I've read about UAT in Continuous Delivery by Humble. It is mentioned that UAT is a subset of user acceptance(UA). And in another article that we need to do unit testing, component testing, system testing,... before UAT.

The question is: are the Unit testing or Component testing a subset of UAT? Is UAT larger than UA in scope?

  • 1
    User Acceptance is a phase of testing, during which time User Acceptance Testing is done. It's not the only thing that happens in this phase and so, yes it is a subset. The other phases are not subsets of User Acceptance Testing but instead are different types / phases of testing designed to uncover different issues in the product. stackoverflow.com/questions/437897/…
    – Dave M
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 10:51

3 Answers 3


Are Unit Testing, System Testing and Component Testing subsets of User Acceptance (UA)?

They are not so much subsets as much as different phases. Systems testing is probably the one that relates most to User Acceptance Testing.

Unit testing is done while writing the corresponding application code and is at the level of "When I call this method internally with these params, I expect this response". This is before any other testing can be done.

"System Testing" is a bit vague. Assuming it means integrated testing this may be where User Acceptance is defined for a given organization via manual testing or it may mean automated integrated tests, for example UI feature tests that test that the code, the UI and the database all work together.

"Component Testing" can either mean the unit tests written for a component or (more likely) whether components can work together. This would be integrated testing and would be done after Unit Tests but before User Acceptance Testing which will usually be manual.

  • pretty same answer as mine. by the way, downvoting without a comment is antipattern here.
    – Dee
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 8:45

It depend how in the project the UAT is defined. There could be a document something as "Testing Strategy" for UAT phase and this can define whether the Unit test results, code coverage metric, or whatever is a part of User acceptance tests in some manner.

It is not about subsets, but about the testing phases:

  • Unit testing is usually done by vendor developers
  • Factory testing is usually done by vendor testers
  • System Integration testing is usually done by vendor and customer testers
  • User Acceptance testing is usually done by customer testers and "business" people.

So the other test phases are not included into UAT as UAT is just another test phase. Try to read some testing methodology, for example TMap-NEXT or ISTQB.

But according to my experience, part of the UAT -COULD BE- the check of resulting metrics of the previous phases, including unit test results, the static code analysis, etc.


It depends on who uses the term. Either of the orderings you described is possible. If you hear or read someone using the term in an ambiguous way, and the ordering matters, ask them which definition they are using.

  • Could you explain more. Why who is important? Does developer, customer have different view on UA UAT?
    – Alireza
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 12:26
  • 1
    Different companies define "UAT" in different ways.
    – user246
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 15:10
  • Different people will give UAT different KPI which can also explain the different definitions. For a project manager/sales person the UAT kpi will vary from that of the developer and will again vary from that of the user. Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 7:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.