Enterprise Java

Smoke Testing Example

Hello. In this tutorial, we will talk about smoke testing.

1. Introduction

Smoke Testing is an initial level of testing performed on a software build or system to quickly determine if it is stable enough for further testing. It involves running a set of basic tests on the major functionalities or critical components of the system to identify any critical issues or defects that could prevent further testing.

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of smoke testing is to ensure that the most crucial and fundamental aspects of the software or system are functioning correctly after any major changes, such as a new build or release. It helps in identifying severe issues early on, allowing the development team to address them promptly and save time and effort on more comprehensive testing. Smoke testing acts as a gatekeeper, ensuring that only stable builds proceed to further levels of testing.

1.2 Importance

The importance of smoke testing lies in its ability to provide quick feedback on the overall health and stability of the software. By executing a set of essential tests, smoke testing helps catch major defects or issues at an early stage, reducing the chances of wasting time on more extensive testing efforts when the system is not in a stable state. It also helps in validating the basic functionality of critical components, giving confidence to the development team and stakeholders before proceeding with further testing or deployment.

2. Key Elements

In smoke testing, the key elements typically include:

  • Test Cases: A set of predefined test cases or scenarios that cover the critical functionalities or major components of the software or system.
  • Basic Functionality: The focus is on verifying the basic functionality of the software, such as login/logout, navigation, data input/output, and essential features that are crucial for the system to work properly.
  • Stability Check: Ensuring that the system or build is stable enough to proceed with further testing. This involves checking if the software can launch without critical errors or crashes.
  • Critical Component Validation: Verifying the functionality of critical components or modules that are essential for the overall system performance or user experience.
  • Speed: Smoke testing aims to be quick and efficient, providing rapid feedback on the stability of the software build. It focuses on running a subset of tests to identify any showstopper issues early on.
  • Automation: In some cases, smoke testing may be automated to streamline the process and make it easier to execute consistently.
  • Verification of Build/Release: Smoke testing is performed after major changes, such as a new build or release, to ensure that the crucial functionalities are working as expected.

2.1 Test Environment Setup

Setting up a smoke test environment involves creating a minimal and streamlined environment to perform smoke testing. Here are the general steps to set up a smoke test environment:

  • Identify Requirements: Determine the specific requirements for your smoke test environment. This may include the basic hardware and software configurations needed to support the application or system being tested.
  • Isolate Environment: Ideally, set up a separate and isolated environment specifically for smoke testing. This ensures that the smoke tests are not affected by other testing activities or changes in the development environment.
  • Install Required Software: Install the necessary software components required for the smoke tests. This typically includes the application or system being tested, along with any dependencies or supporting software.
  • Configure Basic Settings: Configure the basic settings required for the smoke tests to run. This may include setting up network configurations, user accounts, database connections, and any other essential configurations specific to the application.
  • Define Smoke Test Cases: Identify and define the smoke test cases that will be executed in the smoke test environment. These test cases should cover critical functionalities or major components of the application to quickly verify its stability.
  • Automate Smoke Tests (Optional): Consider automating the smoke tests using testing frameworks or tools. Automation helps in executing the smoke tests consistently and efficiently, allowing for quicker feedback on the stability of the software.
  • Monitor and Maintain Environment: Continuously monitor and maintain the smoke test environment to ensure its stability and readiness for testing. Keep the environment up to date with the latest software versions, patches, and configurations.

Remember, the focus of a smoke test environment is to quickly assess the stability of the software build, so it should be lightweight, easy to set up and execute essential tests efficiently.

2.2 Test Scenarios Selection

When selecting test scenarios for smoke testing, it is essential to focus on critical functionalities or major components of the software or system. The goal is to cover the most important aspects that can quickly verify the stability of the software build. Here are some considerations for selecting test scenarios in smoke testing:

  • Core Functionality: Identify the core functionalities of the software that are crucial for its primary purpose. These functionalities should be prioritized in the smoke test scenarios.
  • Critical Paths: Determine the critical paths or key workflows within the software. These paths typically involve essential user interactions or system processes that need to be validated for the software to function correctly.
  • Integration Points: If the software interacts with other systems or components, include test scenarios that cover the integration points to ensure proper communication and data exchange.
  • Major Components: Identify the major components or modules of the software that play a significant role in its functionality or performance. Test scenarios should cover these components to validate their behavior.
  • Edge Cases: Include test scenarios that explore boundary conditions or extreme values within the software. This helps identify any issues related to input validation, limits, or constraints.
  • Error Handling: Test scenarios that focus on error handling and exception cases can help ensure that the software can gracefully handle errors and recover from unexpected situations.
  • Performance and Scalability: If performance or scalability are critical aspects of the software, consider including test scenarios that assess these aspects, even in a limited capacity, during smoke testing.

Remember that the goal of smoke testing is to quickly identify major issues or defects that could prevent further testing. Therefore, selecting test scenarios that cover critical functionalities and major components helps achieve this goal efficiently.

2.3 Smoke Test Execution

Smoke test execution involves running the selected smoke test scenarios on the software or system to quickly verify its stability. Here is an example of how smoke test execution may look like:

  • Test Environment Setup: Ensure that the smoke test environment is set up properly with the required hardware, software, and configurations.
  • Test Case Execution: Execute the identified smoke test scenarios. These scenarios should cover critical functionalities or major components of the software.
  • Test Results Verification: Verify the results of each executed test case. Check for any failures, errors, or unexpected behavior that may indicate stability issues.
  • Issue Reporting: If any critical issues are identified during the smoke test execution, report them to the development team or project stakeholders. Include relevant details and steps to reproduce the issues.
  • Decision Making: Based on the results of the smoke test execution, decide whether the software build is stable enough to proceed with further testing or deployment. If significant issues are found, it may be necessary to halt further testing and address those issues first.

2.3.1 Example of Smoke Test

Scenario 1: Login Functionality

  • Test Case: Verify that users can log in successfully with valid credentials.
  • Execution: Enter a valid username and password, and click on the login button.
  • Result: Login should be successful, and the user should be redirected to the application’s main dashboard.

Scenario 2: Navigation Testing

  • Test Case: Validate that navigation links and menus are functioning correctly.
  • Execution: Click on various navigation links, such as Home, Profile, Settings, etc.
  • Result: Each click should lead to the corresponding page or section without any errors or broken links.

Scenario 3: Data Input and Output

  • Test Case: Verify that data can be entered and retrieved correctly from the system.
  • Execution: Enter sample data into input fields and save it. Retrieve the data and compare it with the entered values.
  • Result: Entered data should be saved correctly, and retrieved data should match the entered values.

Scenario 4: Critical Component Validation

  • Test Case: Validate the functionality of a critical component or module of the software.
  • Execution: Perform actions specific to the critical component and verify its behavior.
  • Result: The critical component should function correctly without any errors or unexpected behavior.

The above examples demonstrate how smoke test scenarios can be executed to quickly assess the stability of the software. The specific scenarios and test cases will vary depending on the nature and requirements of the software being tested.

2.4 Reporting and Issue Tracking

2.4.1 Documenting Test Results

Documenting test results in smoke testing is essential for tracking and communicating the outcome of the tests. It helps in providing a clear record of the tests executed, their results, and any issues or observations encountered during the smoke test execution. Here are some key points to consider when documenting test results in smoke testing:

  • Test Case Identification: Identify the test cases that were executed during the smoke testing phase. This includes the test case names or identifiers for easy reference.
  • Execution Status: Document the status of each test case execution, indicating whether it passed or failed. It’s also common to include a “Not Executed” status for any test cases that were not executed during the smoke testing phase.
  • Test Results: Provide detailed information about the results of each test case. This may include specific observations, screenshots, error messages, or any other relevant information that helps explain the outcome of the test.
  • Defects or Issues: Document any defects, issues, or anomalies encountered during the smoke test execution. Include a description of the problem, steps to reproduce it, and any additional details that would help in understanding and resolving the issue.
  • Severity and Priority: Assign appropriate severity and priority levels to any identified defects or issues. This helps in prioritizing and addressing the critical problems first.
  • Test Environment and Configuration: Document details about the test environment, including hardware, software versions, configurations, and any other relevant setup information. This ensures that the test results are accurately associated with the specific test environment.
  • Timestamp and Tester Information: Include a timestamp indicating when the tests were executed, as well as the name or identifier of the tester who performed the smoke testing. This helps in tracking the test activities and assigning responsibility.
  • Test Summary: Provide a summary or overview of the overall smoke test results. This may include metrics such as the number of test cases executed, pass/fail ratio, and any notable observations or trends.
  • Approval or Decision: If a decision was made based on the smoke test results, document the decision and any associated actions or next steps.

By documenting test results in smoke testing, teams can maintain a comprehensive record of the testing activities and outcomes, facilitating communication, analysis, and decision-making processes. It also serves as a valuable reference for future testing efforts and can provide insights into the stability of the software under test.

2.4.2 Reporting Issues

When reporting issues in smoke testing, it’s important to provide clear and detailed information to ensure that the development team or project stakeholders can understand and address the problems effectively. Here are some key points to consider when reporting issues in smoke testing:

  • Issue Title: Provide a concise and descriptive title for the issue to summarize the problem effectively.
  • Description: Clearly describe the issue, including its symptoms, expected behavior, and observed behavior. Include any relevant error messages, screenshots, or steps to reproduce the issue.
  • Steps to Reproduce: Provide a step-by-step guide on how to reproduce the issue. This helps the development team to recreate the problem in their environment for investigation and debugging.
  • Environment Details: Include information about the test environment, such as the hardware and software configurations, operating system, browser version, and any other relevant setup details. This information helps in isolating the issue and understanding its context.
  • Expected and Actual Results: Clearly state the expected behavior of the software or system about the specific test scenario, and compare it with the actual observed behavior. This highlights the deviation from the expected outcome.
  • Impact and Severity: Assess and communicate the impact and severity of the issue. Consider how the issue affects the overall functionality, user experience, or critical system components. Assign an appropriate severity level (e.g., high, medium, low) to prioritize the issue’s resolution.
  • Additional Notes: Provide any additional information, observations, or insights that could help in understanding the issue better. This may include any related dependencies, previous actions performed, or any patterns or trends noticed during the testing.
  • Attachments: If applicable, attach relevant files, logs, or additional artifacts that support the understanding and analysis of the reported issue.
  • Reproducibility: Indicate whether the issue is reproducible consistently or if it occurs intermittently. This information assists the development team in investigating and diagnosing the problem effectively.
  • Deadline and Follow-up: If there is a specific deadline or urgency associated with the resolution of the issue, clearly communicate it. Also, specify if any follow-up actions are expected, such as retesting after a fix or providing additional information if requested.

By following these guidelines and providing comprehensive information when reporting issues in smoke testing, you can facilitate efficient communication, accelerate the issue resolution process, and contribute to overall software quality improvement.

That concludes this tutorial, and I hope that it provided you with the information you were seeking. Enjoy your learning journey, and don’t forget to share!

3. Conclusion

In conclusion, smoke testing plays a vital role in ensuring the overall health and stability of software systems. By executing a set of essential tests, smoke testing quickly identifies major defects or issues at an early stage, reducing the chances of wasting time on extensive testing efforts when the system is not in a stable state. Smoke testing validates the basic functionality of critical components, providing confidence to the development team and stakeholders before proceeding with further testing or deployment.

The importance of smoke testing lies in its ability to provide quick feedback on the software’s stability and readiness for further testing or deployment. It helps catch critical issues, validates core functionalities, and ensures that major components are functioning correctly. Smoke testing also allows for efficient decision-making, as the results guide whether to proceed with additional testing or address significant issues first.

By setting up a dedicated smoke test environment, selecting appropriate test scenarios, executing the tests, and documenting the results effectively, organizations can benefit from improved software quality, reduced risks, and increased confidence in the stability of their systems. Smoke testing serves as an essential quality assurance practice that contributes to the overall success of software development projects.

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