When some of us hear the word “test”, we tend to cringe. For many, the very notion of testing implies that there is the possibility of failure. However, in the world of software development, this is the very reason why testing is done – to ensure that the end product will not ultimately fail in the hands of its intended end user. In the software development life cycle, there are distinct testing phases that must occur.
Following the technical testing in which the majority of the software’s main flaws have been corrected, it is time to move on to Acceptance Testing (also known as Beta testing) which is done by the end users at their location. This phase is quite different from technical testing in that it focuses entirely on the business functionality of the software in a real world setting.
As a critical component of the software development life cycle, Acceptance Testing allows the user (or client) to certify the performance of the system with respect to the initial requirements that were agreed upon. By practicing Acceptance Testing, your organization can greatly reduce the change requests, thereby dramatically decreasing the corresponding project costs. While Acceptance Testing can be considered an added step, it has been proven to be an effective process which can provide a high rate of return. Through this process, your organization can capitalize on the opportunity to improve the software project’s overall success. Once the final testing phase has been completed, the organization is free to the software onto production for the market.