What is sanity testing? How is it different from smoke testing?


The realm of software testing is about ensuring that the applications run free from error and function properly. The two phrases regularly related to that area are sanity testing and smoke testing. Although they look alike, they perform different functions in the software testing life cycle. Beginning with what these terms mean and how they differ, let’s take a closer look.

Sanity testing

At the very beginning of a software development project or after some considerable change, Sanity Testing plays the key role of making sure that the core functionalities of the software work as they are supposed to be doing. The main objective of this kind is to make sure that newly added functionalities support the old ones without breakage. Generally, Sanity testing is concerned with how sane the software is to move to the stage where intricate testing can be done.

For instance, imagine a software application that has a feature for users to register accounts. If developers make changes to this feature, Sanity Testing will check if users can still register accounts successfully without any unexpected issues. It focuses on narrow and specific aspects of the application rather than comprehensive testing.

Smoke testing

Smoke testing is an inevitable step at the beginning of the software testing process. It ensures the basic stability of the build to allow it to proceed with further testing. While Sanity Testing focuses on specific functionality, Smoke Testing is meant to indicate software build stability, which is its goal.

The case can be further depicted by a web application company going through the testing process. Smoke Testing could include reporting that the homepage loads correctly, a login option and search functionality is running. If there are any of the core functionalities that fail it suggests that the build is fragile and needs to be rechecked in the debugging process before you can continue with more detailed testing.

Distinguishing between sanity testing and smoke testing

Despite the similar aims of Sanity Testing and Smoke Testing they were designed to verify different aspects of software builds.

The sanity test concentrates on detailed functionalities to make sure they are not altered by the recent additions or changes in the current system. It is similar to a diagnostic check of the engine to see if it runs well after the spark plug has been fixed. Otherwise, the Smoke Testing allows a more holistic analysis of the software stability as a whole. It helps to make sure that elementary functions are working, in the same manner as mechanisms of a machine are tested before its deeper interactions are investigated.

In a nutshell, the thoroughness of Sanity Testing focuses on particular functional areas, whereas Smoke Testing does a general overview of building health.


Each of them is a critical stage of software testing with different purposes. Sanity Testing certifies the smooth running of particular functionalities, while Smoke Testing monitors the general well-being of software build. Through knowledge of its differences and putting them into practice in testing procedures in an appropriate way, the software development teams can achieve the high quality and reliability of their applications.



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