User acceptance testing (UAT) is the last phase of the software testing process. During UAT, actual software users test the software to make sure it can handle required tasks in real-world scenarios, according to specifications.
UAT is one of the final and critical software project procedures that must occur before newly developed software is rolled out to the market.
UAT is also known as beta testing, application testing or end user testing.
UAT directly involves the intended users of the software. UAT can be implemented by making software available for a free beta trial on the Internet or through an in-house testing team comprised of actual software users.
Following are the steps involved in in-house UAT:
- Planning: The UAT strategy is outlined during the planning step.
- Designing test cases: Test cases are designed to cover all the functional scenarios of the software in real-world usage. They are designed in a simple language and manner to make the test process easier for the testers.
- Selection of testing team: The testing team is comprised of real world end-users.
- Executing test cases and documenting: The testing team executes the designed test cases. Sometimes it also executes some relevant random tests. All bugs are logged in a testing document with relevant comments.
- Bug fixing: Responding to the bugs found by the testing team, the software development team makes final adjustments to the code to make the software bug-free.
- Sign-off: When all bugs have been fixed, the testing team indicates acceptance of the software application. This shows that the application meets user requirements and is ready to be rolled out in the market.
UAT is important because it helps demonstrate that required business functions are operating in a manner suited to real-world circumstances and usage.