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User Acceptance Testing(UAT)


What is User Acceptance Testing?

The process of software testing is an essential part of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and is carried out by a team of most talented, experienced, and dedicated software testers, who test even the tiniest and least important feature of the software to ensure that no discrepancy or defect is left undetected as well as unresolved. Likewise, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of software testing technique, which tests the software in the real world like condition. This process of software testing is usually conducted by the intended audience or by in-house testing, wherein the volunteers or paid test subjects use the software. In User Acceptance Testing (UAT) the system is also tested for acceptability and to validate end to end business flow. This type of software testing is done and executed by client in separate environments, which is similar to the production environment. UAT confirms whether the system meets the requirements and is developed as per the specifications mentioned by the client. Moreover, UAT is performed only after System Testing is completed and all or most of the major defects of the software have been fixed and taken care of. The one thing that should be considered while executing UAT is that, it is conducted in the last or final stage of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), prior to the system being delivered to a live environment. Also, the focus of the UAT users and end users while performing the tests is on end to end scenarios and it typically involves running a suite on the completed system. In short, User Acceptance Testing is the final confirmation from the client before the system is ready for the production.

Types of User Acceptance Testing:

User Acceptance Testing (UAT), which is also known as Beta Testing, Application Testing, End User Testing and Customer Acceptance Testing, is a testing methodology where the client or the end users are involved in testing the product to validate it against their requirements. This process of testing is performed at the client’s location on the developer’s site. Additionally, this type of testing can be conducted in several ways, which cater to different requirements of the software and also ensure that it has superior quality and state-of-the-art effectiveness. The types of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are mentioned below:

  1. Alpha Testing: Alpha Testing normally takes place in the development environment and is usually done by internal staff. Long before the product is even released to external testers or customers. Also potential user groups might conduct Alpha Tests, but the important thing here is that it takes place in the development environment.
  2. Beta Testing:: Also known as ‘field testing’, it takes place in the customers environment and involves some extensive testing by a group of customers who use the system in their environment. These beta testers then provide feedback, which in turn leads to improvement of the product.
  3. Contract Acceptance Testing: This type UAT means that a software is tested against certain criteria and specifications which are predefined and agreed upon in a contract. The project team defines the relevant criteria and specification for acceptance at the same time when the team agrees on the contract itself. : Basically, black box testing is functional testing, but it can also be a type of user acceptance testing (to some extent). This method of testing investigates some particular issues without letting know about the internal code structure to a tester. The tester can only work on the requirements of software that are necessary to meet.
  4. Regulation Acceptance Testing:Also known as Compliance Acceptance Testing, this examines whether the software complies with the regulations or not. This also includes governmental and legal regulations.
  5. Operational Acceptance Testing:Operational Acceptance Testing is also known as Operational Readiness Testing or Production Acceptance Testing. These test cases ensure that there are workflows in place to allow the software or system to be used. This includes workforce for backup plans, user training and various maintenance processes and security checks.
  6. Black Box Testing: Black Box Testing is often categorized as functional testing, but can, to some extent, be seen as a type of User Acceptance Testing. It’s a method of software testing which analyses certain functionalities without letting testers see the internal code structure. Black Box Testing is part of User Acceptance Testing, because Black Box Tests share the same principles as UAT.

Important Points to consider before starting User Acceptance Testing(UAT):

Before the process of testing is initiated, it is important for software testers to plan and prepare a list of some requirements and conditions that can define the fundamentals of the whole testing process. By preparing the prerequisites the tester can ensure that the software product is at the final stage of development process and is almost prepared for its release. Moreover, with the assistance of User Acceptance Testing (UAT), software testers can crosscheck the various tests that were conducted on the software before User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Therefore, following is a list of few checkpoints that should be considered before the inception of User Acceptance Testing (UAT):

  • There should be availability of business requirements.
  • The process of software development should reach its culmination and the different levels of software testing, such as Unit Testing, Integration Testing, and System Testing should also be complete.
  • Defects of high severity and high priority should be verified and it should be made sure that no defect is left undetected, as it can become a hurdle in smooth functioning of the software.
  • Testers should make sure that all the reported defects are tested and verified prior to the beginning of User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • Validate if traceability matrix for all testing is completed.
  • Once all the defects are fixed, Regression testing should be carried out to check whether fixing of defects is not damaging the existing working areas.
  • The sign off should be given by the System Testing team, which confirms that software application is ready for the execution of User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

Importance of User acceptance Testing (UAT):

Once the system has undergone Unit testing, integration testing and system testing, the need for acceptance testing becomes redundant. However, the system or the software application still requires User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for countless reasons, which should not be overlooked as it increases the quality of the product as well as makes it appropriate for the release or ‘go live’ of the whole project. Here are some of the reasons of conducting User Acceptance Testing (UAT) that signify the importance of this type of testing is Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

  • The software is developed and coded as per the requirements document, which are usually created by developers according to their own understanding and may not actually be what the client needs and requires from the software.
  • The process of software development is a time consuming procedure and the requirements of the clients can change during the course of the project and may not be communicated effectively to the developers.
  • With the assistance of User Acceptance Testing (UAT), software developers can confirm that the software is developed as per the requirements of the client and caters to all their needs.
  • Conducting User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is crucial as it checks the performance as well as features of the software and validate its quality.
  • Also, it tests the effectiveness of the product in the real world like condition, which further prepares the software for its release.

Tools Used For User Acceptance Testing:

To make the process of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) easy and convenient for the team of testers and to get fast and correct results, software testers use a variety of testing tools. The objective of these tools is to simplify the process as well as to make it cost effective. Similarly, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) can also be executed with the assistance of a tool and easily work on several aspects of the software. These User Acceptance Testing (UAT) tools are extremely easy to use as well as enormously effective. Some of the tools used for User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are mentioned below:

  • Usersnap: It is an easy-to-use UAT solution that helps QA team to verify if a certain solution works for the user. By having a simple feedback widget, the testers can provide comprehensive feedback on a software prototype. Moreover, the UAT team can easily gather and analyse quantitative feedback from testers.
  • Fitnesse Tool: A testing tools that is used as a testing engine. It is easy to create tests and record results in a table with the assistance of Fitnesse tool. Users of the tool enter the formatted input and tests are created automatically. Additionally, the tests are then executed and output is returned back to the user.
  • Watir: It is a tool kit used to automate browser based tests during UAT. Ruby is the programming language used for the inter process communication between ruby and internet explorer.

Summary:

The formula of developing an extraordinary and incomparable software application with outstanding performance, quality and functionality is to conduct rigorous testing during its development process. Software engineers, since years are developing software applications that have unique features and functionality and that cater to various irregular and exclusive demands of the client as well as the end users. It is these qualities and different specifications that differentiate software applications from each other and therefore, increase their popularity in the software industry. Hence, performing testing, whether major or minor, during and after the software development process is essential and should be executed to ensure that the end product is of state-of-the-art quality and is developed as per the requirements of the client. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is one such software testing technique that is performed prior to the system being delivered to a live environment and is beneficial for software engineers, who wants to validate that the software performs perfectly once it is released for the use of end users. Also, this type of testing is performed in the real world condition by the client and the end users themselves.