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Acceptance testing as the name suggests verifies the product against the business requirements to establish whether or not to accept it for business use. As we know, every testing phase serves a well-defined objective. Like any other testing, acceptance testing happens with the target to evaluate if the product is fit for acceptance.
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Why Acceptance testing
Developers work on several modules and unit test them. Next, integration testing combines the individual modules and verifies them together. Once the entire system is ready, system testing verifies it as one whole unit. After all these phases of testing, the product is ready and in a working state. But will the users or the customers like it. Will it be easy to use and understand. Will it be able to cater to the demands of business hours.
Acceptance testing gives answers to all these questions. It gives potential users an opportunity to use the product and provide their observations and feedback. The feedback helps to refine the product and make it more likable by its customers and users.
When to do acceptance Testing
Acceptance testing is done as the last and final testing after all testings are finished. This makes it very important testing as this is the final attempt to take out the bugs from the system before it goes live. Both developers, users, and customers come together and make their best attempt to test the product.
Phases of Acceptance Testing
Acceptance testing takes place in two phases. One happens at the development site of the product while the other at the customer’s site. Let us look at each one in detail:
- Alpha Testing: At first, the internal acceptance testing happens at the developing organization. After completing the system testing, the in house team of testers and developers come together to verify the product for acceptance. In this phase, the test cases are end to end and validate the product against business requirements. They evaluate the product from the perspective of potential users. For proper verification, this testing makes use of both white box and black box testing techniques. Alpha testing uses a QA test environment with test data for the execution of test cases. Cleary, the objective of this internal testing is to catch as many bugs as possible before the product goes to customers for the verification.
- Beta Testing: Now after internal verification, users or customers verify the product. For this, they deploy the product in their work environment and try to use it for their business. Therefore, this is the real test of the product. These representative testers evaluate the usability, performance, and robustness of the product. Clearly, this testing does not follow a well-defined procedure like the development of test case and test plan but still, it is quite effective in detecting the issues. It usually happens in an ad-hoc manner. The users check if the product is fit for their business and provide their feedback in terms of design, functionality, and performance. Hence, their observations are an important piece of information and crucial for the product’s success in the market.
Acceptance testing steps
Internal (Alpha) Testing:
The first phase of acceptance testing follows a formal testing process.
- User requirements analysis
- Test plan and test case development
- Environment setup
- Test data setup
- Decide the exit criteria
- User requirement specifications
- Completed product
- Test plan
- Test environment and Test data
- Exit criteria
- QA or Dev environment at the developer’s site
- Testers Execute the test cases
- Register the test results and decide on pass and failure
- Register the bugs in the bug tracking tool
- Developers fix the bug
- Restest the bugs and mark them resolved.
Evaluation of Exit criteria
- Test execution percentage should be met
- Issues should be retested
- Code coverage should meet the minimum requirement
- Document the known issues in the release documents
- Prepare the test report
- Evaluate the test report
- Evaluate the exit criteria
External (Beta) Testing:
The second phase of acceptance testing which takes place at users site follows usually ad-hoc testing where users simply start using the product in their real environment.
- The users use the trial version of the product with the objective of collecting their observations about the product.
- They try the product according to their business requirements. They provide their feedback to the development team.
- Users document the issues, suggestions, and bugs.
- The feedback of this testing is implemented in the new releases.
- Finally, the product is made available in the market for business.
Advantages of Acceptance Testing
Acceptance testing has several advantages to offer towards projects success. It
- Uncovers the problems and defects before the product’s release for the business.
- Provides insight into how users feel about the product and collect their valuable feedback.
- Increases the confidence of all the stakeholders in the product.
- Helps to detect show-stoppers by testing the product in a real business environment.
Acceptance testing is the last stage after all the other testings are done. Hence, it is of utmost importance as it is the final attempt at making the system bug free. Particularly, it gives users an opportunity to use the product and come up with suggestions about design, functionality, and performance for making it a good quality product. Although acceptance testing involves a lot of resources and efforts, it is totally value for the effort with the given set of benefits it has to offer.