Difference between Alpha and Beta Testing


Alpha and Beta testing are types of testing which are based on feedback from real customers using real products in real environments, but they are driven by distinct goals and processes. Read this article to find out more about Alpha and Beta testing and how they are different from each other.

What is Alpha Testing?

Alpha testing is the testing that is performed at the developer's site by the internal teams, before releasing the product to the external customers. The primary goal of alpha testing is basically to find bugs, and determine does the product work how it is expected to do.

Alpha testing is generally performed without the involvement of the development team of product.

Alpha testing is performed in three phase, which are as follows −

  • First Phase − In this phase, the software is tested by the internal team of developers during which the goal is to find bugs quickly.

  • Second Phase − In this phase, the software is tested by the software quality assurance team for additional testing.

  • Third Phase − In the third phase, the software is tested for Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Software (COTS). Here, it is performed as a form of internal acceptance testing, before the beta testing is performed.

What is Beta Testing?

Beta testing is performed after alpha testing when the product is 80% to 90% completed in the stage of the development process. Beta testing of a software product is performed to ensure the release readiness of the product.

Beta testing determines up to what mark customers like the product. It also helps to determine the grey areas that have to be improved for better customer experience.

Beta testing is also known as user testing because it is performed at the enduser's site by the end users of the product to validate the usability, functionality, compatibility, and reliability of the product.

Beta testing plays an important role in the software development because it gives an opportunity to the real customers to provide inputs into the design, functionality, and usability of the software product. These customer's inputs are not only valuable for the success of the product, but also an investment into future products when the collected data be managed effectively.

Difference between Alpha Testing and Beta Testing

The following table highlights all the important differences between alpha testing and beta testing −

Key

Alpha Testing

Beta Testing

Purpose

Alpha testing basically focuses on finding bugs, and determine does the product work how it is expected to work.

Beta testing ensures the release readiness of the product and finds out up to what mark do customers like the product also help to find out the grey areas which need to be enhanced for better customer experience.

Stage to perform

Alpha testing performed before Beta testing when product readiness is about 60-80% and can be tested by technical users.

Beta testing is performed after Alpha testing when the product is 80%-90% complete in the stage of the development process.

Duration

Total Alpha phase to be 3-5x the length of the following Beta phase which estimated for 1-2 weeks per test cycle.

Beta testing is performed for the duration of 3-6 weeks per test cycle with only 1-2 cycles.

Tester Type

For Alpha testing testers who are usually internal employees of the organization are involved.

Beta testing is performed by Clients or End Users who are generally not employees of the same organization in which product is being developed or developed.

Nature of acceptance

Product features and functionality are being covered under Alpha testing while Reliability and Security Testing are not covered.

Reliability, Security and Robustness are the major focused area during Beta Testing.

Techniques used

Alpha testing uses both white box and black box model for testing a product under which feature completeness is excluded.

Beta testing typically uses black-box testing in which feature completeness is primarily included.

Issue resolution

Issues or bugs found during Alpha testing are being got fixed by the developers in the same release on an immediate basis.

Most of the issues or feedback that is collected from Beta testing will be implemented in future versions of the product.

Conclusion

The most significant difference that you should note here is that alpha testing is performed when the readiness of the software product is about 60% to 80% and it is performed by technical users, whereas beta testing is performed when the product is completed about 80% to 90% in the stage of the development process.

Updated on: 20-Feb-2023

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