Alpha Testing VS Beta Testing Important Differences

Beta Testing helps reduce product failures and provides higher product quality through customer validation that resulted from their experience with the application. The final beta release is the process of putting the program through its last stages of testing before its public debut, considering the comments made by beta testers. The best way for testers to find bugs and provide useful feedback on improving the product is to put in the time and effort to test a wide variety of features, workflows, & scenarios. With the help of beta testers, developers can ensure their program is ready for release and make any necessary adjustments based on user feedback. The entry requirements are the finalization of the software’s development, the implementation of the essential features, and the completion of any required internal testing. Alpha testing typically takes 1-2 weeks per test cycle, depending on how many issues are discovered and how many new features are released.

In the case of a web application, alpha testing can be interpreted as an online application that has access via personal invitation, to gather initial feedback from the users for improvement and bugs. Alpha testing can be a very long and tedious process because it should test all combinations of user flows. This is because it is about real users checking and accepting that the software does what it should. This can be especially useful where you want to test more obscure behaviors. For instance, how the system handles an unusual pattern of data such as a non-standard character in a name.

Benefits of alpha testing

Once the product is refined with the feedback received after beta testing, the product is finalized and ready for production release. Then, we’ll outline the major differences between alpha and beta testing. Software testing also helps you identify bugs in your application. If your product has some known issues that have a negative impact on user experience, it’s better to share the list of issues with test participants before starting beta testing.

difference between alpha and beta test

Some functionalities get missed for testing as the software is still under the development phase. It provides a better view of software reliability in the initial stages. Alpha testing requires a testing environment whereas Beta testing doesn’t require any such environment. Beta testing checks for reliability, robustness, and security of software.

What comes first, Alpha or Beta?

It’s considered the last stage of testing and includes distributing the products to beta test sites and individual users. Once the software passes the alpha test, it is considered fit to be used for the next phase, i.e. beta testing. It usually involves testing the product by imitating the real user environment by carrying out tasks that an actual user might perform. Both terms originated in the technology industry , but are used for testing all types of products with consumer, business, or enterprise customers.

difference between alpha and beta test

Regular alpha and beta testing can be used in a constant integration/constant deployment methodology, a core tenet of Agile DevOps. This means code is improved on an incremental basis frequently and regularly. Alpha and beta testing provide crucial coverage regarding your product’s function, security, reliability, and usability. On the other hand, the beta testing phase comes later in the process and has testers from outside the company use the software in real-world settings.

What exactly is beta testing?

Firstly, test automation usually means using Selenium scripts. Your test team will, therefore,e prioritize the most important tests. Again, this means they don’t have time to achieve 100% test coverage.

  • Beta testing is a type of user acceptance testing where the product team gives a nearly finished product to a group of target users to evaluate product performance in the real world.
  • Technical beta testing — the software is delivered to tech-savvy users or the company’s internal group to detect complex bugs.
  • I enjoy energizing and motivating teams that create and exceed product expectations.
  • In this way, before releasing the product to the public, developers can get useful input from a wide range of users and address any faults they find.
  • The suggested changes are used to make the testing process more effective and less time consuming going forward.
  • The testing team has good knowledge about the software application.
  • It also enables teams to run security and reliability tests as those tests cannot be conducted in a staging or lab environment.

Alpha testing is the final stage of testing performed by your QA team to check that your application is ready for release outside your company. The testing is coordinated in-house, structured and is usually done by your own test team. Alpha testing is predominantly about ensuring bug-free functionality.


It’s basically just to denote “this version is not supposed to be completely satisfactory and may contain heavy bugs or may even be completely broken”. Many projects have been shipped off as complete when they were by all rights still beta. In the context what is alpha test of games – having easily detectable game breaking bugs has been the case quite a few times. However the current development environment in game dev is that both of these are simply “not complete yet”, and alpha is generally just “less complete” than beta.

difference between alpha and beta test

The beta testers are aware that there’s a chance the software may be less stable. Alpha software is not thoroughly tested by the developer before it is released to customers. Alpha software may contain serious errors, and any resulting instability could cause crashes or data loss. Alpha software may not contain all of the features that are planned for the final version. In general, external availability of alpha software is uncommon for proprietary software, while open source software often has publicly available alpha versions.

Software on a spectrum: Alpha vs beta testing

So next time, don’t forget to do your homework about alpha, beta, and gamma testing for improved software quality. Beta Testing on the other hand is testing the software after deployment. The Beta version of the software will be released in the AppStore itself and limited users who have signed up for beta testing will get access to the app.

difference between alpha and beta test

A feature complete version of a piece of software has all of its planned or primary features implemented but is not yet final due to bugs, performance or stability issues. The software release life cycle is the process of developing, testing, and distributing a software product. It typically consists of several stages, such as pre-alpha, alpha, beta, and release candidate, before the final version, or “gold”, is released to the public. For example, often, companies will ask a select number of users to willingly op-in to get early access to the software.

Advantages of Beta Testing

Developers release a Beta version of a product or software to a very limited number of end-users of the concerned product so as to obtain honest feedback on the product’s quality. It also increases the quality of a product since customer validation is always apt. The following table summarizes the main differences between alpha testing and beta testing. This isn’t an exhaustive table but should help you to better understand the two types of testing. Typically, alpha testing takes 1-2 weeks per test cycle based on how many issues are discovered and how many new features are released. It’s not uncommon for the total Alpha phase to be 3-5x the length of the following Beta phase.

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