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Acceptance Testing


Professionalqa acceptance testing image

Software products are developed on the basis of specified business and end user requirements to meet their intended needs and expectations. Acceptance of the product by the user would fulfill the purpose & goal of software development. Thus, evaluation of the developed product by the user itself may help in gaining confidence in the product’s readiness and in its functioning. Therefore, to define the important of Acceptance Testing in software testing life cycle here is a detailed discussion on the same.

What is Acceptance Testing?

Acceptance testing is one of the last types of software testing performed over a software or application. It is conducted by a pool of targeted users to ensure the readiness and quality of the system from user's perspective, which allows the team to meet their needs and expectations. The main goal behind acceptance testing is to check whether the developed software product passes the acceptance norms defined on the basis of user and business requirements, so as to declare it acceptable or non-acceptable for its use by the users.

acceptance testing or UAT

Acceptance testing is also referred to as red box testing. Additionally, the acceptance tests are derived from the user story and are based on the acceptance criteria, which are defined on the basis of the following:

  • Correctness and completeness of the functionality.
  • Data integrity and data conversion.
  • Software usability, performance and scalability.
  • Documentation.
  • Timeliness.
  • Product’s confidentiality and availability.
  • Install-ability as well as upgrade-ability.

Why Acceptance Testing is Required?

When a software is under testing, there are numerous components that are required to be cross-checked by the team to ensure the accuracy of the expected result as well as to validate the quality of the various features and components of the software, which automatically convince the user to accept the system. Acceptance testing plays this important role in software testing and ensures that the software delivered to the client and user is up-to-the-mark and performs as intended. Few of the other reasons for executing acceptance testing are:

  • It is used to identify any issues or defects in the software, which were missed by the testers during other types of testing.
  • It validates the quality of the software.
  • Helps verify that the software is developed according to the business requirements of the client.
  • Minimizes and eliminates any discrepancies arising from the production of the product.
  • Ensures that the software matches the current market trends and has a great competitive value.
  • Most importantly, it ensures the product is ready to be used by the real users, as it verifies the criteria for product delivery to the users.

When to go for Acceptance Testing?

A software product goes through numerous stages of testing, before it is ready for its go-live or implementation. Likewise, before executing the testing process for acceptance testing, the team implements various techniques, like unit testing, integration testing, and system testing to assess the quality and reliability of the software. Though, this type of testing begins with the completion of system testing and before the deployment of software product for its actual use, it can also be applied to other levels, like in smoke testing, which ensures the acceptance of the software build based on its stability for further testing.

when to perform acceptance testing

Prerequisites of Acceptance Testing:

Before implementing the process of testing, it is important for the team to accumulate all the necessary components and elements, which will allow them to execute the process of testing without any hassle and will help them get accurate and expected test results. From validating the process of development to ensuring the availability of various reports and logs, everything should be present while executing acceptance testing to enhance its quality. Therefore, here is a list of various prerequisites required for acceptance testing:

  • All the business requirements stated by the client must be available before the commencement of the project.
  • The development team should ensure that the code of the application is completely developed.
  • Unit testing, integration testing, and system testing, along with functional test should be thoroughly executed.
  • There should not be any hidden issue or defect in the system integration test phase.
  • Acceptance testing environment should be ready.
  • Regression tests should be executed and completed with no major defects.
  • All defects and issues detected by the team during earlier stages should be fixed and tested.
  • The traceability matrix should be completed for all types of testing.

Working of Acceptance Testing

Acceptance is a formal type of testing, which follows the black-box testing strategy to execute tests on software product. It means that the testing process for acceptance testing is performed without having any prior knowledge of the software's internal working and involves feeding of inputs to observe and evaluate the response of the system. Generally, this type of testing involves multiple executions of test cases including following activities.

acceptance testing working

  • Test case preparation: Preparation of test cases, on the basis of combined requirements of both business and end-users.
  • Execution: These test cases are executed on the software product.
  • Documentation: Results are recorded and compared with the expected results, in accordance to specified acceptance criteria, for meeting the requirements.
  • Evaluation: Number of pass or fail of these test cases decides the software suitability for getting accepted or rejected.

Types of Acceptance Testing

Broadly, there are two main types of Acceptance Testing

  1. Alpha testing

    It is an on-site acceptance testing executed at developer's site usually by the group of skilled testers. This is carried out at the end of the software development process and before the handing over of the software product to clients/users. The feedback or the collected result from the alpha testing is significantly used to fix bugs or defects, and it is feasible to improve the usability of the product.Explore more of this testing in our article Alpha Testing.

    Explore more of this testing in our article Alpha Testing.

  2. Beta testing

    Also known by the name field testing, beta testing is an off-site acceptance testing, carried out at client's site by the stakeholder or the end-users. This testing involves the evaluation of the software in the real environment by its potential users before its actual release in the market.

Apart from above, acceptance testing can also be classified as under:

  • User Acceptance Testing: It involves initial testing of the software application by the employee(s) of the development organization itself before passing it for the final testing, to be carried out at client site by the users. Additionally, this type of testing is mainly based on the business domain knowledge and involves constant validation of system’s compliance with these requirements suggested by the client or user before the inception of the project.
  • Operational Acceptance Testing: Operational Acceptance Testing (OAT): It is done to ensure the readiness of operational features of the software product by checking the procedures, required for using and maintaining the software product. Moreover, operational acceptance testing or OAT is defined in terms of functional and non-functional requirements, wherein it covers some major quality attributes of the software like its functional stability, reliability & portability.
  • Contract Acceptance Testing: Involves the testing of acceptance criteria & requirements that were evolved during the contract and before the delivery of software product.
  • Regulation Acceptance Testing: This testing is done to ensure that software product abides the rules, regulations, laws and safety standards of the government.

What are The Best Practices for User Acceptance Testing?

acceptance testing practices

  • Make a checklist.
  • Always make a UAT plan before proceeding.
  • Setting of expectation and scope of UAT should be clear.
  • Try to avoid system tests and do test end to end business flow.
  • Try to test the application relevant to real world scenarios.
  • Think like a stranger or a newcomer to the system.
  • Usability testing
  • Meetings and feedback sessions are important before production.

It is expected from every software product that it should function based on the needs of the end users to meet and satisfy their desired demands & expectations, and which can be guaranteed through acceptance testing along with gain of confidence in its user-acceptance, prior to its market release.