Being one of the last few tests before a software product is deemed ready for release, alpha and beta testing hold significant bearing on the final quality of a product. But how far do these tests differ? This article focuses on just these aspects. Let's have a brief overview of both these forms of testing, before exploring the differences between them.
Alpha testing is an on-site user acceptance testing of the developed application which aims at finding out all the remaining flaws, bugs and glitches at the developer's site.
Beta testing is an external form of user acceptance testing which takes place at the client site. It's the customers who carry out this testing to check if the functionalities of the software are perfectly in tune with the end user expectations.
|1. Alpha Testing is done in-house i.e. performed by the parent company's own developer & testing team.||1. Beta testing is performed at the customer's end.|
|2. It Involves the use of both black box as well as white box testing techniques.||2. It incorporates the use of black-box technique in testing.|
|3. A long execution cycle for testing is a feature of alpha testing.||3. Beta testing is generally associated with comparatively shorter execution cycles.|
|4. It is performed in a simulated or virtual environment at the developer's site.||4. It is executed in an environment having on a real time basis.|
|5. Alpha testing is done in the absence of the targeted end user base.||5. Beta testing is performed in the absence of the development/QA team.|
|6. It is performed at a stage when the user requirements are required.||6. It is also performed at a time when the software product is required to be marketed to the targeted clients/users.|
|7. Alpha testing is performed behind the closed doors of the developer site invisible to the public.||7. Many a times, beta testing is performed publicly at the marketing stage of the product.|
|8. For closely simulating the real world conditions, alpha testing requires to be performed in a lab facility..||8. Beta testing doesn't require the use of a lab testing facility.|
|9. Beauty of alpha testing is that it enables the early detection of nasty bugs or errors takes place at the hands of the development and testing team at the development site itself.||9. The user issues are looked into at a stage when their feedback can be incorporated only in the future versions or upgrades of the software product.|
|10. It is not useful in incorporating user feedback and issues.||10. Has an edge over alpha testing as far as incorporation of user feedback towards improving the product quality.|