Software testing is responsible for ensuring the release of quality software to the market. It takes care that the software is free from defects or bugs and it is convenient for users to operate it. On one hand, where the defects or bugs are addressed by testing stages like system testing, integration testing, etc. On the other hand, the user experience is addressed by the UAT, which stands for User Acceptance Testing.
UAT meaning in software testing is the last phase of testing in which the actual users or client operates the software to see ‘ if it can work the way it should in the real world scenarios?’. Software working seamlessly in the developer’s environment may look unstable in the user’s environment.
UAT testing in the final check-up a newly developed software has to pass for being able to roll out to the market. So it is important that this testing is performed very carefully and effectively. It is a software assessment for evaluating and predicting its ability to support day to day business and user scenarios and ensuring that the software developed is good enough to meet user requirements.
Types of UAT
There are mainly two types of User Acceptance Testing:
1. Alpha Testing
Alpha testing is also known to be in-house testing since it is performed on the developer’s side by creating a controlled environment similar to the one the software would have to work in after the release.
Any defect or abnormality detected in the software will be sent for resolution immediately and will be verified by the client. Alpha testing can be both black-box testing or white box testing checking both the internal structure and overall functioning of the software.
2. Beta Testing
Beta testing is performed by deploying the developed software to the client’s environment. Here, the software is made to work in the uncontrolled client’s or user’s environment. If any defect is encountered then the software is sent back to the developer’s team to make the required corrections.
If no defect is encountered then the same product is sent for production and final release. Beta testing is completely black-box testing. In this, the user has no idea about the internal structure of the software. The tester just checks, ‘if it’s able to perform the tasks expected of a certain kind of software.
Benefits of UAT
1. An internal user acceptance testing before final release ensures that the software is working as per the requirements and all the functionalities are also working properly.
2. It also gives an idea about ‘how the software will perform on the user’s side and the response of users toward the trial version can help in predicting the response toward the final product.
3. It is very effective in identifying the bugs skipped during the system testing.
4. It also ensures that the software is successful in meeting the purpose of its development.
Need of UAT
1. Acceptance testing is necessary because the software is developed by the developers based on the specifications provided by the client and business people, along with their understanding of what the product should be like. These specifications may be different from what the actual users need.
2. The requirements of a software change while the development is under process and sometimes it’s hard to make them understand exactly what changes are required.
UAT testing helps in effectively bringing them to the knowledge of developers for building a more productive and quality software for the users.
3. UAT checks ‘whether the software is meeting the business requirements or not?’.
Who is going to perform UAT?
Since the developers want to make a product that the user can accept, and this is the reason why the UAT testing is performed by the end-user. If the product is approved by the user then the product is forwarded for production. Along with the end-users, stakeholders like project sponsors, business owners, business analysts, testing and development team also participate in performing this testing.
The testing is done using the test suites that execute various test cases on the software and the outcome of each test case is just pass or fail. The UAT is performed by the clients, who are the customers of an organisation. It’s they who demanded the development of the software and they must be satisfied with the end product. The end-users to perform it can be the client or the clients of the client.
Steps to perform UAT
The first step in UAT includes deciding the time frame that will be sufficient for performing the testing and generating enough feedback from the end-users.
2. Test Cases Creation
Test cases are created in such a way so that the real-life working conditions of the software can be enacted to check the software performance in them. Attempts are made to get as close as possible, a user might operate the software, which can be very different from the way a developer knows everything about the software.
3. Making Test Team
The test team of UAT contains the end-users or the user’s that have no idea about the internal structure of the software. While creating the UAT team it is very important to include only those members that are not part of the development process of the software. The product owner plays an important role in deciding the expectation from the software and the criteria for the pass or fails of a test case.
4. Execution and Documentation
It’s time to execute the test cases prepared in the earlier steps, along with some exploratory testing. In exploratory testing, an experienced tester randomly operates the software to find the loopholes in it and the defects which were left hidden in earlier testings. All the bugs detected are reported in the bug report, along with its severity and all necessary steps to reproduce it.
5. Bug Removal
Once the bugs are logged, the development team starts the procedure of fixing them based on their impact on the overall functioning and productivity of the software. All the bugs are prioritised and the fixing is done accordingly. After executing all the test cases, the decision is taken ‘whether the software is ready to be released for all the users or not?’.
We hope now you have a clear idea about ‘what is UAT testing?’. It is the stage that decides the release of the product, based on its ability to satisfy the needs and expectations of the client and the end-users.