Concept – Smoke Testing
Smoke testing is fundamentally related to concept of ‘project control’ where deviations of the actual project outputs are compared with desired outputs. The parameters used in project control include time, cost and performance.
In projects where time is a constraint, project outputs should be assessed regularly and herein comes the functional role of smoke testing. It is therefore very commonly used while developing software so called “shrinkwrapped”.
Smoke Testing – Procedure
The most important functional unit in smoke testing is ‘built’. A built brings together code, data files, module, libraries which work together to lend product one or the other functionality. Designing the built is the preliminary step in smoke testing; following which a sequence of tests are made. Apparently, the purpose of these tests is to reveal errors, which have the maximum possibility of interfering with proper functioning of the software. After such isolated tests are done for each designed module, different modules are brought together and tested for inter-modular functionality stability (and hence the term integrated testing is used).
Pros – Smoke Testing
There are many advantages of smoke testing, especially perceptible for complex projects where time is a constraint.
Smoke testing inoculates high testing frequency, which causes the errors to show up timely. Further, the mid stage integration of various module minimizes the risk of incompatibility at later stage. Besides as in all integration testing types, the fact that sequential testing enables the testers to know right away, if a newly added module is incompatible remains with smoke testing as well. The overall incremental approach enables better quality software in terms of structure and functionality.
The schedule adherence is an important factor for time critical projects and smoke testing enables the same, being fundamentally incremental in approach. Project progress is easier to measure, which has a direct impact on team performance, besides having positive time and cost implications.