Friday, June 2

Smoke Testing vs. Sanity Testing: Which one to consider?

Smoke Testing vs. Sanity Testing

This article will explain what Sanity Testing and Smoke Testing are in the context of software testing. Additionally, we will discover the critical distinctions between Sanity and Smoke testing via easy examples.

We get confused about the difference between Sanity Testing and Smoke Testing. First, these two tests are very “different” and are conducted at different testing cycle times.

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Sanity Testing

Sanity Testing is used when a QA does not have enough time to execute all test cases, whether for Functional Testing, User Interface, Operating System, or Browser Testing.

As a result, we may define,

“Sanity testing is a kind of test execution that touches on each implementation and its effect but does not go in-depth; it may include functional, UI, version, and other types of testing, depending on the implementation and its impact.”

Don’t we all find ourselves in situations where we need to sign off in a day or two, but the testing build has not yet been released?

Yes, I’m sure you’ve encountered this circumstance at least once throughout your Software Testing career. To be honest, I experienced it often since my project(s) were primarily agile, and at times, we were required to produce on the same day. Oops, how am I to test and release the build in the space of a few hours?

I used to go insane at times because the impact might be enormous, even if the functionality was little. As frosting on the cake, customers may refuse to provide additional time. How can I finish the testing process in a few hours, validate all functionality and bugs, and release the application?

The solution to all of these issues was relatively straightforward, namely implementing a Sanity Testing technique. When we do this kind of testing on a module, feature, or whole system, the test cases that are executed are chosen in such a way that they cover all of the critical components of the system, i.e., broad yet shallow testing.

At times, testing is conducted ad hoc, with no test cases. However, keep in mind that the sanity test should only be used when pressed for time. This testing is theoretically a subset of Regression Testing.

Smoke Testing

Smoke Testing is not exhaustive testing; instead, it is a collection of tests that are run to determine whether or not the build’s fundamental capabilities perform as intended. This is and always should be the first test performed on each ‘new’ build.

When the development team sends a build to QA for testing, it is impractical to test the complete build and quickly determine if any implementations have problems or whether any functioning functionality is broken.

In light of this, how will QA ensure that the fundamental features perform correctly?

The solution to this is to do Smoke Testing.

Once the smoke tests (in the test suite) pass, the build is approved by QA for in-depth testing and regression. If any smoke tests fail, the build is also rejected, and the development team is responsible for resolving the problem and releasing a new version for testing.

The Smoke test is characterized theoretically as surface-level testing that verifies that the build delivered by the development team to the QA team is suitable for further testing. Additionally, the development team does this testing before sending the build to the QA team.

Generally, this kind of testing is utilized in integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. Never use this as a replacement for comprehensive end-to-end testing. Depending on how the build is implemented, it may include both good and negative tests.

Examples of Smoke Testing

Typically, this kind of testing is used for integration, acceptance, and system testing.

Throughout my tenure as a QA, I never accepted a build unless I had conducted a smoke test. Therefore, let us define a smoke test from the standpoint of all three of these tests, using some examples.

Acceptance Testing

Whenever a build is delivered to QA, it should be subjected to a smoke test in the form of Acceptance Testing.

The first and most critical smoke test in this test is to validate the implementation’s fundamental anticipated functionality. This way, you’ll need to check all of the build’s performances.

Consider the following examples of build implementations to help you understand the smoke tests for them:

  • Add a login feature that enables registered drivers to log in successfully.
  • An additional feature to show a map of the trip’s route in addition to scheduled stops.
  • In the event that no routes are available for a certain day, add an automatic reply from us.

At the acceptance level of the build above, the smoke test will ensure that the three actual implementations are operating correctly. If any of these three criteria are violated, the build should be rejected by QA.

Integration Testing

This testing is often performed concurrently with implementing and testing individual modules. This testing is conducted at the Integration Testing level to ensure that all fundamental integration and end-to-end features operate as intended.

It might be the integration of two modules or the integration of all modules, and therefore the complexity of the smoke test will vary according to the degree of integration.

Consider the following integration implementation examples for this testing:

  • Integrate the route and stop components.
  • Integrated arrival status updates, which are shown on the stop screen.
  • Integrated the whole pick-up to delivery capability elements.

The smoke test in this build will validate these three actual implementations and verify full integration in a few scenarios for the third implementation. It is very beneficial in determining the difficulties caused during integration and those undiscovered by the development team.

System Testing

As the name implies, smoke testing at the system level contains tests for the system’s most critical and often used operations. This is done after the whole system has been prepared and tested, and this system-level testing may also be referred to as smoke testing before regression testing.

Before beginning the whole system’s regression, the smoke test is used to validate the system’s fundamental end-to-end characteristics. The smoke test suite for the entire system consists of end-to-end test cases that end-users will commonly run.

This is often accomplished via the use of automation technologies.

Sanity Testing Vs Regression Testing

Given below are a few differences between the two:

S. No.
Regression Testing
Sanity Testing
1Regression testing is used to ensure that the whole system and bug patches are functioning properly.Sanity testing is performed at random intervals to ensure that each feature operates as planned.
2Each and every component is regressed in this testing.This is not a scheduled test and is only conducted in the event of a time constraint.
3It is a well-designed and executed exam.This is not a scheduled test and is only conducted in the event of a time constraint.
4This testing is conducted using a well-constructed collection of test cases.It is not always feasible to generate test cases; typically, a preliminary collection of test cases is developed.
5This comprises comprehensive testing of functionality, user interface, performance, and browser/OS compatibility. i.e. the whole system is regressed.This mostly entails verifying business rules and functioning.
6This is a comprehensive and in-depth examination.This is a broad and superficial examination.
7At times, this testing is planned for weeks or even months (s).This often lasts no more than 2-3 days.


  • This testing method originates in the hardware testing practice of powering on a new piece of hardware for the first time and deeming it successful if it does not catch fire or emit smoke. In the software business, this is referred to as a shallow and broad method, in which all aspects of the program are evaluated without delving too deeply.
  • The smoke test is programmed, either via the use of a written set of tests or through the use of an automated test.
  • Smoke tests are intended to provide a superficial examination of all aspects of the application and It is both shallow and broad.
  • This testing is used to check that a program’s key functionalities function correctly without focusing on the finer details. (For example, build verification).
  • This testing is a routine health check on an application’s build before subjecting it to in-depth testing.

Sanity test

  • A sanity test is a kind of regression test focused on a single or a few functional areas. Generally, sanity testing is focused and in-depth.
  • Typically, this exam is not programmed.
  • This test is intended to ensure that a tiny piece of the program continues to function correctly after a modest update.
  • This is a cursory test and it is conducted if a cursory test is sufficient to demonstrate that the application is operating by the requirements.

Who Should Conduct a Smoke Test?

This form of testing does not include the whole team to prevent wasting the time of all the QA’s.

Smoke Testing is best conducted by the QA lead, who will determine whether to forward the build to the team for additional testing or to reject it depending on the results. Alternatively, in the absence of the lead, the QA’s may undertake this testing.

Occasionally, when a project is broad in scope, a group of QA may also undertake this testing to ensure there are no show-stoppers. However, this is not the case with SCRUM since SCRUM is an organization without Leads or Managers, and each tester is responsible for their own stories.

For more information regarding software testing such as Agile testing, you can also check our software testing section on our website by clicking here.

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