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What is UAT? User Acceptance Testing Best Practices

User Acceptance Testing Definition

You must be wondering what is UAT? UAT means User Acceptance Testing. The definition of user acceptance testing is also clear. It involves the process of verifying a software solution that works perfectly for the user. It sounds easy but is quite tough in practice. It is done at the final phase of software testing before moving the application to the production environment. The purpose of UAT is to validate the end to end business flow.

To make the UAT process easier, here we will discuss the definition of user acceptance testing, user acceptance testing best practices, user acceptance testing approach, and most common types of user acceptance testing.

What is UAT? Why do you need it?

In the previous section, we have already discussed the user acceptance testing definition. So, you have a sound idea of what is UAT? The User Acceptance Test is the best way to understand if the previously signed contract between developer and customer is still on track. Running User Acceptance Tests ensure that there are no changes in the requirements, and everything is to satisfy the customers. Acceptance test cases are useful in multiple ways as discussed below:

  • It captures the user requirements in a direct verifiable way.
  • It identifies problems that are missed by unit or integration testing.
  • It verifies how well the system is performing as per the requirement.

In software engineering, User Acceptance Testing is utilized to identify or verify the customer’s needs. Here is the diagram below for your reference. 

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How is UAT different from Functional Testing?

You must be wondering how User Acceptance Testing is different from functional testing. Let us discuss both types of testing in brief below.

  • User Acceptance Testing: It verifies that user requirements are met completely. When customers and suppliers both agree on the product, the software development process starts practically.
  • Functional Testing: It tests the specifications or requirements of the software instead of the user. So, the user component is missed here. The functional testing makes sure that software meets its specifications perfectly. But it does not verify if the software meets the user requirements or not.

For example, Facebook launched a new feature to send postcards to family and friends. Technically, it works well but it lacks the interests of users. Here, the functional testing and usability testing works great but the User Acceptance Testing may probably fail as Facebook users don’t demand to send postcards within Facebook.

Read: Manual Testing Tutorials For Beginners- Step by Step Approach

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User Acceptance Testing Best Practices and Prerequisites

Here are the entry level points to be considered for the User Acceptance Testing before you start it practically.

  • It should always start with clear business requirements.
  • The application code should be developed completely before you start with the black box testing.
  • The unit testing, usability testing, and integration testing should be completed in advance.
  • There should not be any defects in the system integration test phase.
  • Only cosmetic testing is done before the UAT.
  • The regression testing should be don’t without any major defects.
  • Fix or test the report errors before the User Acceptance Testing.
  • The UAT environment should be ready before you start with the process.
  • Make sure that the system testing team is ready for the User Acceptance Tests execution.

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User Acceptance Testing Approach

To perform the User Acceptance Testing, here are the following steps that are needed to be followed by the testers:

User Acceptance Testing Approach

  • Focus on the business requirements: The most important step in UAT is to identify and develop the test scenarios from business use cases, project chatter, process flow diagrams, business requirements documents, system requirements specifications etc.
  • Create a UAT plan: It verifies the strategy to make sure that the application meets the business requirements. It specifies the entry and exit criteria for the UAT, test cases, test case approach, test case strategy, test scenarios, timelines for testing etc.
  • Identify Test Cases and Scenarios: Identify the test cases with respect to the high-level business process and create the test cases accordingly. Test cases should cover all the test scenarios significantly. Business use cases are the inputs for test case creation.
  • Test Data preparation: It is always recommended to use the live data for UAT. It should be scrambled for privacy or security reasons. Testers should be familiar with the database flow too.
  • Run and record the results: Execute the test cases and report defects if any. Now test the bugs again once they are fixed. Further, the test management tool can be used for the execution.
  • Confirm business objectives: UAT testers should drop a sign off mail, once the UAT testing is done. After sign-off, the product is ready to go for production. The popular deliverables for User Acceptance Testing are test plans, test scenarios, test results, or defect logs etc.

Different Types of User Acceptance Testing

Once you know the UAT basics and how is it different from the functional testing, you can quickly understand the different types of User Acceptance Testing below. There is a total of five common types of UAT testing. These are –

Read: What is JIRA? JIRA Tutorial Guide for Beginner
  • Alpha & Beta Testing
  • Contract Acceptance Testing
  • Regulation Acceptance Testing
  • Operational Acceptance Testing
  • Black Box Testing

Types of User Acceptance Testing

Alpha & Beta Testing

Alpha testing usually takes place in the development environment and it is done by the internal staff. Lone before the product is released for the external customers or user and potential users might conduct alpha tests. But keep in mind that alpha testing takes place in the development environment only. Get the feedback from alpha testers or development teams and fix issues to improve the overall usability of the product.

The next important concept is Beta Testing, which takes place in the customer environment and involves extensive testing done by a large group of customers. Based on the feedback given by the Beta users, it leads the improvements to a product. It is clear from the discussion that Alpha & Beta testing is performed before the product is released to customers.

Sending messages through emails is still the best way to conduct and run the Alpha/Beta tests or you can use automated solutions for the same. With automated solutions, users can quickly collect feedback and suggest comprehensive solutions for the software system.

Contract Acceptance Testing

This type of testing is majorly used for the developed software programs against certain criteria or specifications that are predefined within a contract. The project team can define the project specifications at the same time as soon as the team agrees on the contract itself.

Regulation Acceptance Testing

The other name for regulation acceptance testing is compliance acceptance testing that complies either software meets regulations or not. It includes legal or governmental regulations.

Operational Acceptance Testing

The other name for the operational acceptance testing is production acceptance testing. The operational test cases make sure that workflows are in place to allow the software system to be used. It includes workflows for the backup plans, user training, security checks, and various maintenance processes too.

Black Box Testing

Black box testing is useful in both cases either functional or User Acceptance Testing. It is a method of software testing that analyzes certain functionalities without allowing testers to see the internal code structure. It is included under the UAT because black box testing shares the same principles as UAT. Black box testing is not the code-base but the requirements which the software should meet. 

Read: Software Development Life Cycle VS Software Testing Life Cycle (SDLC and STLC)

  • Testers don’t need any specific knowledge of the application or any of its features to perform the black box testing.
  • The black box testing only makes sure what a software system is supposed to do.
  • The development teams use black box testing to escalate their UAT efforts in the right direction.

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In Software Engineering, UAT is one of the most interesting flavors of testing that has emerged over the last few years. With UAT, the client ensures “what to expect” from the product instead of assumptions. It makes sure that the product comes with no surprises when it is released in the market.

Now, when you know what is UAT, definition of user acceptance testing, user acceptance testing best practices, user acceptance testing approach, and its different types, enroll for the QA certification program at the JanBask Training to shape your career in the testing field and know more of different types of testing in the software engineering. A detailed study and practical approach not only make you a good learner but also prepares you to perform well in the job field.

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