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Software testers employ various types of tests to ensure that an application or software is working as expected. Though both smoke and regression testing are types of tests that testers use for this very same objective to test every new build of an application, they each solve different purposes and are employed at different stages of software testing as well. If you are looking to find out what both of these tests are, how they differ, and when you can use them to ensure maximum quality with your testing, you’re at the right place. So let’s get started by defining both of these tests and then take a deeper dive to explore the difference between smoke and regression testing with a comparison table.
What is Smoke Testing?
Since software testing is an integral part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), we cannot simply start testing the software even though it is ready enough to be tested. But how will we know if it is ready or not? That is where smoke testing comes into play. It helps testers to determine if the primary/core functionalities of the software are stable enough and working properly to be tested. But it is important to note that smoke testing is not only done at the beginning to validate the first build. Rather, It will be performed after every new build. Being a leading software testing company in USAsoftware testing company in USA, we never start our testing process for a new build without performing smoke testing.
Let’s assume that you have to perform smoke testing for an E-Commerce application, the following aspects of the application will be tested.
- Installation & Launch
- Login Functionality
- Adding/removing a product to the Cart
- Adding/removing a product to the Wishlist
- Completing a Purchase
How did Smoke Testing get its name?
The term ‘smoke testing’ initially originated in electronic hardware testing. The implication here was that the board being tested should be switched off If it starts to smoke when turned on. The smoke was regarded as a warning that further testing should not be completed.
What is Regression Testing?
A small misconception might arise if you think that Regression testing is the same as smoke testing because it is also tested after every new build. But the key difference between smoke and regression testing is that it is used to perform a more in-depth level of testing that goes beyond just the happy journey of a customer. It also helps to validate that the existing functionality or features of the application are not impacted by the recent change such as
- Bug fixing
- Addition or removal of features or modules
- Alteration of the code or configuration
- Change in the requirement
Let’s consider the same example of testing an eCommerce application and assume the smoke test has passed. So these below-mentioned aspects or features of this application are just a few of the many checks that will happen during regression testing to ensure that the new feature works well on its own as well as with the existing features.
- In addition to checking the purchasing process, we would now check if the payment can be made using all the available options.
- We would check if we can change the privacy settings of the wishlist if it can be shared with others, and if the items added to the wishlist reflect in regular search results as well.
- When it comes to the account functionality, we would also check by saving multiple addresses, validate the order history feature, check if the user can download the receipt for their purchase, and so on.
- If any changes or new features are implemented, then every feature including what was tested earlier too will be tested with an end-to-end approach.
Difference between Smoke and Regression testing
We have developed this generic process flow to help you understand how these two types of testing differ from each other. Kindly keep in mind that this process flow might vary on a client-to-client basis.
Having seen the core difference between smoke and regression testing and an example to emphasize them, you will now be in a position to easily understand this direct comparison.
|S. No||Smoke Testing||Regression Testing|
|1||Smoke testing is used to check if a build of the software is stable enough for it to be tested.||Regression testing is used to verify if any recent changes have impacted the existing functionality.|
|2||It is employed by both software testers and developers.||It is predominantly used by software testers alone.|
|3||It is a surface-level type of testing as it is focused only on certain modules and performed on initial & unverified builds.||It is a more in-depth type of testing as it has an end-to-end approach and is performed only on stable builds.|
|4||Smoke testing is always done before regression testing.||Regression testing is performed during various phases of testing.|
|5||It doesn’t require much time or resources to be done.||It requires a lot of time, resources, and effort to be done.|
|6||It is purely an acceptance type of testing as it validates the build and prevents further testing if it doesn’t pass.||Though functionalities are tested, it is not a purely acceptance-based type of testing as any issues found in this phase don’t prevent the application from being further tested.|
|7||Smoke testing definitely requires documentation||Regression testing may or may not require documentation based on the need.|