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Difference between Alpha and Beta Testing with Comparison Chart

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Difference between Alpha and Beta Testing with Comparison Chart
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The popular customer validation methods, or the two main Acceptance Testing types, are Alpha and Beta testing methodologies. Both these methods are building confidence in companies planning product launches and are helping them attain success in the marketplace.

These methods are reliant on different teams’ feedback and real users. However, they have distinct processes, goals and strategies to their name.

Alpha and Beta testing difference can be best understood by going through a comparative study of these terms. As readers go through this article, they will get to know more about what is alpha testing, what is the beta testing, alpha testing, and beta testing difference, features of alpha test beta test, and more.

Read on to understand how beta and alpha testing in software testing are used for increasing the lifespan and success of the enterprise, business or consumer products.

Alpha and Beta Testing (In Tabular form)

Given below is a comparative chart that depicts the difference between alpha and beta testing:

Basis of difference

Alpha testing

Beta testing

Phase of testing

In customer validation, alpha testing is the first phase of testing.

In customer validation, beta testing is the second phase of testing.

Performed at

The activities of testing can be controlled as they are performed in simulated environments at the developer's site.

Testing is performed in real environment and cannot be controlled.

What’s tested

Testing takes place for functionality and usability; reliability and security tests cannot be performed in-depth.  

Functionality, usability, security and reliability tests are given equal importance.

Testing methods

White and/or black box testing modes are used.

Black box testing mode is used.

Build Released

It is called Alpha Release.

It is called Beta Release.

Sequence of testing

System Testing performed prior to Alpha Testing.

Alpha Testing performed prior to Beta Testing.

Issues and bug handling

Issues and bugs are logged directly into the identified tool fixed by developers on a high priority basis.

Issues and bugs are assembled from real users as suggestions or feedbacks. They are handled as improvements for all future releases.

Functionality

Helps in the identification of different views pertaining to product usage as varied business streams are in the reckoning.

Helps in understanding the success rate possibility of products on the basis of real user feedback and suggestions.

Test goals

To evaluate product quality, ensure Beta readiness, find bugs and ascertain if the product works or not.

Evaluation of customer satisfaction, ensure readiness for product launch, collect suggestions and feedback for evaluating products effectively, ascertain whether the product is liked by customers or not.

Timing of testing

Generally, it takes place after system testing or when products are 70% - 90% complete. It occurs once the features are frozen to a large extent and major enhancements are not possible.

Generally, it takes place after alpha testing and when products are 90% - 95% complete. It happens when the features are frozen and no enhancements are to be accepted.

Build duration

Multiple test cycles are conducted and each cycle continues for 1-2 weeks. The duration is dependent on the issues found and new features added

Just a couple of tests are conducted and each cycle continues for 4-6 weeks. The number of test cycles may depend on real user's feedback and suggestion.

Stakeholders

Quality Assurance Team, product management teams and inhouse developers/ engineers.

Quality Management, Product Management and User Experience teams.

Participants

Specialized Testers possessing good domain knowledge, technical experts, people expert in subject matter, etc. Even end users and customers may participate in Alpha testing.

End users for whom the product design takes place. In general, consumers participate in beta tests.

Alpha Testing

Alpha Testing is referred to a kind of acceptance testing. It is performed with the intent of identifying all issues/bugs present in a product before it is released for end users or the public.

Alpha testing focuses on the simulation of real users through WhiteBox and BlackBox techniques. This test aims at carrying out all the tasks that typical users might perform. It is performed on applications when their development is about to be completed.

In case any minor changes are needed, they can be performed after the alpha testing is done. These tests are carried out under laboratory conditions at the developer’s site only.

Beta Testing

Beta Testing is carried out by "real users" in real environment by software application users. These tests are similar to external User Acceptance Testing.

The Beta version of any software product is released to restricted number of end-users with the intent of obtaining feedback on the quality of the product. Beta tests reduce the risks of product failure and provide enhanced product quality with the help of customer validations.

Beta testing is the final phase of testing done before a product is shipped out to the end customer. The main advantage of this test lies in the direct customer feedback being received by developers as the product tests are carried out in the customer's environment.

Alpha Testing and Beta Testing Key Difference

The main points of alpha testing and beta testing difference are enumerated below:

  1. Alpha testing is performed by experts who may be internal employees of an organization. Conversely, beta testing is carried out by customers or end users and not organizational employees.
  2. Alpha Testing is performed under lab conditions at the developer's site while beta testing is carried out at client location or by the end users of specific products.
  3. Security and reliability tests are not carried out in details by alpha testing. On the other hand, robustness as well as Security and reliability tests are conducted during Beta Testing.
  4. Long execution cycles may be needed for Alpha testing while just a few weeks of execution make Beta testing possible.

Conclusion

In case you have any further queries with regards to alpha and beta testing, definition of alpha testing, definition of beta testing, features of alpha testing and beta testing or the pros and cons of alpha testing vs beta testing, then write to us at the earliest. Our experts on alpha beta testing will be glad to assist you on further points related to alpha and beta testing difference without any delay.