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What is a Smoke Test?

A smoke check is the same as a smoke test in unit testing. Send a request to an simple endpoint and see if it works. On an e-commerce site, check that the home page is up. On a business application, check that the dashboard doesn’t timeout.

Smoke checks are helpful because it will catch the system-wide problems. Things like your database going down. Or network connectivity to your upstream microservice failing. Smoke checks are also great because they’re so stinking easy to set up! Throw in a HTTP GET request to your favorite data-pulling endpoint. That will test your database and server for critical failures.

If you can’t get coverage with a health check and a real data check is too much work, do a smoke test. It’s the last resort.

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