using upk for User Acceptance Testing

Using UPK for UAT

Using UPK for User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

The testing capabilities of UPK

Oracle's User Productivity Kit (UPK) is a terrific tool for delivering training to end users both before and after Go Live. However, UPK can be just as useful during the earlier phases of an implementation project – especially during UAT (User Acceptance Testing).

In any project involving the installation or upgrade of ERP applications, testing is often identified as a key risk area. UPK can help you significantly minimise that risk. It also helps you make the best use of your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), who are probably your project’s most valuable resource.

Record the process in UPK

As with training content, creating testing content begins with recording a topic in UPK – in this case, you will record the process you want to test. Alternatively, if the application comes with its own ‘vanilla’ UPK content, then you can use those existing topics to help kick-start your User Acceptance Testing.

When you record a topic in UPK, each action in the process is recorded as a separate step. This allows you to test and analyse the processes at a very granular level. UPK also enables your team to create the test scripts quickly, accurately and consistently across all functional areas.

From each single UPK recording, there are a number of useful outputs available.

Enhance the testing content

The recorded topic is the foundation – but you can add various bits of information to the topic to make testing even more thorough and useful.

In the Topic Editor, you can add a Frame Comment about the Expected Results of any step. For example, if the action is to click the New button, then an expected result might be that a unique identifier for the new record is automatically generated in a particular format.

You can also add information to various Test Document properties:

  • Additional validation, for any additional steps needed in order to complete the test.
  • Estimated time, for how long you think it will take to work through the process.
  • Purpose of test, for the purpose of the test or the process or both.
  • Test Document Revision, for a revision number that will be appended to the file name.
  • Test setup, for anything the tester needs to do to set up their system before beginning the process.

None of this mandatory, but it all feeds into the published outputs, and helps enrich the testing results.

Publish as a Test Document

Once you have recorded your topic, you can then publish it in a number of ways for User Acceptance Testing.

The simplest option is to publish the topic as a Test Document, which is a customisable Word document. Each action is listed as a numbered step in a table, along with columns for Expected Results (if you entered any), Test Step Notes, and Results.

You can use this Word document for manual testing and reporting, with the tester entering their feedback into the Notes and Results columns.

Publish in Test It! mode

You can also publish your topic in Test It! mode, and make it available via a Player.

Test It! mode is similar to Do It! mode, in that it opens a small window which hovers over the live application. The tester can run the topic in this mode while performing the process in the application. The functionality includes the ability for the tester to mark each step as passed or failed (or skipped). The tester can also make notes against individual steps.

Another feature is that when the tester finds a defect, they can open a window which lists the actions taken so far – this can be copied into a bug report in order to help recreate the process.

The tester’s Notes and Pass/Fail results can then be output into a Test Document – as described above, but with the feedback added in automatically. The annotated Test Document also includes details of the tester’s username, the time and date, the overall result, and the actual time taken (to compare to the Estimated Time).

It is no doubt clear how useful this Word document can be in identifying and helping to resolve any defects – as well as helping ensure that any processes marked as Passed have been thoroughly tested.

Track Test It! in the Knowledge Center

If you publish your topic in Test It! mode to a Knowledge Center, then you can automatically track and report on the User Acceptance Testing results. The Standard Reports now include a Test It! Summary report, which lists a summary row for each time the Test It! mode was run for a topic, along with a link to an archived copy of the annotated Test Document.

Publish to a testing suite

Another option for published output is to publish a Test Case spreadsheet, which is formatted ready to be imported into a testing suite. The UPK output is compatible with testing suites such as the HP Quality Center, IBM Rational Quality Manager, and Oracle Application Testing Suite (OATS).

As with the Knowledge Center options, this allows for manual testing and automated reporting.

You may already have this functionality available!

Everything described above is available in UPK Standard, with one exception. The tracking capability in the Knowledge Center is only available in UPK Professional.

The Test It! simulation mode was introduced in UPK v11.1. The Test It! Summary report was new to the Knowledge Center in UPK 12.1 Enablement Service Pack 1.

I am sure you’ll agree that this is an option well worth exploring – and the chances are that if you already have UPK then this functionality is installed. Not only will your User Acceptance Testing process be enhanced, but the recorded topics and test scripts will provide an excellent guide to the SMEs and Content Developers when it is time to develop the training around Go Live.

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Julie Bozza is a Content Developer and trainer, with a particular love for creating eLearning in UPK. She came to this work from a background in Human Resources, and in writing and publishing, with some accountancy and web design thrown in. She was born in England, but spent most of her life in Australia before returning to the UK ten years ago. Warning: mention John Keats, and she’s English; mention the cricket, and she’s True Blue.

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