Release Candidate (RC) is a beta version of final product. In RC release, a product is internally check to ensure that no critical problems exists or left out in previous development. Release candidates aren’t for production deployment but is used for testing purposes. Although, in many cases, there is no such difference between the final build and the release candidate.
A release candidate refers to the build that is used for testing the correctness of the code being developed. Release candidate is not meant for production environment rather it gives an insight into actual working of the product to be released in the near future.
Before moving forward, it is important to understand that there is a difference between release candidate and beta testing. There is also some issues while comparing release candidate with beta testing. In release candidate testing, if the certain number of defects are found, then a round up testing will be performed to ensure that no more issues prevails in the system. It evaluates and ensures the absence of any installation issues before finalizing the product release. Further, in release candidate testing, critical workflow is also being evaluated against the release candidate.
Studies found that Microsoft often uses this term ‘release candidate’. In 1990s, Apple Inc. used the term called ‘golden master’ for its own release candidates. There exist some other terms like ‘gamma’, ‘delta’ and many others defined using greek letters. Release candidates are also called development packages which are released to check or quantify any critical problems. Sometimes, critical issues may occur in the installation, which might be avoided by conducting and performing installation of the product before its market release.
This type of testing is also called as ‘Real-life tests’, and can be performed on development server. This type of testing helps us to detect unintentional changes between release candidate and some market releases.
Release candidate is categorised into alpha and beta releases
The very first errors that come out after initial tests. Such errors could get resolved but there could be outstanding issues including security issues.
Such releases are created once which aims at resolving critical data, mitigating security bugs if any, modules are tested to see if any API needs to be updated and so on.