Beta Testing

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What is Beta Testing?

Alpha is a first letter of Greek alphabets, followed by beta. This order continues in the testing field, also. Alpha testing is followed by the beta testing.

Beta testing is an off-site user acceptance testing of a software product, done after the completion of alpha testing. It is carried out at client's or customer's site by the end-users or stakeholders. This is the last testing phase, before software's entry in the Market. Beta testing may be seen as the second phase of testing after the completion of first phase comprising of unit, integration and system testing.

The main goal behind beta testing is to place the developed software application in the hands of the intended users under real-world environment & conditions in order to evaluate and assess product from users-perspective, which may prove to be useful in exploring defects that are not desirable in final release of the software product.

Beta Testing

What is a Beta Version of Software?

You all must be aware of beta versions of the software that are released to restricted numbers of user to accept their feedback and suggestion on the quality improvement. Below given are the two of the types of beta version release.

Closed Beta Version:

Closed beta version is released to bunch of selected and invited people.

Open Beta Version:

Open beta is opened to public. Any user as a tester can evaluate and assess the beta version to provide relevant feedback and reviews, in addition to detection of flaws(if any) to improve the quality of the final release.

This releasing of beta version is oriented by the beta testing process.

Types of Beta Testing:

This type of testing, may broadly be categorized into two types

1. Open Beta Testing:

It, generally involves the testing of the software product by the large number of the people or target audience before the final release. Organization decides to make software product open to public on any specific date before its release announcing that specific date.

Open Beta

This witnesses the large participation of the public to use and evaluate the software product and accordingly, report the bugs (if any found) to the organization, along with the suggestions in order to improve the software quality.

2. Closed Beta Testing

Closed Beta

Contrary to open beta testing, closed beta testing is carried out by the selective and limited number of persons, which are being invited by the organization. The software product is not opened to the public.

When to Perform Beta Testing of an application?

Acceptance testing is the last level of testing that comprises of alpha testing and beta testing to ensure the market release of flawless product. Alpha testing is done at production's site by the professional tester itself, whereas beta testing is performed at user's site (in Real world environment) by the group of intended users (Beta Testers).

Beta testing

After performing the in-house testing of the application in the form of alpha testing, system is handed over to the users to carry out the beta testing of the system, i.e. as soon as alpha testing of the application gets over, beta testing phase starts.

To gain more insight to the differences between these two testing types, read our related article on Alpha Vs Beta Testing.

Features of Beta Testing:

  • Beta testing is carried out in real-environment at user's site, thereby helps in providing factual position of the quality.
  • It is generally done for testing software products like utilities', applications, operating systems, etc.
  • Beta testing is also called as field testing and pre-release testing.
  • Testing is performed by the client, the stakeholder and the end-users.
  • It is done after alpha testing and before the actual market release of the software product.
  • Unlike alpha testing, beta testing is always black box testing
  • Beta Testing is preceded by Alpha testing and followed by the final release of the software.
  • Performed in the absence of testers and presence of users, just opposite to alpha.
  • Unlike alpha testers who are highly skilled, beta testers may involve the participation of na├»ve personnel like end-users.
  • Generally, reliability, robustness and security of the software application are being evaluated by the intended users.
  • Most of the suggestion and improvement gets due for getting implemented in the next future version of the software.
  • "Keeping in account the characteristics of beta testing, it may be concluded that the beta testing may be considered desirable for the organizations as it provides feedback of the real-users, useful in improving the software quality, just before its final release."

    Explore some of the notable points to be considered while performing beta testing of the system in our related article beta testing check-list.