Difference between Alpha testing and Beta testing | Alpha testing vs Beta testing

This page compares Alpha testing vs Beta testing and mentions difference between Alpha testing and Beta testing. The table of comparison between alpha testing and beta testing is provided.

These testing types are performed in the situation when software is developed as a product which need to be used by multiple customers or users. It is used to uncover errors, which in normal situation only end users could find. Following points help one derive difference between these testing types. Alpha testing is done in development environment while Beta testing is done in user's environment. On all the commercial products Alpha and Beta testing are performed.

Alpha testing

Following are the characteristics of Alpha testing:
➨It is conducted at developer's site.
➨It is performed by end customer itself.
➨Developer looks while testing and records all the errors and issues.
➨It is conducted in real controlled environment.

Beta testing

Following are the characteristics of Beta testing:
➨It is conducted at one or more customer sites.
➨It is conducted by end user.
➨Developer is not present during Beta testing.
➨It is performed under un-controlled environment.
➨Customer records and reports the errors to the developement team for modifications.
➨After the modifications/changes final product is released.

Table of difference between alpha testing and beta testing

Following table summarizes major difference between alpha testing and beta testing with respect to various aspects during product life cycle.

Features alpha testing beta testing
Who performs it? It is performed by testers (i.e. employees). It is performed by clients or end users.
Where is it performed? It is performed at developer's site. It is performed at client location or end user premises.
Which tests are part of it? It involves both white box testing and black box testing. Reliability α security testing are not performed in depth here. It usually uses black box testing. Reliability, security and robustness tests are performed during beta testing.
Requirements of lab environment It requires lab or testing environment. It does not require it as software or product is available to the public in real time environment.
Period of test duration It requires long execution cycle. It requires few weeks of execution.
When issues are fixed? Critical issues are addressed by developers immediately. Issues are collected during beta testing and are addressed in future releases of the product.

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