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Difference Between Alpha and Beta Testing

What is Alpha Testing?

Alpha Testing is a software testing type performed for identifying bugs before releasing any product to any real user or the public. It is a type of user acceptance testing that identifies all the possible issues in any product. Testers who are the internal employees of any organization perform this type of testing. Their main goal is to identify and perform all possible tasks that any random user might perform.

In simple words, alpha testing has such a name only because testers perform it early on- almost near the end of software development just before beta testing. In alpha testing, the main focus is simulating real users by making use of white box and black box techniques.

What is Beta Testing?

Beta testing is a type of testing performed by real users of any application or software in a real environment. It is a type of User Acceptance testing (external testing)- performed just before shipping a product to a customer. One of the main advantages of Beta Testing is direct feedback from the customers. It helps a manufacturer test a product in a real customer’s environment.

Developers release a Beta version of a product or software to a very limited number of end-users of the concerned product so as to obtain honest feedback on the product’s quality. Beta testing helps in reducing the risk of product failure. It also increases the quality of a product since customer validation is always apt.

Difference Between Alpha and Beta Testing

Parameter Alpha Testing Beta Testing
Performers of Testing Highly skilled testers who are a part of an organization or internal employees perform Alpha testing. Clients and limited consumers who are not a part of the organization perform Beta testing.
Type of Testing Alpha testing makes use of both black box testing and white box testing. Beta testing commonly utilizes Black Box testing.
Testing Site A tester performs this type of testing at the developer’s site. An end-user performs this type of testing individually at their convenient sites (Client’s location).
Type of Checking Alpha testing does not involve the performance of security and reliability testing. Beta testing involves the performance of security, reliability, and security testing.
Quality Testing Alpha testing basically ensures a better quality of product before a developer forwards it for beta testing. Beta testing also focuses on improving the software or product quality. But it collects the real users’ input on an intended product to ensure that it is ready for fellow real-time users.
Type of Environment Alpha testing always requires a testing lab or suitable environment. Since users directly test a product in Beta testing, it never requires any specific environment. The software or application is made available to the public, also known as a real-time environment.
Duration of Execution The execution cycle of Alpha testing is very long. Beta testing requires approximately a few weeks of execution.
Promptness in Bug Fixing The developers can immediately identify and address the fixes and critical issues in Alpha testing. A majority of feedback or issues collected from customers in Beta testing will be of use only in the later versions of the concerned product. The implementation is not immediate.
Instance of Testing A tester performs Alpha testing just before launching a product into the available market. Testing starts to take place nearly at the end of development (of the app or software). Users perform Beta testing at the time of marketing the software product within the first few weeks. It is the final test that helps the producer finalize the product before shipping it to the customers.
Presence of Developers It is mandatory for the developers to be present at the time of Alpha testing. End users are absent here. Beta testing is just the opposite of Alpha testing. End users are present here, but the developers are not. They only collect the feedback and make further improvements in the later versions of the product.

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