Beta Testing

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Beta Testing

Introduction

A software verification happens not only at the developer’s site but also at the customer’s site. Without verification, it’s very risky to put software into business use.  After thorough verification of the product end to end by the developing organization, customers or the real users of the product test it. This testing is known as Beta Testing.

In the last article, we have seen Acceptance Testing. Alpha and Beta are the phases of acceptance testing.

It is important testing which verifies the software by its real potential users. To define, Beta testing is the testing which testers from the customer’s organization perform at their own business or production environment before putting the product to the real business usage. To summarize, the idea of Beta testing is to assess whether or not the new system is useful for business.

What is Beta Testing

Beta testing is the testing at the customer’s site which happens after the delivery of the product to the customer for their acceptance. Thus, the goal of Beta testing is to uncover the maximum number of bugs in the business environment before the product goes live for real business. Invariably, this is the first testing which happens in the production setup. At times, beta testing is also called end-user testing. In this phase, testers from customers side evaluate the usability, performance, reliability of the system in their environment. Hence, the simple goal is to accept or reject the new software for their business.

When to do Beta testing

Real users or customers perform Beta testing as the final round of testing of the product at their own site. Therefore, they perform it after all testings like unit, integration, system testings like regression and performance and alpha are complete. Beta testing is also part of acceptance testing like Alpha testing. After Beta testing, product deployment takes place for actual business usage.

Who performs Beta Testing

Any of the following can perform beta testing

  • End users of the product
  • Customers of the product
  • Representative testers from customers organization
  • The sampled audience who have agreed to try the beta version of the product

Features of Beta testing

Below are the features of Beta testing:

  • Instead of QA testers, potential users or customers perform the Beta testing.
  • Therefore, this testing happens at the customer’s site in their business or production environment.
  • Beta testing takes place after Alpha testing.
  • It comes under the category of acceptance testing happening at the customer’s site.
  • It follows black box testing techniques.
  • The tests in Beta testing assess the product for its usability, ease of operation, performance in business hours and its reliability.

Advantages of Beta Testing

Beta testing offers several advantages in ensuring that the product adheres to the requirements of the business.

  • It is the first testing phase in which product is evaluated in the real business environment with actual production data.
  • It identifies bugs or issues or problems before the product goes live. Undoubtedly, it is crucial to the overall success of the product.
  • The beta testing verifies the product from the perspective of the actual user. Thus, it gives the feedback early on whether or not users are liking it.
  • Good beta test results boost the confidence of all the stakeholders by providing a clear view of the product’s performance with the potential users.

Beta testing process

  • After completing all the testings like unit, integration, system, and alpha, developers release the beta version of the product.
  • This is a trial version with the objective of collecting the user’s feedback.
  • The users try the product according to their requirements. They can provide their feedback to the development team.
  • Users document the issues, suggestions, and bugs.
  • The feedback of beta testing is implemented in the new releases.
  • Finally, the product is made available in the market for business.

Confusion between Alpha & Beta testing

At times, people confuse Beta testing with Alpha testing but both are different in terms of their implementation and objective. Though both together form the acceptance testing phase each caters to the different goal of testing. By definition, Alpha testing is the testing which testers and developers perform at their own site to catch the issues and bugs before the product’s delivery to the customer.

Whereas, Beta testing is the testing performed by the real users of the product in their business environment to assess if the product meets their business expectations.

Please read about the detailed difference between alpha and beta testing here.

Conclusion

Beta testing can directly get the user’s feedback about the product. No matter, how good product the development team makes and how many critical bugs the testing team finds, the product is of no use if it is not liked by its users. To summarize, the beta testing evaluates if the product caters to its business objectives and can it go live on the production environment.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_testing#Beta_testing

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