Build Verification Testing (BVT Testing) Complete Guide

What is Build Verification Testing (BVT)?

Build Verification Test is a set of tests run on every new build to verify that the build is testable before it is released to the testing team for further testing.

These test cases are core functionality test cases that ensure that the application is stable and can be tested thoroughly. Typically the BVT process is automated. If BVT fails, then that build will again get assigned to a developer for the fix.

Build Verification Testing (BVT Testing)

Build Verification Testing (BVT Testing)

BVT is also called as Smoke Testing or Builds Acceptance Testing (BAT).

New Build is checked mainly for two things:

  • Build Validation
  • Build Acceptance

BVT Basics

  • This is a subset of tests that verify the main functionalities.
  • The BVT’s are typically run on daily builds and if the BVT fails the build is rejected and a new build is released after the fixes are done.
  • The advantage of BVT is that it saves the efforts of a test team to set up and test a build when major functionality is broken.
  • Design BVTs carefully to cover basic functionality.
  • Typically BVT should not run for more than 30 minutes.
  • BVT is a type of Regression Testing, done on each and every new build.

BVT primarily checks for the project integrity and checks whether all the modules are integrated properly or not. Module integration testing is very important when different teams develop project modules.

We have heard of many cases of application failure due to improper module integration. Even in the worst cases, the complete project gets scrapped due to failure in module integration.

What is the Main Task in Build Release

Obviously file ‘check-in’ i.e. to include all new and modified project files associated with respective builds.

BVT was primarily introduced to check initial build health i.e., to check whether – all new and modified files are included in the release, all file formats are correct, and every file version, language & flags associated with each file.

These basic checks are worth before build release to test team for testing. You will save time and money by discovering the build flaws at the very beginning using BVT.

Which Test Cases Should Be Included in BVT

This is a very tricky decision to make before automating the BVT task. Keep in mind that the success of BVT depends on which test cases you include in BVT.

Here are some simple tips to include in Test Cases in your BVT Automation Suite:

  • Include only critical test cases in BVT.
  • All test cases included in the BVT should be stable.
  • All test cases should have known the expected results.
  • Make sure that all included critical functionality test cases are sufficient for application test coverage.

Also, do not include modules in BVT, which are not yet stable. Due to some under-development features, you can’t predict expected behavior as these modules are unstable and you might know some known failures before testing for these incomplete modules. There is no point in using such modules or test cases in BVT.

You can make this critical functionality test case inclusion task simple by communicating with all those involved in the project development and testing life cycle. Such a process should negotiate BVT test cases, which ultimately ensure BVT success.

Set some BVT quality standards and these standards can be met only by analyzing the major project features and scenarios.

For Example, Test cases to be included in BVT for Text editor application (some sample tests only):

  • Test case for creating the text file.
  • Test cases for writing something into the text editor.
  • Test case for copy, cut, and paste functionality of text editor.
  • Test cases for opening, saving, and deleting text files.

These are some sample test cases which can be marked as “critical” and for every minor or major change in the application, these basic critical test cases should be executed. This task can be easily accomplished by BVT.

BVT automation suits need to be maintained and modified from time-to-time. E.g. include test cases in BVT when there are new stable project modules available.

What Happens When BVT Suite Runs

Say Build verification automation test suite executed after any new build.

  1. The results of the BVT execution will be sent to all the email ID’s associated with the project.
  2. The BVT owner (person executing and maintaining the BVT suite) inspects the result of BVT.
  3. If BVT fails then BVT owner diagnoses the cause of failure.
  4. If the cause of failure is a defect in the build, then all the relevant information with failure logs will be sent to the respective developers.
  5. Developer on his initial diagnostic replies to the team about the failure cause. Is this really a bug? If it’s a bug then what will be his bug-fixing scenario?
  6. On the bug fix, once again the BVT test suite is executed and if the build passes BVT, the build is passed to the test team for further detailed functionality, performance, and other tests.

This process gets repeated for every new build.

Why did BVT or Build Fail?

BVT breaks sometimes and this doesn’t mean that there is always a bug in the build.

There are a few other reasons to build fail like test case coding errors, automation suite errors, infrastructure errors, hardware failures etc.

You need to troubleshoot the cause of the BVT break and need to take proper action after diagnosis.

Tips for BVT Success

  1. Spend considerable time writing BVT test case scripts.
  2. Log as much detailed info as possible to diagnose if the BVT passes or fails as a result. This will help the developer team to debug and quickly understand the failure cause.
  3. Select stable test cases to include in BVT. For new features, if a new critical test case passes consistently on a different configuration then promote this test case in your BVT suite. This will reduce the probability of frequent build failures due to new unstable modules and test cases.
  4. Automate the BVT process as much as possible. Right from the build release process to the BVT results – automate everything.
  5. Have some penalties for breaking the build 😉 Some chocolate or team coffee party from a developer who breaks the build will do.


BVT is nothing but a set of regression test cases that are executed each time for the new build. This is also called a smoke test. The build will not be assigned to the test team unless and until the BVT passes.

BVT can be run by developers or testers and BVT results are communicated throughout the team and immediate action is taken to fix the bug if BVT fails. BVT processes are typically automated by writing scripts for test cases.

Only critical test cases are included in BVT. These test cases should ensure application test coverage. BVT is very effective for daily as well as long-term builds. This saves significant time, cost & resources and after all no frustration of the test team for the incomplete build.

If you have some experience in the BVT process then please share it with our readers in the comments below.

Recommended Reading