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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What are different characteristics of smoke testing?

Smoke testing is considered to be one of the preliminary software testing techniques to further testing that are intended to reveal simple failures that are simple enough to be a cause of a software project to be rejected. 
In the term “smoke testing”, smoke is used as a metaphor. All the test cases that are known to provide coverage to most important functionality of a component of the software system or application are selected and grouped under a set and later are run. This is basically done to ascertain that the most crucial functions and features of the software system and application are working as desired or not! 
One can understand smoke testing better by having a look at the below mentioned questions:
  1. Does the program run?
  2. Does clicking the start button do anything?
  3. Does the program run?

Goals of Smoke Testing

- The primary goal of the smoke testing is to determine if the problem or fault in the software system or application is so worse that any further testing on that software system or application will be a waste. 
- To put it simply, the smoke testing can be considered to be a cheap and less time consuming way to broadly cover the features and functionalities of the software product in a limited period of time. 
- By carrying out smoke testing, you can easily find out if any of your software system’s or application’s key feature or functionality is broken at some point and so your development team would not spend further time on it fixing or recreating it. 

People often confuse between the two similar terms i.e., smoke testing and build verification test. No doubt both are one and same the only thing when the smoke testing is performed on a build it called build verification test.

When should smoke testing be performed?

- One of the best practices of software testing is that the smoke testing should be performed everyday without fail. 
- Furthermore, the smoke testing can also be performed by the testers before accepting a module or build for further testing.
- Some testing has been listed as the most cost effective method for the identification and fixation of the defects in a software system or application after the code reviews by the software giant Microsoft Corporation. 
- The smoke testing is deployed as a process for the validation of the changes that have to be in the code before they are passed on to the source control in the Microsoft Corporation. 
- The smoke testing has to be carried out either automatically or manually that is purely the choice of the tester.
- When the smoke testing is carried out manually, the process goes on normally but when the automated tools are used, the tests that have to be carried out are initiated during the same process through which the build is generated. 

Smoke tests have 2 types as mentioned below:
  1. Unit tests: Smoke tests under this category are known to exercise the sub routines, object methods and individual functions and so on.
  2. Functional tests: These types of smoke tests are known to exercise the complete program along with various inputs.
Both the above mentioned type of smoke testing tools together make up a third party product that falls out of the compiler suite. 
A scripted series of program inputs form a function test and some may also have an automated mechanism. On the other hand the unit tests may be formed out of the separate functions that lie within the code. They can even be a driver layer that might be linked to the code. The smoke testing in software can be compared to the smoke testing in hard wares. 

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