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Beta Testing Checklist


What does a beta test refers to?

A Beta Test is a common term used to refer to the final stage of testing which is conducted at the user's site. The application to be tested is installed at the customer site and put to a dummy use, though in the real environment, and its performance is monitored to verify whether it encounters any issue. If the application qualifies this test phase then the software is put to actual use.

Beta Test

Beta test follows alpha test which is the first phase of testing done at the developer's site who validate the functionality of the software as per Requirement Specification Document.

Let us now look a bit more into what makes 'Beta Testing' a much sought after technique of testing an application.

  1. What could be more beneficial than getting the application tested in the vicinity of its actual users?
  2. Beta testing offers a great way to send feedbacks and opinions.
  3. The feedbacks offer a way to the users to assimilate ideas of what led to a specific occurrence.
  4. More the application is exposed to the real world use, better it is for the testers to analyse the problems.
  5. The users will definitely feel more drawn towards their software because it infuses a feeling of worthiness.

Beta Testing Checklist:

To ensure efficient output from the beta testing process, it is advised that certain key areas must be summarised before beginning with the test procedure.

Design test scenarios: Think about the various interactions that shall take place between a user and the system. Plan and list down all such user scenarios which basically draws attention to real world roles.

  • Write Test Procedure: A procedure defines the method which is to be followed in doing an activity that includes deciding the order in which tasks are to be carried out and how shall the test scenarios be executed.
  • Determine the required data: Well most applications do involve a database which is used to store information about users. Therefore the need for acquiring such data is important as that is to be used as a prototype for real data and shall be tested according to the way it would be put to use in the real environment.
  • Assign roles to testers: Each test scenario is assigned to the testers to ensure that testing is focused.
  • Create a Bug Report System: A separate system dedicated to reporting of bugs. This technique facilitates better and efficient management of bugs.
  • Prepare a Test Schedule: As testing begins there follows a sequence of iterations for performing tests. The testers must divide the work among themselves that is be done in turns as a part of each iteration.
  • Identify Materials Required For Testing: Typically a test process comprises of the following materials - updated SRS document, description of fixed list of bugs, test scenarios, design document and so on.
  • Schedule a Start Date: Throughout the test process the progress of the application's performance is measured and analysed. Therefore a date is to be finalised to set up a meeting for discussing the various issues with respect to bug fixes, whether to work on any issue again or what all possible efforts could be made with respect to delivery of application.
  • Test For Each New Baseline: The cycle of test-fix-test goes on until there are no more bugs to be dealt with.

Conclusion:

A beta testing can be thought of as the final acknowledgement before releasing a software. The concept of beta testing claims to deliver a quality product by winning faith of the end users by identifying the nuances of the software system’s interaction with the user and observing the pattern. Hence even a slightest trouble faced by the user is understood by test engineers and developers, who owes the responsibility to settle the matter and instil the belief among their customers that they are the owners of the system/application.

Customer is the soul of any business and beta testing is one among plenty of other activities.