User Acceptance Testing In A Business-As-Usual Environment

  • Application owner list
  • Application list
  • Application volume
  • Expected testing difficulty
  • How business critical the application is

No matter how you prioritize and organize your application testing, you will need to have the right tooling in place to enable you to identify which applications work (certification), and which require testing. 

Impact Of User Acceptance Testing On Windows Branching

To better visualize the impact of (inefficient) User Acceptance Testing on applications and users in a BAU environment, let’s have a look at a scenario for Windows 10 Branching. I described above the workflow from an application point of view when I mapped out the general UAT process. Now, we are looking at all of your applications moving to a new operating system release within a timebound deployment window. When you add the users into this view, you can see how the two are intrinsically connected. 

User Acceptance Testing Workflow For Windows 10 Branching Diagram.pngAs users get onboarded into their default deployment ring, their upgrade schedule is heavily reliant on the application readiness. If your applications are not ready, they need to go back into app owner testing, and all to-be-migrated users come to a standstill. You can easily imagine that determining user candidacy and an efficient (= correctly prioritized) UAT process is critical — otherwise you are running the danger of not getting any deployments on the scoreboard!

What UAT Options Do You Have?

Before you decide which tooling and which testing approach is right for your needs, it is important to know that there are several different levels of testing involved, namely:

  • Non-Functional Testing. Non-functional testing only ensures that the application can be installed properly, loads and opens as expected. 
  • Functional Testing. Functional testing, on the other hand, will test that the application delivered the expected outcome. For example, if I want to test a payment calculator, I want to test here that I can enter all required data points and that the calculated result is correct and displayed in an easy-to-understand way. Of course, this is the simplest example and this gets much more complex when we talk about custom-developed niche applications.
  • Performance Testing. Performance testing adds another layer on top of functional and non-functional testing. Here, you will test how much the application impacts the environment it is running in, e.g., CPU usage.

Many tooling vendors have seen this need as an opportunity to fill that gap and provide a solution to ease these testing pains. Depending on their expertise, product portfolio and strategy, they all have a different approach to this:

  • Office Compatibility Testing. Applications Readiness, Citrix’s AppDNA, and other similarly sophisticated tools will interrogate the application’s code even before it gets loaded to discover areas that are most likely to be impacted or broken by any change or any deployment model, such as a new operating system or a new application combination. They identify components that are incompatible with the changes in the operating system, and are more likely to cause user productivity issues. These tools are great for your in-house application compatibility testing.[2]
  • Telemetry Data. Microsoft’s free Upgrade Readiness (formerly known as Upgrade Analytics) tool[3] allows you to gain insight into Windows 10 compatibility based on millions of telemetry data points. We have written about Upgrade Readiness before, but it is important to point out that many of these data points are provided by consumers, not enterprise users, so there will be a caveat of restricted use to gauge the readiness of your in-house developed and enterprise business applications.
  • Software Catalog. A more sophisticated approach is to combine the telemetry data with other aggregated and scrubbed product intelligence, like BDNA’s software and hardware catalog Technopedia[4] does. This approach is great for your vendor applications, but is reliant on the speed at which the catalog can be updated for the new release (Telemetry data will be quicker, but possibly not as easy to match to your real applications).
  • Automated Testing. If you are testing a lot of apps that expect a similar outcome, you could also build a workflow to automate your testing by using a tool like Selenium — an open-source software testing framework for web applications across multiple browsers and platforms. Getting this set up will take a lot of time from your test resources, but once done, as in software development, the results are likely to accelerate application readiness.[5]
  • Workflow-Based Testing. You can also automate your UAT testing with specifically developed tools, like Access Capture[6], to automate your entire application discovery, packaging, and testing process in one streamlined process. The difference with the above mentioned tool is that you don’t build the workflow yourself, but customize it to your needs and it spans your end-to-end process instead of just the UAT component. 


No matter which approach or tooling you decide on, it is important to know that the User Acceptance Testing tool market is very immature. While there are many different options, we will have to wait and see which solution approach will rise to the top. In the meantime, enterprises who are looking to invest in a UAT solution have to understand that currently most vendors offer only very isolated solutions and it is likely that you will require a combination of tools to cover all your requirements.

Nevertheless, it is essential to the success of your BAU UAT that you understand what and when to test, how to prioritize your application readiness schedule and subsequently your deployment tasks. Therefore, an essential command and control tool like Juriba’s Enterprise IT Transformation Management Tool, Dashworks[7], is indispensable.

Click here to download the Dashworks Buyer's Guide

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