are so many tools available for automating the smoke tests. With these tools you can perform the following functions:
  1. With these tools smoke tests can be written and automated within few minutes and without requiring any programming.
  2. Using these tools all the builds can be validated before any changes are incorporated in to them.
  3. These tools are quite helpful when it comes to stabilizing the whole build process and verifying the readiness of a build for further full scale QA testing.
  4. With these tools quick tests can be conducted ensuring that the basic functionality is still intact and is working properly.
  5. The overall quality of the product can be improved since the problems can be detected early.
  6. Costs can be reduced ensuring that the team is having sufficient time for developing the product.

How a smoke test is automated?

- Smoke testing is usually preceded by quality assurance.
- As soon as the errors are discovered, it requires less efforts and money to get fixed.
-In automated smoke test, a continuous build process is deployed that automatically performs a smoke test each time a build is finished developing. 
- With such a methodology, the developers come to know easily if the recently developed build caused the problem. 
- Depending upon the configuration of the build tool and the software system or application, the process of implementing the automated smoke tests will vary despite of the basic steps being followed the same. 
- After the successful completion of the build, some set up steps are performed before the application is tested. The steps may include:
1. Copying files to the appropriate places.
2. Setting up the data base tables.
3. Starting a server.
4. Installing licenses.
Next step is to obtain all the QA files required for the smoke test and running the smoke test. 
- The report of the smoke test is saved and final step involves clean up including the steps:
  1. Stopping a server
  2. Emptying data base tables and
  3. Deleting files.

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