User Acceptance Testing (UAT) VS. Quality Assurance (QA)

TLDR; QA or Quality Assurance is the act of testing a product to ensure it meets specified requirements. UAT or User Acceptance Testing is typically completed by an end-user, also referred to as beta testing.

When most people think about quality assurance, they think about manufacturing. Testing finished goods to ensure it adheres to a certain quality, design and regulatory standards. But the quality assurance process applies to many other industries as well, including software design. Quality assurance (QA) testing is an imperative part of finding software bugs, testing usability and designing a product that is intuitive and easy to use. At Blue Link ERP, our QA team works closely with the development team as part of our R&D department to test Blue Link’s ERP software and other systems before release. This process also includes user acceptance testing in which the customer works with our team to jointly test the product. Even with QA testing and user acceptance testing, it’s impossible to test every possible use-case scenario and so the monthly fee for Blue Link’s cloud-based solution includes the cost of maintenance to cover product warranty and upgrades. This means that if a user does find a bug in the system that was not caught during the testing phase, our in-house team of dedicated support reps will fix the issue or provide a workaround free of charge. Below, we take a closer look at the Blue Link QA department.

What does the Blue Link QA team do?

In addition to other tasks, the Blue Link QA team handles:

  • Testing of all custom projects, upgrades, micro-projects and support issues
  • Documenting and updating version release notes
  • Working with the development team to fix any bugs and then documenting test cases for R&D to be used in the future
  • Working with customers to do user acceptance testing of Blue Link products (more on this below)
  • Learning new apps and getting familiar with new features and software versions

Essentially, the main purpose of the quality assurance department is to come up with innovative ways to find software bugs.

What is User Acceptance Testing?

User acceptance testing (or UAT), is described as the process of involving the customer and end-user in testing the software to determine if it meets the business’ needs. Also referred to as beta testing, end-user testing or joint testing, user acceptance testing gives the customer the authority to sign-off on the finished product. It’s impossible for any software company to understand the nuances of any given business, which means we would never be able to create all the possible test cases. It is also impossible to navigate through the system in the same way that any given customer or user would – although most pieces of technology today are intuitive to use, what might be intuitive to one person, may not to another. Therefore, UAT is the last test performed on the software after having been internally tested by the quality assurance team. Involving customers directly in the testing process helps to validate the software and functionality against the customer’s business processes and requirements.

Want to learn more about Blue Link’s Quality Assurance Department? Watch this video from the QA Manager, Monique Taza.