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It is frequently noticed that while testing team emphasizes manual and automation testing, still several bugs are reported by the end-users. As it involves subject experts along with managers, it is essential to perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT) along with conventional QA process.
The practice of User Acceptance Testing is somewhat very simple, however, the execution in actual requires some detailed knowledge on the types of UAT.
To make your foray into UAT a little straight-forward, we have explored the most common types of User Acceptance Testing you often come across.
User Acceptance Testing is a phase of software development in which the developed software is tested in the real environment by the end-users. The process is to verify the intended functionality of the developed system on the end user’s perspective emulating real-world scenarios.
In short, User Acceptance Testing is the process of checking that developed software works for intended users. This may be easy to hear at first, but, practically it is not.
Now, let’s discuss the differences between User Acceptance Testing from Functional Testing to bring in more clarity of thought.
User acceptance testing or UAT contains certain steps to check that if specific requirements are working for the user or not. Practically, when the supplier and the customer approve the product then the process of development is started, and legally too. Instead, in functional testing, we test certain specifications and requirements of the software. Yet, the user component is missing from it. From functional tests, we can only verify that requirements and specifications are satisfied by the software. Nevertheless, it does not ensure if it is actually useful and acceptable from a user’s perspective.
Let me explain this with an example: consider an application that has a search feature. The feature is working fine and giving desired results but in the process is taking too much time to get the job done. Thus, the application will pass the functionality tests but due to extended loading time, it will fail in acceptance tests as end-users will not be satisfied with its performance.
Failed acceptance is not limited only to performance-related issues, any redundant or outdated feature can also be the cause. As the users will no longer interested in using a feature whether it is working absolutely fine, its functional tests would pass, along with the usability tests, but the user acceptance test would probably fail.
Now, we can easily differentiate between functional testing and user acceptance testing.
Following are the types of User Acceptance Testing:
Alpha testing is the type of acceptance testing performed by internal employees or by potential user groups at the developer’s location, prior to the release of the product to customers. The inputs from this are then taken into consideration to improve the quality of the end product.
Instead, Beta Testing is performed by the independent testers in a real-world environment where the application is intended to be used. It involves extensive testing of the product by a group of customers, who provides the feedback, which is then implemented to improve the product’s quality. Both alpha and beta testing is done before the application is released.
In Contract Acceptance Testing, the software developed is tested to meet the specifications and criteria which have been pre-decided and mutually agreed upon in the contract. When the project team agrees to the contract, then only, the acceptance criteria and specifications are defined.
The Regulation Acceptance Testing tests developed software against certain rules and regulations. These are mainly governmental rules and regulations and compliance with these legal issues is absolutely necessary. It is also called Compliance Acceptance Testing.
Operational Acceptance Testing, also called Operational Readiness or Production Acceptance Testing, ensures that there is a proper workflow for the software that is being used. The workflow must include backup plans, security checks, user training, and various maintenance processes.
Black Box Testing is time and again classified as functional testing, but to some degree of level, can be considered as a type of User Acceptance Testing. It lets the tester test the application for certain functionalities without the understanding and working of the internal code structure. User Acceptance Testing and Black Box Testing has somewhat similar principles, as the end-user isn’t aware of any code. What he is only aware of is the requirements of the application that must be satisfied. Several testing teams use it for their User Acceptance Testing quite often.
Still, there are many more types of User Acceptance Testing. By providing you with the aforementioned types of UAT, I hope that some light had been shed on the topic.
[Related Read: Effective Ways To Face UAT Challenges]
We, at BugRaptors, perform extensive User Acceptance Testing so that the developed software is up to the need to the intended user. We believe there is no shortcut to success, thus the software tested and passed by us work correctly as per the business requirements as well as end-user perspective.