Alpha Testing Vs Beta Testing: Pros, Cons AND Key Differences

what is Alpha Testing?

Alpha testing is acceptance testing used to uncover potential problems or bugs before releasing the final product to end consumers. Alpha testing is conducted by testers who are internal organization workers. The fundamental purpose is to identify and test the tasks that a typical user could accomplish.

To explain it as simply as possible, this type of testing is named alpha because it occurs early in the software development process, before beta testing. The primary goal of alpha testing is to replicate real users using black and white box methodologies.

types of alpha testing

Alpha testing is a type of internal quality assurance performed by the in-house development or QA team rather than by the client. Its primary goal is to find previously unknown software problems. At the alpha testing stage, software behavior is validated under real-world situations by emulating end-user behaviors.

 Alpha Testing helps us to obtain quick client approval before proceeding with the product delivery.

Alpha testing includes

  • Smoke
  • Sanity
  • Integration Systems
  • Usability
  • User Interface(UI)
  • Acceptance
  • Regression
  • Functional Testing

If a mistake is discovered, it is promptly reported to the development team. Alpha testing aids in the discovery of issues that were missed during the requirement collection stage. The software version that has passed alpha testing is known as the alpha release. After alpha testing is passed, beta testing begins.

What is beta testing?

Beta testing is carried out by “actual users” of the software application in a “real environment,” and it is a type of external User Acceptance Testing. It is the last test performed before shipping a product to clients. 

In beta testing, there is the direct involvement of customer feedback. It aids in the testing of products in the customer’s environment.

A beta version of the program is distributed to a small number of product end users to gather input on the product’s quality. Through consumer validation, beta testing apps and websites decrease the chance of product failure and improve product quality.

types of beta testing

In software testing, there are several sorts of Beta tests, which are as follows:

  • Traditional Beta testing: 

The product is delivered to the target market, and data on all aspects is gathered. This information is utilized for the development of the product.

  • Public Beta Testing:

The product is made available to the public via web channels, and data can be collected from anyone. Product enhancements can be made based on feedback. 

For example, before formally releasing Windows 8, Microsoft conducted the largest of all Beta Tests.

  • Technical Beta Testing:

 A product is released to an organization’s internal group to get feedback/data from the organization’s personnel.

  • Focused Beta:

             The product is released to the market to get input on specific program features. 

For example, the functionality of critical software.

  • Post-release Beta: 

The product is released to the market, and data is collected to improve the outcome for future releases.

different phases of testing

Alpha and Beta tests are typically performed for “off-the-shelf” software or product-oriented businesses. A product company’s testing phases differ from those of a service-oriented firm. The following is the testing phase used by product companies.

Pre-Alpha:

 A prototype of the software. The user interface is finished. However, not all features have been finalized for the launch. The application or software is still under development and is not yet available for download.

Alpha: 

Software is nearing completion and is being internally tested for bugs/issues.

Beta:

The software is stable and is distributed to a small number of users. The goal is to get customer feedback on the product and then make software modifications in response.

Release Candidate (RC):

 One can modify the program and wish to test out the problem fixes based on the input from the Beta Test. At this point, they should avoid making drastic changes to functionality and instead focus on finding issues. Release Candidate is also made available to the general public.

All works and software have been provided to the public.

entry criteria for alpha

For entry,

  • Business requirements specification or software requirements document
  • All requirements have test cases.
  • The testing team has extensive expertise in software applications.
  • Setup of the test lab setting.
  • The QA Build is now ready for execution.
  • Tool for uploading test cases and recording faults in test management.
  • To guarantee that each design requirement has at least one traceability matrix.
  • A test case verifies it.

Entry Criteria for Beta

For entry,

  • Sign approval on an Alpha testing document.
  • The software’s beta version should be ready soon.
  • The environment is now ready for the software application’s public release.
  • Real-time fault capture tool.

Exit criteria for alpha

  • All of the test cases have been run and passed.
  • All significant issues must be fixed and closed.
  • Test summary report is delivered.
  • Make sure that no more features may be added.
  • Approve Alpha testing.

exit criteria for beta testing

  • All primary and minor issues have been resolved.
  • A public feedback report should be created.
  • The beta test summary report is delivered.

key differences

ALPHA TESTINGBETA TESTING
It is performed by testers within the organization.It is performed by the end users in the organization.
It is conducted at the Developer’s siteIt is performed at the Client’s location.
Security and reliability are not checked in depthRobustness, security and reliability all are checked in depth.
In alpha testing we witness whitebox as well as balckbox testing.It generally involves Blackbox testing.
It requires a testing environment.It does not require a testing environment.
Requires long execution cyclesRequires a few weeks of execution.
Critical issues are addressed and bugs are resolved in case of alpha testing. In beta testing, issues and bugs are collected from end users and implemented in beta testing.
Alpha testing tests and ensures the quality of the product before moving to the beta testing.Beta testing’s major concentration is on the quality of the product. During beta testing the product is analyzed and made to work under real life conditions so that it can be ready for real time users.

advantages

ALPHA TESTINGBETA TESTING
Alpha testing gives one a better idea about the reliability of the software at a early ageIt simulates real time user environment and imitates the  behaviourIt detects serious errors on the path of development.It has the ability to detect errors,be it in design or functionalityEncourages customer validation and hence reduces the risk of product failure.Beta testing allows a company to test the  post launch infrastructure.With the help of customer feedback,beta testing improves the product quality.Beta Testing increases customer satisfaction by creating goodwill with customers.Some beta testing apps and websites are TestFairy, Beta Family, BetaBound, HeadSpin etc.

disadvantages

ALPHA TESTINGBETA TESTING
In alpha testing the functionality of an application cannot be tested.The results obtained from alpha testing are often dissatisfactory to the testers and developersIn beta testing, test management is a trivial issue.Beta testing, unlike other testing types, is executed in the real world and often has no control.Since beta testing involves beta users, finding one becomes a challenge.

how headspin facilitates beta testing

HeadSpin enables remote testing and debugging of mobile, web, audio, and video apps on thousands of devices all over the world. Beta testing allows for cross-browser testing by utilizing users on various devices. These can differ in make and model, run various operating systems, and use different browsers. Testing in these various situations can assist you in developing reliable software that runs well across numerous devices, operating systems, and browsers.

The HeadSpin Platform provides you with access to a variety of devices that you may connect to from anywhere. Our device cloud is ideal for doing tests on your app before releasing it for beta testing. 

Assume you built your app with certain commercial objectives in mind. It requires time, money, and effort to guarantee that these objectives are met. 

Beta testing can help you determine whether or not your app’s users strive toward these objectives while using it. If they struggle to meet these objectives, it might help you pinpoint difficult-to-understand portions and take a different approach to them. HeadSpin encourages you to continue building your application and helps to meet your needs.

Conclusion:

In software engineering, no matter how many tests you run or bugs you squash, your programme is meaningless if your customers don’t like it. Beta testing (the second letter of the Greek alphabet) provides genuine feedback on your product from real users.

Alpha testing (the first letter of the Greek alphabet) simulates a real-time user environment before sending the programme to Beta Testing and helps build a reliable software candidate appropriate for Beta Testing.

Alpha and Beta testing are critical components of the testing lifecycle.

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