User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a formal test phase that determines whether or not a system is “fit for purpose” from a user perspective, i.e. that it satisfies all the essential user requirements and is performing to the acceptable level as expected by the customer and agreed by the supplier. This is done by defining a set of acceptance criteria which the system must satisfy before the customer will accept it.
Generally, before commencing any software project, the customer and supplier will outline an agreement on the purpose of the software and the functionality that it should offer. Once the software has been developed, it has to be tested against this agreement. If this User Acceptance Testing is successful, it is confirmed that the user has “signed off” and accepted the system to their satisfaction. This is a major milestone for the supplier and customer agreement and the “ownership” of the system is then transferred to the customer. User Acceptance Testing “sign off” is an essential part of the project deliverables and is especially important in terms of legal conditions.
User Acceptance Testing utilises a black-box test approach and is usually conducted after the System Integration Test phase, as a fully working end–to–end system is required. A well-performed User Acceptance Test phase will provide you with a solid understanding of any remaining issues within the system after all other test phases have been completed and is an essential part of any process-oriented software development project.
Testhouse consultants are experienced in User Acceptance Testing and are able to assist you with everything that is required for a successful UAT phase. This includes providing support for planning, and executing the testing for you if you should wish to have an external user base to test your application, which is especially relevant for retail software compared to in-house packages.