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Difference Between Quality Assurance Testing and UAT

For successful software development, both Quality Assurance Testing (QAT) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) are very important. However, there are significant differences on how each are performed and who conducts the testing process.

Typically, it would be a smaller, professional IT team that conducts the QAT which looks at the quality of the software produced as defined by the company’s standards. The UAT on the other hand looks at whether the software works in the real world and are the users happy that it does the job required. This vital phase is normally performed by many end users in a ‘live’ environment. This phase is more extensive and difficult to manage and track.

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Quality Assurance Testing (QAT)

QAT is a set of methods that are applied to monitor software engineering processes. The purpose of QAT is to ensure that the product developed adheres to any company standards required. The processes below are normally used for waterfall/V model methodologies, agile would use a different approach

Processes normally monitored under QAT:
  • Requirements Definition
  • Software design
  • Coding
  • Configuration management
  • Testing
  • Release

The point to be noted in this regard is that QAT is not the end of software development. There are certain phases that are carried out after successful QAT to ensure that software is bug free and flawless. QAT can be regarded as a process carried out before User Acceptance Testing.

Testing

Testing is a phase of QAT where the bugs and flaws in the software are identified. During the testing phase, any defects identified will be sent back to the development team for rectification before the software can be released.

Process Orientation

QAT is a process oriented activity. QA processes are defined and professionals are bound to test the software according to available standard operating procedures (SOP). In UAT however, there is no proper process involved even though it is the last and most crucial phase of software development.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

UAT is a process that is applied before the final release of the software. It checks, identifies and resolves all issues present in software. It is the last process carried out in software development and ensures that real world scenarios are applied while testing the program. Under both controlled and uncontrolled environments, results are collected prior to the release of the final version.

Core Business Requirements

Unlike Quality Assurance Testing, UAT is not about button and page testing alone. In this phase, core business requirements are tested in relation to the software development process.

UAT Methodologies:
  • Business oriented tasks
  • Business scenarios
  • Real world testing
  • End to end testing
  • Final integrations
Types of UAT

Unlike QAT, there are types and phases of UAT that are carried out before final launch. These are:

  • Alpha Testing
  • Beta Testing
User Involvement

User involvement is the major difference between QAT and UAT. In QAT, no users are involved and only in-house employees perform the QAT processes. QAT processes are never published by any software development company, however standard business process test cases may be given to the end user or company. UAT on other hand, involves end or real-users to ensure that testing is done by those who will be using the program.

Acceptance Decision

Acceptance decisions, i.e., Go or No-Go, is only taken based on the results of UAT not QAT. Most of the technical issues are expected to be caught in the QAT phase. Any number of issues such as reliability, security, usability, that are tested in the end user environment, so that real world operation testing can also be done, are generally found in the UAT phase and these profoundly affect the overall acceptance decision.

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