When Should You Smoke Test and When Should You White Box Test?
Today, the number of smartphone subscriptions globally is 6 billion and is estimated to further rise by several 100 million in the next few decades. India, China, and the USA are the countries with the highest number of smartphone customers. The smartphone user freshly (in 2022) mentioned with 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions and is likely to hit 7.7 billion subscriptions by the year 2027. White box test is a vital part of automated build procedures in a modern CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) development pipeline
In other stat, when there is competition between iOS and Android mobile phones, then indeed, without any doubt, Android mobile users dominate the global marketplace with 72.2 percent of the market share.
With such an intensive user’s devotion to their smartphone use, companies have a chance to make USD 935 billion worth of business by providing services with the leading-edge mobile app solution.
With such forecasting, it does make sense for companies to build a high-quality mobile app and go for painstaking end to end testing to reach their maximum potential customers. During the SDLC procedure, it is compulsory to recurrently test the numerous software app functionalities to make certain they work in an intended mode and remove any errors. It is responsible to ensure that the created software satisfies the required quality standards.
There are multiple ways for testing the software that comprises smoke test, unit test, white-box test, API test, integration test, sanity test, functional and non – functional test, and so on. Amongst all these listed ways, white-box testing and smoke testing are critical ones in their own way and this article is focused on it that will cover varied facets of this methodology.
What is Smoke Testing?
A smoke Test also called build verification or acceptance test is a preliminary software testing procedure that checks whether the deployed software is stable or not. Smoke testing is also called “Confidence Testing” or “Build Verification Testing” which consists of a minimal series of tests run on every build for testing complete software functionalities.
In simple words, smoke testing means verifying the crucial features are functioning and there are no showstoppers in the build that is under test. It is a rapid and mini regression testing of major functionality. It is simple test that reflects the product is ready for testing.
Steps To Follow For Smoke Testing
Step 1: Run smoke testing at the prime stage of the project.
Step 2: Constantly maintain all the smoke testing.
Step 3: It shouldn’t take much time.
Step 4: Testing scenarios must be carried out for every deployment & sprint.
Step 5: If possible, automate the smoke testing scenarios to minimize the expense and time further.
Step 6: Perform this test for all crucial traits for the deployed build.
When We Run Smoke Testing?
Let us use some different testing scenarios, which assist us to understand when to do smoke testing:
QA engineers perform smoke testing to examine if newly developed functionalities of a software program function accurately and integrate well with the present build. If the set of testing exposes bugs, the product returns to the development group for revision. If the product passes the testing, the software test team continues with functional testing. In simple words, the developer develops the app and handed over to the QA team and they will start the functional testing.
For E.g. – Suppose we have four days we are given to functional tests. On the first day, the testing team examines one module, and on the second day, they will opt for another module. On the fourth day, they find a critical error when it is given to the software developer; the testing team says it will take another two days to mitigate it. Then we have to postpone the launch date for the next two days.
In system testing, the QA team examines the software system for the following:
- The functionality and design requirements for which the firm is launching the software program.
- The functionality traits of the software program & whether these work as required.
- The responsiveness and efficiency of the activated software traits, for instance, opening or closing tabs, choosing content, and saving files.
- The presence of any technical errors and if it is possible to fix them.
Integration tests include examination of the software whether the software is attuned with other software programs. The tests can vary in intricacy depending on whether the QA testers are executing and testing sole modules or a set of modules together. The integration test can include the integration of functionality routes, modules, and arrival status and stop modules updates. Through integrating tests, it is possible to locate several issues that can arise at the time of the integration procedure and which the development team may have overlooked previously. The testing can verify if the software product complies with specific functional necessities.
Acceptance testing, also called end-user testing, tests multiple factors to learn about the customer’s experience with the software. The test engineer may examine the following:
- Booting time: If it does not turn on or takes too long, it necessitates excessive work and the QA team dispatches it back to the software development team.
- User logins: Besides testing, if users can utilize the administrative login, it is compulsory to examine if they can add other customers to enable them to use the program too.
- Program displays: The test scrutinizes if the program can display accurate messages and instructions to guide and inform users.
- Launching capability: The software program must launches correctly and rapidly.
Why do we do smoke testing?
Smoke test plays a crucial role in software development procedure as it verifies the correctness of the system in primary phases. By this, we can save testing effort. Consequently, smoke testing brings the system to an excellent state. Once we finish smoke tests then only we begin functional testing.
- In the build, all the show stoppers will get detected by executing smoke testing.
- A smoke test is performed just after the build is released to Quality Assurance. With the assistance of smoke testing, major defects are detected at the prime phases of software development.
- With smoke tests, we ease the recognition and improvement of major defects.
- By smoke test, the QA team can discover defects to the app functionality that might have surfaced by the fresh code.
- Smoke test discovers the chief severity defects.
Benefits of Smoke testing
Here are some benefits listed for Smoke Testing.
- It is a time-saving procedure.
- Easy to perform the test.
- In the primary phase, we can detect the bugs.
- It will help to improve the system’s quality, which decreases the threat.
- It is simple testing to perform as it saves our testing time and effort.
- Progress is simpler to access.
- Easy to notice critical errors and rectification of errors.
Manual vs. Automated Smoke Testing
Mostly, organizations begin with manual smoke tests. This comprises examination to ensure navigation paths do not negatively influence core functions. If the navigation paths have underlying errors, the software must go back to the software developers for further iteration. The procedure repeats till the software passes inspection. On the flip side, automation typically comes into play later on in the procedure after you define a series of smoke testing. By automating smoke testing, you can perform large numbers of testing at a time and shorten the test procedure before the software goes to Quality Assurance.
Automation testing tools handle the test process automatically. QA’s perform automated smoke tests when they need to run a batch of automated testing and straight away test the build whenever any problem is detected. A smoke test can drastically lessen the time it takes for testing. If you automate, smoke testing can take merely a few minutes. If developers create builds frequently or execute the continuous test, then automating smoke testing will allow test engineers to give speedy feedback on test builds
One of the pristine tools for automated smoke tests comprises LambdaTest. It is a cloud-based cross-browser test platform that enables one to run automation testing over an online browser farm of 3000+ browsers & OSs.
You can even visit and subscribe to the LambdaTest YouTube Channel and stay up-to-date with the most recent tutorials around Cypress UI testing, Responsive testing, automation testing, and more.
To run an automated smoke test of your website or web application on the LambdaTest platform, follow the below steps:
- Register & log in to your account in the LambdaTest platform.
- Click the Real-Time Tests tab in the drop-down left menu bar.
- Enter the URL in the Real-Time Tests window & select the specific BRAND, BROWSER, & DEVICE/OS.
- Click on the START button. You can launch your site by using the essential configuration.
- When the site has been released, you can test the website while leveraging multiple traits, such as the capacity to capture screenshots, log bugs with a single click, video record your screen, and more.
- You can even start testing your site’s responsiveness by making use of the LT Browser tool. It has traits such as network throttling, hot reloading, interacting with two devices concurrently, and more.
What is White Box Testing?
White box testing is an effective approach that enables QA engineers to inspect and confirm the inner functioning of a software system—its code, integrations, and infrastructure with external systems. It is often referenced in the context of SAST (Static Application Security Test) an approach that scrutinizes binaries or source code automatically and gives feedback on possible vulnerabilities and bugs.
Steps to Perform White box testing
- Discover the feature, program, or component that necessitates white-box testing: The smaller your target system element is, the better it is for White box test. Testing all features individually enables you to concentrate on a minor portion of the code given what the QA team is attempting to perform: test each use case and potential scenario for a precise feature.
QA team needs to concentrate initially on the smallest logical component or module of the system under testing and then shift to the next one.
- Illustrate all potential routes in a flowchart: This phase is the set of your test planning and implementation of the White-box strategy. Considering scope is crucial for any endeavor, whether testing or development. Additionally, path coverage provides a whole answer to test coverage.
Here test team attemps to comprehend every single testable path for a precise component, module, or feature. Writing test cases to cover up each of the different pathways is aided by detecting them. They can generate a flow diagram to highlight the required pathways.
- Create test cases that address every single step in the flowchart: After you have exposed all the optional pathways on the flowgraph, testers can write test cases to inspect each. The test execution stage can start whenever you have numerous test cases that they are confident will cover up all possible paths.
- Implementations of elements: QA engineers will use the developed projects and run standard producer testing by integrating and mixing several third-party innovations, making it feasible for end-users to converse with one another.
- Execute, and then repeat: After recognizing the component, system, or module, the testing team can implement the White box test. In addition, they have the flowchart and test cases needed to end the test process. That is how they can systematize and perform White box testing.
When we perform White-box testing?
White-box testing is performed during the unit tests to confirm that the code is functioning as intended, prior to integration occurring with previously tested code. It is generally used as the first and foremost technique of software app testing. White-box test during unit test potentially catches numerous errors early on and assists in mitigating bugs that are noticed later on after the code is integrated with the rest of the app. Hence, minimizes the impacts of bugs later in development. Bugs or errors discovered at this level are less expensive and easier to fix.
White-box test at this stage is written for testing the interactions of interfaces with each other. This level of the test ensures that every single code was tested and functioning accordingly in an isolated environment. And integration verifies the accuracy of the behavior in an open environment via white-box testing for any interactions of interfaces that are known to the software programmer.
A White-box test during regression test is the use of recycled test cases at the integration and unit testing levels.
In this form of testing, the software tester or developer has entire access to the software’s codebase and comprehensive network, server data, and IP. The aim is to attack the code in different ways to disclose security threats.
It involves regularly finding the finest coding practices to apply whilst growing a software solution.
Basis path testing
In this technique, the number of the independent path in a organized flow graph, or its cyclomatic complexity, is detected. Using the cyclomatic intricacy, you can discover the minimum number of test cases the testing team can create for every single independent path in the flow graph.
The frequently used programming tool is the loop. It just makes it logical to comprise a testing method based on loops as they are the fundamental building blocks of different algorithms. There are three types of loops: nested, concatenated, and straightforward.
Why do we perform White Box Testing?
This type of testing can be used to look for:
- Unexpected or expected output, guaranteeing that all likely inputs to a function return the expected outcome.
- How precise inputs flow through the code, track values, and variables as they pass via the code to find instances wherein they might not be accurately initialized, manipulated, or where they are stated but never used.
- Poorly or broken structured paths comprise a broken, redundant, or ineffective conditional logic.
- Loop functionality, conditional logic, checking the efficiency, and accurate variable handling in individual loops, nested loops, and concatenated loops.
- Security vulnerabilities and gaps that might make the app vulnerable to exploits and threats.
White box testing techniques
- Path coverage tests all possible paths in the code.
- Statement coverage tests all possible statements in the code at any rate once the software app is designed.
- Code coverage ensures that the source code is perfectly tested as painstakingly as possible.
- Condition coverage estimates every individual condition.
- Branch coverage checks all possible paths within an app, counting if-else and different conditional loops.
- Multiple condition coverage tests every possible combination of possible condition outcomes.
- Data flow testing checks and tracks data variables to authenticate their use, uncovering errors related to variables declared or variable initialization but not used.
- Function coverage estimates the number of definite functions that have been called and employs varied input parameters to find out that the logic of the functions behaves as planned.
Benefits of White-Box Testing
- It can be started in the early hours of the SDLC, even before a GUI has been designed.
- White box tests can be effortlessly automated to enhance coverage with lesser effort.
- White box testing is more comprehensive than black box testing, as testing typically comprises all code paths.
- White box tests optimize code so hidden bugs can be identified.
As we have mentioned earlier that there are innumerable forms of software testing and among all these, smoke testing and white-box tests stand out as the most significant way, as it is being carried out with every developed build and aid to find defects in the early stages. Smoke testing is the final phase before the software build enters the system stage. Smoke tests can minimize test effort, and can improve the quality of the application. Smoke tests can be done either manually or by automating everything depending on the client and the company.
On the other hand, white box testing can be quite intricate. The complexity encompassed has a lot to act with the app being tested. A small app that performs an individual operation could be white box tested in a few minutes, while huge programming apps take weeks, days, and even longer to completely test. Even whilst this test strategy can be expensive and time-taking, it is still the only technique to make certain that you test every aspect of the code. In short, software applications must undergo Smoke Test and White box testing throughout software development, after writing, and should follow revision to thoroughly test.