Alpha Vs Beta Software Testing: What Is the Difference?

Anna Khrupa by Anna Khrupa on 08/15/2019

Alpha Vs Beta Software Testing: What Is the Difference?

Every high-quality software product has gone through various tests before being released. Different testing strategies are applied by QA engineers to ensure that a program or an app meets all the requirements and contains no errors that can turn into a problem for their users. Usually, there are two testing phases before the product is considered successful. They are alpha and beta testing.

Alpha testing vs beta testing

Alpha testing is the first stage of post-development software testing. Alpha tests are usually performed by the in-house testing teams of the company at the developer’s site. Alpha testing requires a laboratory environment so that user actions can be measured and analyzed.

In other words, the main goal of the Alpha tests is to emulate the behavior of the real-users and to check if the software functions properly before it is presented to a large audience. There are different techniques of testing performed at the Alpha stage. They are Smoke testing, System testing, Website testing, Integration Testing, Functional Testing, UI and Usability testing, Security Testing, Performance Testing, Sanity Testing Regression testing and Acceptance Testing.

But what is alpha testing vs beta testing? After the software has passed the alpha testing stage, the beta testing is done. During this phase, the limited amount of end-users gets the beta version of the product and have a chance to test it in the “real environment”. When beta tests are done the company receives feedback about the quality of its product.

Sometimes the beta versions became available to the public in order to get more information about bugs or errors of the software, so the developers can fix the problems before the product is released. Beta tests are also done for marketing purposes. If users like a product they will share the information about it on different channels, thus helping to promote the product on the market. There are different types of testing in Beta phase such as traditional beta testing (distribution of the software to the target market), public beta testing (software is released publicly), technical beta testing (product is tested by the internal group of the company) and focused beta (developers show a product to users to receive their feedback on specific features of the software).

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What’s after beta testing? 

Beta tests are not always the final stage of the testing process of a product. But what comes after beta testing? The next phase is called gamma testing. Gamma Tests mostly concentrate on the products’ security, performance, and usability checks. This type of testing is not conducted in most of the projects and many market players would say that gamma tests are already the forgotten past. Still, gamma tests have their own advantages. First of all, gamma testing is directed on a limited number of users thus feedback about the product are collected much more effectively. Secondly, the reviews received from the users during gamma testing gives ideas for the future products updates Also, gamma testing does not include in-house testing activities, so it saves time. And finally, gamma tests help to ensure that the product works correctly in the real-life before its release.

To sum it up, alpha, beta, gamma testing together increase the chances for the product’s success in the market. 

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