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I am just confuse about Alpha & Beta testing specially in case that who & where it is performed, I am reading the ISTQB syllabus and according to that both [Alpha & Beta] testing are performed by potential customers, here is the exact paragraph:

Developers of market, or COTS, software often want to get feedback from potential or existing customers in their market before the software product is put up for sale commercially. Alpha testing is performed at the developing organization’s site. Beta testing, or field testing, is performed by people at their own locations. Both are performed by potential customers, not the developers of the product.

But when I go through Google and search about both terms, it says:

Alpha testing is done at developer site by tester and Beta testing is done by potential customers at their own location.

So which is correct?

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Alpha Testing is mostly done in-front of the developers by the product owner or the customer, to let developer notice where the user can be go wrong with UX and etc, from the users perspective before releasing a solution.

Beta Testing is basically releasing the solution to the consumers to use and report the bugs and enhancements, where then the developers attend to those and release the final solution afterwards with the bug fixes and possible enhacements.

  • Perfect. you removed all my confusion. – Helping Hands Jan 27 '15 at 9:13
  • A pleasure indeed – hirosht Jan 27 '15 at 9:15
  • +1 to this answer. I am a full time tester, and that is what I do. Alpha testing is what I do first, but if a product is programmed around what the customer wants, then the testing becomes Beta, so that the customer can decide whether they want that feature or not, etc. – Kevdog777 Jan 28 '15 at 8:49
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In my experience the google answer reflects the common understanding, while the ISTQB syllabus takes on a more theoretical approach. I will elaborate the ISTQB view from my understaning here: The focus of these tests, in genereal, is to simulate user / customer behaviour(hence the "potential"). You are conducting these as parts of the acceptance tests.

Alpha testing is most of the time done on site at the developers, usually by test experts from the company or some externals. You should avoid to get developers involved in testing at this stage since you need a external "potential costumer" view. The tests should simulate user behaviour ("As if a potential customer was using the software"). These tests can already be conducted early on, focusing on some parts of the product.

Beta testing is usually done "in the field" with people who might be potential customers ("As a potential customer using the software"). The product should already be in a more advanced stage with almost all its features available.

Summary: (ISTQB says:) Alpha testing is done by people who behave like potential customers, Beta testing is done by people who are potential costumers. I sincerly hope that helps and lessens the confusion!

  • Thanks for answer , So in short both are performed by "potential costumers" , but location are diff , Right? – Helping Hands Jan 27 '15 at 8:02
  • I should have added more details - or less :) But nevertheless: in general, Alpha is done by people behaving like potential costumers, Beta testers are potential costumers. – Andre_M Jan 27 '15 at 8:41
  • Yes but now I am confuse about location.. – Helping Hands Jan 27 '15 at 8:42
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There are two type of user acceptance testing, alpha and beta testing. In Alpha Testing, system tested by developer & it tested in companies working environment. In Beta Testing, System tested by client representative (Client's person) at their live environment.
This is the basic which things which you should remember always.

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Let me state few differences between both the testing

  1. Alpha Testing is performed by the developers at the software development site. Beta Testing is performed by the customers at their own site.
  2. Sometimes Alpha Testing is also performed by Independent Testing Team. Beta Testing is not performed by Independent Testing Team.
  3. Alpha Testing is performed in Virtual Environment. Beta Testing is performed in Real Time Environment.
  4. Alpha Testing is performed within the organization. Beta Testing is performed outside the organization.

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