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Smoke testing, in the context of software development, is a series of test cases that are run before the commencement of more rigorous tests. The goal of smoke testing is to verify that an application's main features work properly. A smoke test suite can be automated or a combination of manual and automated testing.
Smoke testing is a preliminary test which is used to catch the high-level functional errors of an application. If the tests fail, then further testing of the application stops, and the build is refused for additional testing until the build passes the smoke test.
The term itself is derived from the electronic industry. While repairing a hardware component, if the equipment works with no smoke, the component is said to have passed the test.