User Acceptance Testing

An opportunity to shape product development

Two women using mapping software on a computer

When developing data products, we always ensure that there is a phase of User Acceptance Testing or UAT as part of the delivery plan. UAT provides an opportunity for our users to see the data before it goes into the Live environment and allows them to confirm that it’s correct.

PSGA Members and OS Channel Partners are regularly invited to take part in these sessions, but we're always looking for more testers to ensure your views are taken into account.

What is being tested?

Ordnance Survey wants to ensure what we deliver is correct and to the standard that our customers expect and deserve. Most importantly we’re not testing the testers! Don’t worry about making mistakes during the testing, you will be fully supported by a member of the OS team.

The purpose of UAT is to ensure that the software and data that we have produced meets the needs and requirements of our end users. UAT also ensures that we're conforming to any/ all regulations.

We also test a range of things including ease of use and interoperability with your usual GIS and data holdings, so the testing should always be performed on a test or sandbox environment.

Data format

Verified through structured scripted test cases which ensure that the data conforms to the requirements specification.

Data suitability

Validated through exploratory testing which focusses on the real-world application of the data to confirm that it suitable and can add value for our customers and partners.

The benefits of UAT

User Acceptance Testing improves the quality of the software and the data that we deliver. Benefits can be seen by everybody who uses Ordnance Survey's data.

User Acceptance Testing enhances our user's satisfaction.

  • Identifying and addressing issues in UAT helps prevent the issue being seen in the Live data improving the experience for all our users.
  • UAT helps us to ensure that what we produce is accessible to and can be used by our users.

What the Super Users can expect during UAT

Super Users can expect the following during UAT.

Before the testing starts

  1. The Super User confirms that they are able to help with UAT. It’s helpful to know in advance which particular areas you specialise in and your availability during the testing window. Different levels of availability can be accommodated, and the testing can be flexible based on your availability.
  2. OS will provide training beforehand detailing how to use the tools and what will happen during the UAT window. This takes approximately one hour and is via a virtual meeting led by a representative of OS. 
  3. Once we’ve arranged a convenient time for you to perform the testing, we will provide access to the UAT environment to access the data and to our Microsoft Azure Dev Ops instance to access the tests and where you can log any issues or queries that you may have. We’ll confirm your access to the tools that we are using before the testing starts.

During the testing

You will be involved in a two-part session with an OS representative.

  1. The first – usually held in a morning meeting - will be focused on any issues experienced by the super user in earlier test sessions followed by a briefing on what testing we’d like to focus on for the day. You will then be left to conduct the testing independently, unless you experience any issues where we will of course be available to help resolve these. The testing itself will be in the form of structured tests provided by OS or through conducting exploratory testing based on the intended application of the data/ functionality being tested.
  2. The second part of the session – usually scheduled for the same afternoon - will be spent discussing the day’s progress and feeding back any issues that were discovered.

All testing will be done on your own computers using your GIS of choice. This will be done independently at your own pace and location. The PSGA testing team will be on hand to support as required/needed with any part of the testing.

After the testing

We’ll be in touch to see how you got on through a lessons learned questionnaire that will be used to improve future phases of testing.

When is the next test phase?

We’re currently recruiting volunteers for Mid-August-Mid-September testing of the September 2024 PSGA Release.

Areas we will be looking at include:

OS NGD Buildings Theme

  • Number of Floors - Attribution to identify the number of floors within a building.

OS NGD Structures Theme

  • Bridge Interactions - Bridges available in the ‘Compound Structure’ feature type will be provided additional attribution to identify the type of network (e.g. road, rail, water) the bridge feature either passes over and/or under.

OS NGD Land Use Theme and Attribution

  • Land Use Sites and Enhanced Attribution - Increased coverage of land use site extents. New land use attribution will also be available on Land Use site extents to map OS land use classifications to the National Land Use Database (NLUD) scheme and the land use information derived from OS Addressing data.
  • Enhanced Land Use Attribution on Topographic Areas - New land use attribution will be provided for all the OS NGD ‘Features’ Collections to map the OS land use classifications to the NLUD scheme and the land use information derived from OS Addressing.
  • Access Points to Land Use Sites - Locations where pedestrians and/or vehicles can enter and/or leave a site for all non-residential sites greater than 1 hectare in extent and all transport interchanges, major power stations, education, places of worship and public green spaces.

Want to get involved?

Complete the form below and we'll be in touch.