Smoke Testing vs Regression Testing - Key differences

Smoke Testing vs Regression Testing – Key differences

We can travel through Smoke Testing vs. Regression Testing, where the differences between the two can seem as thick as smoke! If you’re looking for the differences between these two tests, you’ve come to the right place. So, light up your favorite testing pipe, and let’s start!

smoke testing vs regression testing

This article provides an in-depth exploration of Smoke Testing vs. Regression Testing concepts.

What is Smoke Testing?

Actually, developers use Smoke testing to assess the stability of an application’s initial build. It is a preliminary test that helps identify significant issues that may prevent the application from being used.

Smoke testing

  • It involves executing a few essential functions or test cases on the software to ensure it runs correctly after a new build is provided.

  • This is the first step before a more detailed testing process is conducted.

  • It aims to ensure the essential functions work.

So, the testing team regularly conducts smoke testing to ensure the application’s build stability whenever a new build is provided. Smoke testing is an important step in the software development lifecycle that lets testers ensure that the fundamentals of the software are working correctly. Not only that, but it also checks whether testers can move on to vaster testing activities.


Let us see an example to illustrate Smoke testing.

Consider that a software company has developed a social media application. The development team completes the initial build of the application and decides to conduct a Smoke test to ensure that the software is running as expected.

In this scenario, the development team will run a few critical test cases on the application to ensure the software is stable by selecting them. During the Smoke test, the developers will check

  • whether the application launches correctly,
  • the home page and the login page load
  • A user can log in

If the Smoke test passes, the development team can conduct more testing on the software. If the Smoke test fails, the initial build must fix the reported bugs before proceeding with other testing activities.

When should we do Smoke Testing?

Smoke testing is typically done during the initial phases of development after every time a new build is created for testing. It’s like a quick check-up to ensure everything is in good shape.

Tools for automating this testing

Some of the major tools that automate smoke testing are:

1. Testsigma: Testsigma is an ideal tool for automating your smoke tests because:

i.You can start automating your tests in minutes with Testsigma. ii. It lets you author automated tests, like writing test cases in simple English. It’s a no-code test automation tool; thus, to begin with test automation, you don’t need to be a coding expert. iii. The automated tests are as easy to edit as they are to create.

iv. It is a complete eco-system where you can author your tests, execute them and get the reports for them simultaneously. Thus, you get all your test automation needs in one place.

v. It lets you automate your web, mobile, APIs, and desktop tests from the same place. Thus, you don’t have to set up different tools for automating different platforms. vi. It is built with highly customizable reporting features. Thus, you can adjust the reporting according to your needs. vii. Testsigma is also available as an open-source and free version. Start automating your smoke tests with Testsigma Open Source.

Know more about Testsigma here:

2. Selenium: Selenium is an open-source test automation tool that automates the test cases to test a website’s behavior on a browser. It can only automate test cases for a web application on a browser and is not usable for automating test cases for desktop or mobile applications.

3. TestComplete: TestComplete is an automated UI testing tool developed by SmartBear Software. It helps create, execute, and maintain smoke tests across mobile, web, and desktop-based apps. TestComplete allows you to develop test cases in various languages such as Java, Python, etc. It can record the key actions needed to replay the test.

4. QTP/UFT: This is another commercial automation tool. It is similar to TestComplete in that it can automate smoke testing. It supports test automation for APIs, mobile, desktop, and web apps. It also includes additional features such as object recognition and data-driven testing.

5. Ranorex: Ranorex helps you create and execute smoke tests for web and mobile applications. This tool allows the user to record test steps as actions on the application under test and then play it back later. The recorded steps can also be modified and fine-tuned.

What is Regression Testing?

“Regression testing is like trying on the same pair of jeans every time you shop to ensure they still fit!”Technically, Regression Testing verifies that the software performs well after being changed or interfaced with other previously developed and tested software. Confirm that any changes to the existing codebase have not introduced new bugs or regressions.


Consider a software company that developed a ticket-booking platform for a cinema. The company released the initial version of the software, which consisted of online ticket booking and payment functionalities. After a few months, the company decided to enhance the platform by adding a feature that allowed users to select snacks along with their ticket booking. To implement this feature, the developers added new code, modified the existing codes, and did the necessary testing. However, after deploying the updated version, users began reporting some issues, such as

  • the application crashing randomly or
  • the seat selection process is not working correctly.

This scenario indicates that the new feature addition has introduced some unexpected bugs and flaws, and a regression test is necessary. In this example, regression testing would identify whether adding the new snack selection feature has affected the core functionalities of the software. The development team will execute various test cases to conduct regression testing, including core functionality features such as

  • login,
  • registration,
  • booking, and
  • payment options.

Testing would be done to ensure the software’s accurate working, viewing the changes made to the code. With regression testing, the software development team can identify any issues like

  • new bugs introduced,
  • regression defects, or
  • other anomalies that may have occurred due to the added feature.

If the development team spots these problems upfront, they can fix the bugs and save users from a lot of trouble down the line.

When should we do Regression Testing?

In software testing, testers conduct regression testing to ensure that new changes or modifications to the program code do not impact the existing functionalities throughout the software lifecycle.

This type of testing is an integral part of software testing and should be conducted in the following scenarios:

1. After code changes: When code changes are made to the software, you should perform regression testing to ensure that the changes have not introduced new bugs or unexpected behaviors in previously implemented functionalities.

2. Behind bug fixes: When a bug or an issue is fixed in a software application, it is essential to run regression testing to ensure that fixing that issue does not cause problems in other areas of the software.

3. After new software features: When new features are added to the software application, regression testing helps ensure that the new features have not caused any adverse impact on the software’s existing functionality.

4. Behind infrastructure changes: Software applications often depend on other technologies or integrate with different systems. When any changes are made in the underlying infrastructure, there may be an unexpected impact on the software. Therefore, running a regression test ensures that the software is working correctly.

5. After a long period: Regression testing should also be conducted periodically to mitigate any unintended outcomes of the regular system and software upgrades.

Tools for automating Regression Testing

With the right tools, automating regression testing can be a breeze!

You can quickly run your regression tests from record-and-playback tools to test automation frameworks. But choosing the right regression testing tool is tricky. Below is a list of tools we recommend for automating regression tests.

1. Testsigma: Testsigma is an ideal automated regression tool because:

i. That suggests relevant or affected test cases after a feature enhancement/bug fix.

ii. Testsigma readily integrates with your current CI/CD pipeline and lets you run regression tests right after the first check-ins within a sprint.

iii. The test case creation is no-code, like writing test cases in simple English. Thus, you can quickly automate your regression tests.

iv. Testsigma lets you automate for web, mobile, desktop, and APIs from the same place.

v. Testsigma allows you to execute your test cases in parallel on the cloud device lab of your choice.

vi. It is built with highly customizable reporting features. Thus, you can adjust the reporting according to your needs.

vii. Testsigma is also available as an open-source and free version. Start automating your regression tests with Testsigma Open Source.

Know more about Testsigma here:

2. Selenium: This regression testing tool is highly popular due to its ability to support multiple programming languages and its cost-free availability. While limited to website testing, it has a substantial online presence in public forums where users can seek assistance with potential issues.

3. Katalon Studio: Katalon is available at no cost and is compatible with various programming languages. Additionally, the company provides exceptional customer support. This platform is suitable for developing websites and mobile applications.

4. Ranorex Studio: This tool is designed for commercial use and offers a range of features, such as record support and multilingual capabilities. It is compatible with both websites and mobile applications.

5. TestComplete: A professional-grade tool designed to support scriptless automation for testers. With this tool, testers can easily create automated tests for various applications, including those designed for Microsoft Windows, Web-based platforms, and Android and iOS mobile applications.

So, don’t let Regression Testing drag your work down – let the tools do the hard work!

Smoke testing vs Regression Testing: Difference Between Smoke Testing and Regression Testing

ComponentsSmoke TestingRegression Testing
DefinitionSmoke testing is a non-exhaustive software test verifying that a program’s most important functions work.Regression testing verifies that previously developed and tested software still performs correctly after it is changed or interfaced with other software.
GoalsSmoking testing aims to ensure that the software’s main functions are working correctly. Regression testing ensures that changes or updates have not created unexpected effects in other software parts.
ScopeSmoke tests are limited in scope and only cover the most basic functions of the software. Regression tests cover a much wider scope and can include all areas of the software, including features that may not have been changed.
Time Required Smoke tests can be completed relatively quickly. Regression tests can take longer as they cover more areas of the software.
Frequency Smoke testing is usually done at the start of a software development cycle and sometimes during integration testing. Regression testing is usually done after software elements have been changed or updated.
Test Cases Smoke testing often uses a limited set of test cases. Regression testing typically uses a large set of test cases.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, Smoke Testing and Regression Testing may have some key differences, but they have the same end goal: ensuring the software you use works as expected. Some points to remember:

  1. Smoke Testing is essential for quickly detecting major defects at the early stages of development.

  2. Regression Testing is essential for ensuring that all changes have been successfully implemented and that there are no unexpected errors in previously stable features before the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called smoke testing?

In the software industry, the term smoke testing refers to the initial testing of a software application to ensure there are no significant issues that would cause the software to “smoke” or crash. This is the first round of testing before more in-depth software testing is done.

Is Selenium a regression testing tool?

Yes, Selenium is a popular open-source regression testing tool. It is mainly used for automated cross-browser testing and other types of testing, such as functional and regression testing of web applications.

What is the main purpose of regression testing?

The primary purpose of regression testing is to ensure that the changes made haven’t adversely affected the system and that the updated system still works as expected. In other words, regression testing is like a fun game of “Did I break it?”

What are the steps involved in smoke testing?

The steps involved in smoke testing are as follows:

  1. Determine the scope: The scope of the smoke test should include the most basic and essential features that must work for the software to be usable.

  2. Create test cases: Create test cases based on the scope of the smoke test. Test cases should cover the software’s input, output, and internal functions.

  3. Execute the test: Execute the test cases and record the results.

  4. Analyze the results: Analyze and compare the results to the expected results. Identify any differences and analyze further.

  5. Report the results: Report the smoke test results and any identified issues.

  6. Follow-up: Follow up on any issues identified during the smoke test. Make sure the issues are fixed and all necessary changes are made.

After follow-up, the next step is to conduct further testing to ensure that the identified issues have been resolved. And then moving on to more detailed testing. This may involve running additional tests such as functional testing, integration testing, performance testing, and usability testing.

Happy Learning!

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