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Home Guide What is Acceptance Testing? (Importance, Types & Best Practices)

What is Acceptance Testing? (Importance, Types & Best Practices)

By Tom Collins, Community Contributor -

Testing is integral to the software development process. With multiple tests performed throughout the process, you must ensure that the final product is up to specifications and quality before being put into production. That’s where acceptance testing, or end-user testing, comes in.

Acceptance tests are designed to replicate the real-life use of the product to verify that it’s functional and complies with the specifications agreed with the client. But that’s not it. There’s a lot to understand about acceptance testing before you can implement the tests for accelerated product releases. Let’s dive for in-depth learning.

What is Acceptance Testing?

It is a black-box testing process where the functionality is verified to ensure the software product meets the acceptance criteria. Acceptance testing is a software testing approach where the system is tested for acceptability. It’s the last phase of the software testing process, and it’s important before making the software available for actual use.

Once you have performed the system testing, fixed most of the bugs, and verified and closed them, it’s time for acceptance testing.

Importance of Acceptance Testing 

The importance of acceptance testing, is immense, and if the testing team skips the acceptance test, there are chances that the software may not align with the initial requirements. Once the system testing is completed successfully in the SDLC, testers must conduct an acceptance test:

  • To ensure the software works in the desired manner.
  • To confirm the software matches current market standards and competes with similar products in the industry.
  • To gain confidence in the software that is getting pushed into production.

 There are multiple types of acceptance testing involved that can confirm your product aligns with the initial specifications.

Type of Acceptance Testing

Based on the outcome of the acceptance testing, it can be classified into multiple types:

1. User Acceptance Tests (UAT)

The UAT process is critical, and the testing is performed from the user’s perspective and their point of view. End-users might be asked to check and test the product to achieve the desired results. UAT testing can be defined as the user methodology in which the developed software is tested to validate that it works according to defined specifications.

It is critical to initiate the UAT process, or else businesses will suffer significant losses due to numerous post-release issues.

2. Business Acceptance testing (BAT)

BAT is focused on ensuring whether the software meets the business goals and purposes. In the case of UAT, for example, during actual usage, when the end-user discovers the bugs, the project suddenly slows down, costs rise, and timeframes for the end customer are impacted.

Whereas, BAT testing is based on an understanding of end-user behavior as well as business benefits (finances). This necessitates actual domain knowledge, particularly for the testing team, and it can be challenging because of the changing market conditions and advancing technologies.

Each tester should thoroughly understand the domain and the customer’s business. If a knowledge gap exists, it must be addressed by incorporating domain- and business-specific training programs.

3. Contract Acceptance Testing (CAT)

CAT is a contract that states that once the product goes live, the acceptance test must be performed within a certain time frame and must pass all acceptance use cases. A service level agreement (SLA) specifies that payment will be made only if the products or services meet all requirements, indicating that the contract has been fulfilled. This contract is sometimes signed before the product is released. 

The contract is well-defined in terms of the testing period, testing areas, conditions on issues encountered later in the process, payments, and so on.

4. Regulations Acceptance testing (RAT)

RAT is used to determine whether a product violates the regulations and rules established by the governing authorities of the country in which it is released. 

This may be unintentional, but it will harm the business. In general, because different countries or regions have different rules and regulations defined by their governing authorities, the product or application to be released in the market must fall under RAT. 

If any rules and regulations for any country or specific region are broken, the product will not be released in that country or region. Only the product’s vendors will be held directly liable if the product is released despite the violation.

5. Operational Acceptance Testing (OAT)

OAT is non-functional testing used to determine a product’s operational readiness. It primarily includes recovery, compatibility, maintainability, and reliability testing. Operational acceptance testing ensures the product’s stability before it is put into production.

6. Alpha Testing

Alpha testing is used in the development testing environment by a specialized testers’ team known as alpha testers to determine the product. The feedback and suggestions provided by the alpha testers help improve product usage and fix certain bugs.

7. Beta Testing

It is used to evaluate a product by exposing it to real end-users, commonly referred to as beta testers in their environment.  Users’ feedback is gathered, and flaws are addressed. Beta testing also aids in enhancing the product to provide a rich user experience.

All these acceptance test types have common goals, like gaining confidence in the product so that the end-users use it. But as with any testing, performing acceptance tests has multiple benefits but comes with some disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acceptance Testing 

You can use acceptance tests to determine whether a fully developed application is ready for delivery. The testing technique ensures that the business requirements are met, but you should also know the drawbacks.

As the users perform the tests, it improves requirement definition and user satisfaction.Users may refuse to participate in acceptance testing processes.
Outlining the software’s quality criteria at the start of the software development life cycle (SDLC) makes carrying out acceptance tests much easier.The test cases defined by a software tester are incomprehensible to the users. As a result, a software tester must assist users in testing by translating for them.
The user gains experience and knowledge about the application by running acceptance tests.

To ensure you overcome the drawbacks and achieve the benefits of implementing acceptance testing, you may follow a few result-oriented steps to perform acceptance testing. 

Quick Steps to Perform Acceptance Testing

This acceptance testing process is divided into five stages

  • Requirement Analysis 
  • Create a Test Plan 
  • Test Case Design 
  • Execution
  • Objective Confirmation

Let’s further understand the steps:

1. Requirement Analysis

During this phase, the testing team first analyzes the requirement document and then determines the objectives of the developed software based on these requirements. 

Requirement documents, flow diagrams, and business use cases are used. Completing the business requirement document, system requirement specification, project charter, and test planning.

2. Create a Test Plan 

Test planning outlines the entire acceptance testing strategy. This strategy ensures and verifies whether the software meets the specified requirements.It catalogs the test strategy, objectives, schedule, estimations, deadlines, and the resources required for successful project completion..

3. Test Case Design 

During this phase, test cases are designed to cover most scenarios based on the test plan document.

4. Test Case Execution

All acceptance test cases are implemented with the input values during this phase. The tester collects and executes all user input values to ensure that the software works properly in scenarios.

5. Confirmation of Objectives

After completing all the preceding steps, the testing team confirms that the software is free of defects or bugs and is ready to be delivered to the client.

Closing Notes

Also, it’s essential to use the best testing tools for better and more agile results during the entire testing phase.  

  • Industry leaders across domains prefer using BrowserStack Cloud Selenium grid of 3000+ real browsers and devices optimized for automation testing in Agile. 
  • Teams can integrate with industry-standard CI/CD tools to boost Agile development methods with the power of DevOps.
  • You can also scale as your testing grows without updating versions, adding devices, managing capacity, and maintaining stability. 

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