Alpha and Beta Testing

In the development of any product, it is not a good practice to simply develop the program and release it right away. The product needs to pass a sequence of rigorous tests to make sure that the product matches the requirements of the client and has no serious problems in it.

Why Alpha and Beta Testing?

If a software application will be used by many users then it is impossible for software developer and tester to forecast how the customers actually use a program . Customer may use odd combination of data regularly. Thus most of software product vendors use a process called alpha and beta testing to uncover errors that only the end users may find. Alpha and  Beta testing is done by customers (end users) rather than testing professionals.

A] Alpha Testing

- Alpha testing is performed by Customer  at the developer’s site.

- Alpha testing is conducted in a controlled environment which means testing is conducted in development environment in the presence of developer, testers and end users.

- The developer guide the users about application and records defects and usage issues while testing. This is also called developer “looking over the shoulder” of user.

B] Beta Testing

- Many times we have heard term “Beta release/version”. It is related to beta testing .

- Beta testing is performed by end users at end user’s site.

Unlike alpha testing the developers are not present so we can say that beta testing is conducted in uncontrolled environment.

-  The users records all issues and problems occurred during use of application and reports these issues to developer regularly.

- The software engineers take care of all issues reported during beta testing and makes necessary modifications and then prepare the product for final release to the entire customer base.

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