Moving users to a new operating system (OS) presents a range of challenges and risks, including application failure risks, i.e., where an application fails to install or launch on the new OS build. It is crucial to identify and rectify these issues long before the new OS build gets anywhere near users. Smoke testing is the solution.
Or rather, smoke testing inspired by Mrs Doorboto. More on her in a moment.
First, though, let’s quickly define what smoke testing is and what it involves.
What is Smoke Testing?
Smoke testing is a common procedure in software development, but it also applies to major IT projects in large and medium-sized companies – projects like moving users to a new OS. You may have multiple builds of the new OS to suit the various requirements of users. You will also have thousands, if not tens of thousands of devices, as well as a similar number of applications.
Smoke testing ensures each application can install, launch, and load on all applicable OS builds. It is a minimalist form of testing as it does not involve full functionality or performance checks, but it is an essential step in many IT projects.
Why is it called smoke testing? The phrase comes from the world of electrical engineering, where a product is deemed to pass the smoke test provided it doesn’t catch fire when it is powered on.
What We Can Learn from Mrs Doorboto?
Back to Mrs Doorboto – she is a robot, also known as Rosie, that operates in Nissan. Nissan calls Mrs Doorboto its door-durability robot. Her job is to simulate 10 years of opening and closing doors on Nissan cars to ensure they are robust enough for day-to-day use.
Nissan could have employed a team of people to open and close doors to complete this necessary test, but it would take months while being exceedingly tedious for the workers involved.
Mrs Doorboto is the obvious solution, as she can complete the same work in three days without breaks, sick days, holidays, or long chats at the water cooler. That’s three days to simulate 10 years of opening and closing a Nissan car door.
You need the same level of automation when smoke testing applications for new OS builds. It doesn’t make sense to go through the process manually when there are powerful automation tools that can complete this necessary task in a fraction of the time.
Automated Smoke Testing
Automated smoke testing can complete the repeat testing of thousands of apps on multiple OS builds in a fraction of the time it would take a team of skilled people to complete the process manually. Automating the process also improves testing accuracy and enables you to allocate your limited and time-pressured technical resources to tasks that are more value-adding.
The result of automated smoke testing will be confidence that the applications that users need will successfully install and launch under the new OS build conditions. Any apps that fail the automated smoke testing process will be flagged so the issues can be resolved before users are impacted.
From there, you can move forward with the next stage of your project, while keeping within project milestones and deadlines and ensuring the best possible user experience.
Access Capture’s launch and load module can reduce the time and resources required to complete smoke testing of applications by 95 percent. This is a real-world figure achieved by our clients who tested multiple applications for installation and launch success on a variety of operating system builds, including multiple variations from their core builds.
Top Reasons to Automate Smoke Testing
- ROI – smoke testing delivers one of the highest levels of ROI compared to other types of tests you can perform on applications, not least because of the scale that is typically required and the repetitive nature of the testing process.
- Faster – complete smoke testing considerably faster by automating.
- Free up resources – with automated smoke testing, technical resources can work on other tasks.
- Run tests frequently – automation enables testing when and where you need it with minimal forward planning or coordination required.
- Test everything – as testing is fast and automated, you can easily test all apps on all OS build variations. This includes custom and legacy applications.
- Accuracy – automated smoke testing eliminates human error.
In summary, smoke testing is a necessary task when moving users to a new OS build, particularly when the build differs from your core build. Completing this process manually is costly, time-consuming, and inefficient. Automating the process with a tool like Access Capture improves efficiency and the user experience, while delivering measurable ROI.