Alpha testing is an on-site user acceptance testing of the software product that is performed prior to release of the product to clients or users. It is carried out at developer's site by the group of skilled testers as well as developers, once the software development process reaches its culmination. The team responsible for executing alpha testing is independent of designing team. The main intent behind alpha testing is to emulate the real-user environment, through black-box and white-box testing approach, as well as to ensure that the product performs and functions as per its intended functionality.
Ensuring the product readiness from user's perspective not only delivers confidence in the system but also helps in assessing user's needs and expectations, which may be used to improve or upgrade the quality of the product before its market release.
This group is independent of designing team. The main intent behind alpha testing is to emulate the real-user environment, through black-box testing and white-box testing approach.
Alpha Testing Phases
To ensure that the software performs accurately and does not impact the reputation of the organization, final testing is implemented by the company in the form of alpha testing. This testing is executed in two phases, which are:
Initial Testing by Internal Developers: First phase of alpha testing consists of internal developers of the organization who are responsible for carrying out the initial alpha testing, with help of debugging software so as to locate bugs, quickly.
Testing of Application by Testers: In second phase, developer's tested software is being handed or passed over to testing/QA team for additional testing of the application against user's needs and requirements in the real-environment.
When to Perform Alpha Testing?
Being a type of user acceptance testing, alpha testing is performed once the product has goes through stages of testing and is prepared for its release. Moreover, it is executed before beta testing, which is another important acceptance testing technique and can be termed as a field testing. During this testing, minor design changes can be made in the software to improve its quality as well as functionality. Additionally, software product is subjected to alpha testing from the developers site, where independent developers monitor and record user experience and make necessary changes to enhance them.
Why Alpha Testing:
As the final stage of testing, alpha testing is an extremely important and popular testing technique that helps team to deliver a quality and effective software. Performed before the release of the product, this testing can be termed as the first round of independent testing that makes sure that the software, systems, and projects run as per their intended plan. Other reasons for alpha testing are:
Ensures software system does not freeze part-way through the user experience.
Refines the software product by finding and rectifying bugs that were not discovered through previous tests.
Allows the team to test the software in a real world like environment.
Validates the quality, effectiveness, and functionality of the software before it is released in the real world.
To ensure the success of the software product.
Alpha Testing: Infographics
Alpha Testing Process:
Alpha Testing of the software encompasses following activities in a sequential manner:
Requirement Review: Studying and analysing the specified and available requirements and specifications.
Test Development: Based on the outcomes of step 1, test plan along with the set of extensive test cases is defined and developed.
Alpha Testing ensures the maximum possible quality of the software, before passing it to clients for executing beta testing.
It is generally done for testing software applications, products and projects.
Advantage of Alpha Testing:
Alpha Testing simulates the targeted environment for the software product along with the real-time users actions.
Alpha tests are useful in detecting defects, especially in design and functions at an early stage of testing.
Defects may be fixed or resolved, subsequently and quickly after their identification.
Helps in gaining confidence for the user acceptance of the developed software product.
Alpha Testing Disadvantages:
The difference between the tester's test data for testing the software, and the client or customer's data from their own perspectives may result into deviation in the software functioning.
Although lab environment is used to simulate the real environment, still lab cannot furnish all the requirements of the real environment such as multiple variants of conditions, factors and circumstances.
Alpha testing does not involves in-depth testing of the software product.
Alpha Testing Vs Beta Testing
1.This is the first stage of user acceptance testing.
1. This is the second stage of user acceptance testing.
2.Alpha testing is performed at developer’s site.
2.Beta Testing is performed in real world environment.
3.Here, testing activities can be controlled.
3.Here, testing activities cannot be controlled.
4.In this type of testing, black box and white box testing techniques are involved.
4.In this type of testing only black box testing technique is involved.
5.It is performed after unit, integration, and system testing.
Every software product needs to undergo through important testing methodologies, before getting entry pass for the highly competitive market. Alpha testing is indeed one of the vital testing that needs to be considered for going through complete functionalities of the software and achieving confidence in its user-acceptance for the real-environment, before its release in the market.