Difference between Smoke Testing and Sanity Testing

In the field of the software engineering, it's a very well-known fact that the testing performed at early stages of the development lifecycle has always proven to be a time and cost saving solution. Early identification and detection saves efforts and time to fix bugs and issues, which may got complicated and difficult to correct at later stages. Smoke testing and Sanity testing are few of the important testing types which ensure the detection of bugs and defects in the early stages of the development cycle. Let's have a small overview of these two testing methodologies.

Smoke Testing vs Sanity Testing image

What is Smoke Testing in Software Testing?

Smoke testing is a type of preliminary testing performed over initial build or 1st build of a software product under development which may be either stable or unstable. Through smoke tests, stability of a newly developed software build(s) is assessed to make a decision over further execution of thorough and rigorous testing activities on these builds. On passing the smoke tests, build is subjected to more strict and strenuous testing methodologies such as functional testing and system testing, else it is considered unstable to face off further high levels of testing and is rejected & restricted for further testing.

This testing technique helps in saving precious time and valuable efforts of testers to work on relatively unstable or incomplete build which may eventually breaks down at the later & complex stages of testing.

What is meant by Sanity Testing?

Unlike smoke testing, sanity tests are executed on the relatively stable build(s) undergone through multiple regression tests to ensure that all the previously found bugs got fixed and no further issues or complications prevails or occurs in the existing functionalities after the process of bug-fixation through code modification.

Outcomes of sanity testing are similar to that of smoke testing i.e. if build passes the sanity test, it would be considered stable and capable to face-off further rigorous testing activities otherwise will be thrown in the rejected list of builds.

Difference between Sanity Testing and Smoke Testing:

Meaning and objectives of these two testing types are much different to each other but still most of us remains in the state of ambiguities over the differences between Smoke and Sanity. Here, we are listing out some of the notable key points of difference between sanity testing and smoke testing to have crystal clear understanding of these two different testing methodologies.

smoke testing vs sanity testing


Smoke Testing

Sanity Testing

1. Smoke tests are executed on the initial builds of the software product. Sanity testing is performed over the builds which have successfully passed the smoke tests and have undergone through regression testing cycle.
2. Software build to be tested in this type of testing could be either stable or unstable. build under test is relatively stable in Sanity Testing.
3. Motive of smoke testing is to measure the stability of the newly created build to face off the further and more rigorous testing. Primary purpose of sanity test is to evaluate and validate the rationality and originality of the essential functionalities of the software build after going through multiple regression tests.
4. Smoke testing is a subset of regression testing. Sanity testing may be seen as a sub-category of acceptance testing.
5. Smoke tests are executed on the availability of the newly developed builds. Performed post-completion of the regression testing activities.
6. Failure in the smoke test results into instant rejection of the software build. A fail in the sanity test places the software build in the rejected list.
7. Smoke Testing may be performed either by the developers or the testers. Sanity is generally, executed by the testers.
8. Smoke testing involves the documentation and scripting work. Sanity testing does not emphasize on any sort of documentation and scripting.
9. It may be seen as a general type of testing covering all the basic functionalities. A specialized or more detailed oriented testing technique that focuses on a particular functionality or a feature.
10. This is a Shallow and wide approach to encompass all major functionalities without getting into detail. While Sanity is a Narrow and deep approach involving detailed testing of functionalities and features.
11. Smoke tests may be executed either using automated or manual approach. Sanity tests are usually executed manually.
12. Smoke saves testing team efforts and time, to work on defective or unstable software build. Whereas Sanity is Time and cost saving approach.