System test is done on a fully integrated system and is done at developers site by the testers team.

Acceptance test is of two types : alpha and beta

alpha is done at developers site and by the persons within the software developing organization.

while beta is performed by end users and at users site, not at the developers site.

My question is if both system and alpha testing is performed at developers site and is performed by persons within the organization then what is difference between the two???

3 Answers 3


According to ISTQB glossary of terms

Alpha testing: Simulated or actual operational testing by potential users/customers or an independent test team at the developers’ site, but outside the development organization. Alpha testing is often employed for off-the-shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing.

System testing: The process of testing an integrated system to verify that it meets specified requirements.


I think your understanding of these testing types is a little skewed.

A system test is done within the system itself; and NOT at a developers sandbox. Tests at a developer machine are typically unit tests.

For acceptance testing, that is usually when you put your product in front of a focus group to get their feedback and see if it meets requirements. The terms 'alpha' and 'beta' are used to denote the place your project is in within the SDLC.

The difference between the two is that system testing can be done regardless of your product being in an alpha or beta state.

  • "Tests at a developer machine are typically unit tests.": Despite being conjugated with 'typically', is this true? Even system test can run on developer's computer for many applications I imagine.
    – IsaacS
    Sep 18, 2018 at 23:59

I agree with user3557882. You are mixing metaphors.

"System testing" was described by Boris Beizer in a model outlining of theoretical levels of testing (see Levels of Testing

By contrast we have always used Alpha and Beta releases as part of a process to get bits into the hands of early adopters in order to get feedback from customers.

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