The new UAT: Dark Launches and Canary releases

Here’s what they mean and the difference:

Before that, UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is where once the software is shipped from IT, business / end users have a look and run their own tests to see if the product is as per expectations.

Now that was inefficient and UAT sometimes takes a lot of time, which can skyrocket time to market.

How the industry is solving it?

productionize the software, but to a user’s subset

Launch to a certain few clients / users of a certain market segment. The Idea is to get ‘real’ users actually use the product.

This way feedback from customers is quicker and as real as it can be.

The catch:

To do dark launches or canary releases, besides the obvious of having scalable infrastructure,

You need to be able to roll back and fix forward real quick, for which you need CI/CD in place.

Because there is always a higher chance of something being missed, so we must be able to fix it real quick.