App Volumes UAT (user acceptance testing) is an essential part of application packaging and management. It requires the involvement of users because, as the name of the process indicates, it involves looking at the application as a person. The problem is there are elements of the App Volumes UAT process that are repetitive and time-consuming. That’s where Access Capture can bring enhanced levels of automation.
It’s not fully automated testing, as users still need to be involved. Access Capture does, however, automate essential parts of the process, including:
- Integrating with App Volumes Manager
- Assigning UAT responsibilities to users using Microsoft Active Directory
- Getting a virtual machine ready for the test to take place
- Surveying the user to confirm the outcome of the test
- Recording the test and its outcomes in multiple formats, including a PDF file and video recording
- Logging the UAT files and outcome data for future reference
- Closing down the test, including shutting down the virtual machine
All the above is in addition to the automated repackaging capabilities of Access Capture that can get an App Volumes package to the stage where it is ready for the UAT process. We covered App Volumes packaging in a previous blog, including how Access Capture integrates with VMware’s Dynamic Environment Manager.
App Volumes UAT Via Access Capture
The UAT process in Access Capture is highly automated, but it is also interactive. This ensures a better result in terms of the quality of the test and the outcomes recorded, whether the test passes or fails. It also enables more control over the testing process. For example, the test can be set up so the user has to take a screenshot at certain points as proof of what is happening on screen.
The process for an App Volumes UAT is described below. We have also created a video that walks through the steps.
The first step is to create a new job in Access Capture and set the parameters for the test. Those parameters include how the test should be conducted, the outputs the user needs to provide during the test, and details of the application package that is being tested.
Access Capture automatically starts processing the UAT by copying the application package files to a staging location ready to be pre-loaded to the App Volumes Manager. App Volumes Manager is a web-based platform integrated with Active Directory (Microsoft’s directory service) that enables the assignment, updating, and removal of applications from users.
In App Volumes Manager at this stage of the process, you can see the application is waiting to be loaded to the data store. Access Capture integrates with App Volumes Manager and initiates tasks through APIs.
The App Volumes package is assigned to users through an Active Directory group. This could be one or multiple nominated testers. A virtual machine is spun up by Access Capture in the background and marked as “in use”. At this point, everything is now in place for the user to log in to the virtual machine to complete the test.
Getting to this point only takes around a minute, saving huge amounts of time compared to completing the process manually.
User Acceptance Test
When the user logs into the virtual machine, the App Volume is attached, and the application being tested is installed.
The UAT questions set at the start of the process are then presented to the user in a desktop alert to guide the user through the process and record the results. For example, the first question could be: did the application launch as expected? The user can be asked to select from predefined options (such as yes or no) and to provide additional information.
Questions can also include a requirement for the user to provide a snapshot of the screen as further proof of the result of that stage of the UAT test.
All responses from the user are automatically logged. The UAT is automatically recorded as an MP4 video file, which is also logged in Access Capture. A PDF file is also created and logged. This PDF details the output of the UAT.
Access Capture also logs key performance indicators such as CPU and memory use. This information can then be analysed and used by technical resources to identify CPU spikes or memory leaks, as well as to set application benchmark thresholds for virtual machine variables such as memory or CPU.
The data captured by Access Capture during the UAT can also be used for other planning and optimisation purposes, such as comparing the performance of an application on Windows 10 versus Windows 11.
Finalising the Test
Access Capture then automatically completes the processes required to finalise the test and close the job, including shutting down the virtual machine.
Support for App Volumes Application Management
As seen in the above description and video, Access Capture simplifies and automates time-consuming and repetitive processes such as UAT. However, at Access IT Automation, we understand that every company, technology environment, and application estate is different. As a result, we offer fully customised support for your App Volumes application management needs. Get in touch today to speak to one of our VMware experts.