Software Testing is one of the essential parts of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and is carried out by a team of most talented, experienced, and dedicated software testers. During this process the team tests various components and feature of the software to ensure that no discrepancy or defect is left undetected as well as unresolved. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of software testing technique, which is executed by the team to test the software in the real world like condition. Therefore, following is a thorough discussion on User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for you to understand its significance.
What is User Acceptance Testing?
A vital part of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), User Acceptance Testing is usually conducted by the intended users or by in-house testers, wherein volunteers or paid test subjects use the software to verify its functionality, effectiveness, performance, quality, and more.
Moreover, it also tests the system for acceptability, to validate the end to end flow of business processes. This type of software testing is done and executed by client in separate test environment, which is similar to the production environment.
UAT is performed only after System Testing is completed, when all or most of the critical defects of the software have been fixed and taken care of. Additionally, 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.
Features of User Acceptance Testing:
The significance of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) can further be comprehended by understanding its various features, which give us a detailed insight into this testing technique. Hence, following are some important features of UAT.
It helps cross-check the various tests that were executed before User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
The product is tested by the client or the end users to validate it against their requirements.
This process of testing is performed at the client’s location on the developer’s site.
UAT confirms whether the system meets the requirements and is developed as per the specifications mentioned by the client.
The focus of the UAT users and end users while performing the tests is on end to end scenarios.
It typically involves running a test suite on the completed system.
User Acceptance Testing is the final confirmation from the client before the system is ready for the production.
Types of User Acceptance Testing:
Commonly known as Beta Testing, Application Testing, End User Testing, and Customer Acceptance Testing, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a type of testing that can be conducted in numerous ways, each of which caters to different aspects of the software and ensure their quality and efficiency.
These types of User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Prerequisites of 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):
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).
Process of User Acceptance Testing (UAT):
The accuracy User Acceptance Testing (UAT) can be ensured only if its process is executed correctly and without any hindrances. This can be achieved effortlessly, if the testers follow a set process. Therefore, provided here is the process of User Acceptance Testing (UAT):
UAT Test Plan Creation: Here, the strategy for testing the software product is outlined by the team. The test plan helps document the entry and exit criteria for UAT and is used to validate that the application meets is business requirements.
Identify Test Scenarios: Once the test plan and test strategy is prepared by the team, they move on to creating test scenarios based on business processes and their requirement.
Creation of UAT Test Cases: During this stage, test cases are created with clear test steps, which are designed to cover most of the test scenarios created in the previous stage. The inputs provided to prepare these test cases are given in the form of business use cases.
Test Execution: Finally, the test cases are executed by the team in the UAT environment. This can be either done manually or with the assistance of test management tools.
Record and Report: The bugs and defects detected by the team is recorded and reported by the testing team, to be rectified and resolved. Once bugs are fixed they are again re-tested to validate their accuracy and quality.
Confirm Business Objectives: At the end of the process, business analyst or UAT tester sends a sign off mail to report the culmination of testing. This is done along with various deliverables offered by UAT testing.
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.
Performed in the 'real world" by the intended users, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is an important software testing technique, which is performed before the system is delivered to a live environment. UAT is beneficial for software engineers who want to validate the performance of the software product once it is released for the use of the end users.