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Alpha Testing

Alpha testing is a way of software testing performed to acknowledge bugs before releasing the software package to the users or public. It is also a type of acceptance testing. The main purpose of alpha testing is to refine the software product by identifying and fixing the bugs which are not discovered through previous tests. Alpha testing is performed by in-house software engineers or QA staff who play the role of end users. It is also a final testing phase before the software is released.

Who is involved in alpha testing?

Alpha testing has two phases

  1. The first phase of testing is done in-house developers who act as end users. They use hardware assisted debugger software. The aim is find bugs quickly. Here a tester will come across to plenty of bugs, crashes, missing features.
  2. While the second phase of alpha testing is done by the QA staff who act as end users for additional testing environment.
  3. the real end users can also be called to IT company for alpha test.

So alpha testing can be viewed as online application that is not completely ready for usage.

alpha testing in Test Life Cycle

Example for alpha testing:

An alpha testing takes place in a separate system. Project manager teams up with the developer to the define particular goals for alpha testing and to integrate the result into emerging project plans.

As such alpha testing is done on a prototype, in deep reliability testing, installation testing and documentation testing can be ignored. Good alpha testing must be having well defined test plan with the comprehensive test cases. Many activities are involved in alpha testing are logging defects, retesting etc. For good practice, the QA team should gather early all additional information like usability feedback on an alpha stage storage code look and feel the software, navigation scheme.

How to perform alpha testing?

To perform alpha testing in an efficient way, we first have to review and design specification and functional requirements, then develop a comprehensive test plan and also test cases after the execution of test plan in order to find the log defects and fix those defects. We finally retest after issues are resolved for smooth functioning of the software.

Advantages of alpha testing:

1. For better insight of the software’s reliability at its early phases.

2. Free up the team for other projects.

3. It reduces the delivery time to market.

4. Early feedback helps to improve the software quality.

Alpha testing is performed for commercial off-the shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing, before beta testing is performed.

Disadvantages:

  1. Alpha testing involves deep testing of the software.
  2. The difference between the tester’s test the data for testing the software and the customer’s data from their perspective will result in discrepancy in software functioning.
  3. The lab environment is used to simulate the real environment. But the lab cannot furnish the requirements of the real environment like multiple conditions,factors and circumstances.

What are the steps for alpha testing?

Alpha Testing

Alpha testing has the following process:

  1. Requirement Review:  It reviews the design of the specification and functional requirement
  2. Test Development: Test development is based on the outcome of the requirement review. Develop test cases and test plan.
  3. Test case design: Execute the test plan and test cases.
  4. Logging Defects: Logging the recognise and detected bug found in the application.
  5. Bug Fixation: When all the bugs are detected and logged, then there is a need to fix the bug.
  6. Retesting: once all the issues are solved, and fixed retesting is done.

Difference between Alpha testing and Beta testing:

Alpha testingBeta Testing
Performed by a team of Highly skilled testers who are internal employee of the organization.it is performed by clients in real time environment.
2. Reliability testing is not performed.2. reliability,security and robustness are checked
3. Long execution is required.3. few weeks are required for testing
4. Alpha testing is used for both black box testing and white box testing.it uses only black box testing.
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