Alpha and Beta Testing

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The development process of any application includes a series of rigorous tests, to ensure that the program meets the requirements and does not have bugs that can cause serious problems later.

There are usually two stages of testing before any software is considered successfully completed: Alpha testing and Beta testing.

“Alpha”, which is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, also gave the name of the first stage of testing the Software. Software must pass Alpha testing to move on to Beta testing, which is the second test, as well as the second letter of the Greek alphabet. If the software fails the Alpha test, it will go into rehabilitation and will be retested, until it passes the test.

Typically, Alpha and Beta testing takes place after the official testing plan has been completed.

Alpha testing is carried out by users within the organization who develop the software. It is done in a laboratory environment so that the actions of users can be measured and analyzed. Its purpose is to measure the abilities of real users to use and navigate the software before it can be released to the general public. Alpha tests include unit testing, component testing, and only then system testing. Developers use either hardware-assisted debuggers or troubleshooting programs that quickly help capture errors in the system.

Once the software passes Alpha testing, it is ready for Beta testing.

Beta testing is considered a pre-release test and is done before commercial release, being the last stage of testing. When the software passes the Beta test, it can then be successfully released to the general public.

Beta testing generally involves a limited number of external users. At this stage, the Beta test versions of the software are distributed to a select group of external users, in order to give the program a real-world test. This is done to see if the product has some defects or errors and if it can cope with normal use by the intended audience. Sometimes betas are made available to the open public to enhance feedback. If your audience finds any errors or outages, report it back to developers, who then fix the issue before launch. This process helps to identify and mitigate defects lost during the formal test plan.

Beta testing also helps set up resources and support processes needed after launch.

This also gives the public a preview of the software, which helps create a buzz before the software is released. If the audience is satisfied with the software, this will share the good impressions with its acquaintances, will post on social networking sites, blogs, etc. and thus will contribute to the promotion of the product.

Keep in mind!

The main difference:

  • Alpha testing is the first stage of software testing after development.

  • Beta testing check is done after the software passes the Alpha test.

  • Both Alpha and Beta testing are essential components of the overall software testing process. Both are required to ensure that the software is free of bugs and malfunctions, and works perfectly.

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