DEFINITION of 'Acceptance Testing'

Acceptance testing, in the engineering and software industries, is a functional trial performed on a product before it is put on the market or delivered, to decide whether the specifications or contract have been met.

BREAKING DOWN 'Acceptance Testing'

The acceptance testing process, which is also known as end-user testing, operational acceptance testing or field testing, acts as a form of quality control to identify problems and defects while they can still be corrected relatively painlessly. It is one of the final stages of the software’s testing cycle and often occurs before a client or customer accepts the new application — and encourages close collaboration between developers and customers.

Acceptance tests are designed to replicate the anticipated real-life use of the product to verify that it is fully functional and complies with the specifications agreed between customer and manufacturer. They may involve chemical tests, physical tests or performance tests, which may be refined if needed. If the actual results match the expected results for each test case, the product will pass and be considered adequate. It will then either be rejected or accepted by the customer.

Alpha and beta testing are examples of acceptance testing. Alpha tests are internal and aim to spot any glaring defects, while beta testing is an external pilot-test of a product before it goes into commercial production.

Types of acceptance testing:

1. Alpha & Beta Testing

2. Contract Acceptance Testing

3. Regulation Acceptance Testing

4. Operational Acceptance testing

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