Operational acceptance testing (OAT) is used to conduct operational readiness (pre-release) of a product, service, or system as part of a quality management system. OAT is a common type of non-functional software testing, used mainly in software development and software maintenance projects. This type of testing focuses on the operational readiness of the system to be supported, and/or to become part of the production environment. Hence, it is also known as operational readiness testing (ORT) or operations readiness and assurance testing(OR&A). Functional testing within OAT is limited to those tests which are required to verify the non-functional aspects of the system.
According to the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), OAT may include checking the backup/restore facilities, IT disaster recovery procedures, maintenance tasks and periodic check of security vulnerabilities., and whitepapers on ISO 29119 and Operational Acceptance by Anthony Woods, and ISO 25000 and Operational Acceptance Testing by Dirk Dach et al.
An approach used in operational readiness testing (OAT) may follow these steps:
- Design the system,
- Assess the design,
- Build the system,
- Confirm if built to design,
- Evaluate the system addresses business functional requirements,
- Assess the system for compliance with non-functional requirements,
- Deploy the system,
- Assess operability and supportability of the system.