Beta Software Testing
In this article, I am going to discuss Beta Software Testing. Please read our previous article, where we discussed Alpha Testing. At the end of this article, you will understand the following important pointers which are related to Beta Software Testing.
- What is Beta Software Testing?
- Why is Beta Testing Necessary?
- When Should Beta Testing Be Done?
- Who are the Beta Testing Participants and Stakeholders?
- What Characteristics Does Beta Testing Have?
- What Does a Software Beta Version Entail?
- What is the Plan for a Beta Test?
- What are the Uses of Beta Testing?
- What are the Entry Criteria for Beta Testing?
- What are the Exit Criteria for Beta Testing?
- Explain the Types of Beta Testing
- Explain the Process of Beta Software Testing
- What are the Advantages of Beta Testing?
- What are the Disadvantages of Beta Testing?
What is Beta Software Testing?
The process of evaluating a software service or product in a real-world setting before it is formally released is known as beta testing. It is a crucial stage in the development lifecycle of software since it aids in finding faults and mistakes that would have gone unnoticed earlier. A restricted set of people who agree to test the software and provide the creator’s feedback are given access to it during beta testing. Beta testers often test the program in a variety of ways in an effort to identify any flaws, bugs, or usability concerns. After that, they shared their opinions and described any difficulties they had. One of the most important tests conducted prior to the release of the program is beta testing, a subset of user acceptance testing. A sort of field test is beta testing.
The software testing life cycle ends with this testing. You may classify this kind of testing as external user acceptance testing. This sort of salient testing is used. Actual users do this testing. This testing was carried out following the alpha testing. This new version is currently undergoing beta testing with a select group of users to evaluate accessibility, usability, functionality, and other factors.
Why is Beta Testing Necessary?
Beta testing is required for a number of reasons.
- Find and Fix Problems: Beta testing aids in finding and fixing software faults or errors. Before the product is released, developers can identify problems not caught throughout the development process and fix them.
- Ensure Software Quality: Before a piece of software is made available to the general public, beta testing helps to make sure it satisfies the required quality requirements. This assists in lowering unfavorable reviews, returns, and refunds that may harm the reputation of the product.
- Test software’s performance in real-world situations by participating in beta testing, which enables developers to look for problems with the software’s functionality, speed, and responsiveness.
- Obtain User Input: Beta testing offers a forum for users to discuss the software’s features and usability. The software’s performance and user experience can be enhanced using this feedback.
- Enhance User Engagement: Beta testing can enhance user engagement by enabling people to test the program and provide comments. This fosters communication between the users and the developers and improves user satisfaction.
When Should Beta Testing Be Done?
The last stage of testing, acceptance testing, combines beta and alpha testing to ensure the final product is released error-free. Users participate in beta testing. This testing is always carried out following the alpha testing but before the product is made available to the public. The product should be 90% to 95% finished at this point.
Before release, any product undergoing beta testing should be checked off every item on the checklist. Among them are:
- The product’s components are all prepared to begin this testing.
- End-user documentation covering setup, installation, usage, and uninstallation should be prepared beforehand.
- The product management team has to confirm that all functionality is working properly.
- Before publishing it, a procedure for gathering bugs, feedback, etc., should be identified.
Who are the Beta Testing Participants and Stakeholders?
The teams in charge of product management, quality management, and user experience are closely watching the beta testing phase. Participants are the actual users of the product.
Beta test approach
- The monetary goal for the product.
- Beta test strategy
- The strategy participants used when taking the test.
- Tools for finding issues, measuring productivity, and gathering feedback.
- What time and how will this testing period end?
What Characteristics Does Beta Testing Have?
- Beta testing is applied in a genuine setting at the user’s site. Beta testing aids in revealing the quality’s current state.
- End-user, stakeholder, and customer testing are conducted.
- Before a product is made available on the market, beta testing is always conducted following alpha testing.
- Black-box testing is beta testing.
- Beta testing is carried out with actual users present but no tester present.
- Before the final product is released, beta testing is conducted following alpha testing.
- Software items, including utilities, operating systems, and apps, are typically subjected to beta testing.
What Does a Software Beta Version Entail?
A small group of users are given access to the beta version of the product in order to accept their comments and suggestions for quality enhancement. There are so two categories of beta versions:
- Closed Beta Version: Also referred to as a private beta, a closed beta version is one that is only made available to those who have been hand-picked and invited. These experts will evaluate the features and specifications of the program by testing it. While the software in this beta version is capable of providing value, it is not yet ready for widespread use because it demonstrates problems like a lack of documentation or the absence of essential functionalities.
- Open Beta Version: Public beta is another name for the open beta version. The public could start using the open beta. Any user can evaluate the beta version as a tester and offer pertinent comments and reviews. The final product is of higher quality thanks to the open beta version. Various hidden defects and problems are found with the aid of this version.
What is the Plan for a Beta Test?
There are several approaches to writing a beta test plan:
- Objective: After conducting internal testing, we should still have to explain the project’s goal as to why beta testing is necessary.
- Scope: The locations that will be examined or not should be included in this plan’s scope.
- Test Approach: It is important to make it obvious what the testing will be focused on, such as functionality, user interface (UI), response, etc.
- Schedule: We must explicitly state the start and end dates, along with the time, the number of cycles, and the length of each cycle.
What are the Uses of Beta Testing?
Among the applications for beta testing are:
- Beta testing assists developers in finding and eliminating issues in the software prior to its official release. Beta testers can put the program to use in actual situations, find any flaws or glitches, and give the developers feedback. This feedback aids in problem fixes and performance enhancements for the software as a whole.
- Beta testing is used to check a piece of software’s compatibility with various hardware, software, and operating systems configurations. This makes it more likely that the software will function properly across a variety of hardware and setups.
- Beta testing enables developers to get user input and insights on the features and functionalities of the product. The user experience may be enhanced, and the program can be made more user-friendly with the help of this input.
- Beta testing assists developers in assessing the software’s functionality in practical situations. This involves evaluating the software’s general stability, responsiveness, and speed.
- Customer loyalty may be increased by including consumers in the beta testing process, which makes them feel appreciated and participate in the creation of the product. This can foster client loyalty and improve the likelihood that the product will succeed once it is released.
What are the Entry Criteria for Beta Testing?
- Approve a report on Alpha testing.
- The program should already have a beta version available.
- Environment prepared for the public release of the program
- Real-time defect recording tool
What are the Exit Criteria for Beta Testing?
- Major and minor issues have all been handled.
- The evaluation report should be ready.
- Distributing the beta test summary report.
Explain the Types of Beta Testing
Beta testing comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Traditional Beta Testing: Traditional beta testing involves distributing the product to the intended audience and collecting data on all relevant features. It is possible to improve products using this information.
- Public Beta Testing: Data can be collected from anyone and is made available to the entire public online. It is possible to improve products based on customer input. For instance, before releasing its operating system, Windows 8, Microsoft ran the most extensive beta test ever.
- Technical Beta Testing: Technical beta testing involves distributing the product to a set of employees of an organization and gathering their feedback and data.
- Focused Beta Testing: Beta testing that is specifically focused on certain program features is done by releasing the software into the market. Take into account a feature that is essential to the software.
- Post-Release Beta Testing: After a software product is made available to the public, beta testing is conducted to gather feedback for future product updates.
Explain the Process of Beta Software Testing
A group of end users carries out beta testing. This process cannot be carried out without a strategy or test plan. The end-user, rather than the testers, carries out this kind of testing. The steps involved in beta testing are as follows:
- Planning: Beta testing, like other testing procedures, aids effective planning. The team develops a testing approach and establishes the testing objective at this stage. In this instance, the team determines the time, requirement for user testing, and other pertinent process-related information.
- Participant Recruitment: A group of carefully chosen end users is recruited for testing during this second phase of the beta process. This group may alter depending on the needs of the company and the product.
- Product Launch: The product is launched when a group of users (testers) is assembled. The product’s beta version is introduced or installed on the client’s or user’s end, and users test it to ensure its quality.
- Collect and Evaluate Feedback: After the testing is complete, developers will gather and assess the testers’ feedback. Depending on the feedback, issues, and defects are ultimately rectified and taken care of by the respective individual team.
- Closure: When all issues have been resolved, the organization has achieved beta testing, and the beta testing staff has been compensated.
What are the Advantages of Beta Testing?
Beta testing is done at the end of the software testing lifecycle. Beta testing has several advantages for users, software developers, and testers. This kind of testing helps developers and testers test the product before it is made available on the market. The benefits are:
- Customer satisfaction is the main objective of beta testing.
- Using user validations, it helps to lower the risk of product failure.
- Beta testing facilitates direct user feedback.
- It aids in finding system flaws and problems that the software testing team has missed or failed to notice.
- The user can install, test, and give input on the product under development during beta testing.
What are the Disadvantages of Beta Testing?
The drawbacks of beta testing are:
- In this kind of testing, the testing is carried out by users in a real-world setting; therefore, a software developer has no control over the process.
- The ultimate release of the product could be postponed by this testing, which can be a time-consuming process.
- The functionality of the software is not thoroughly tested during beta testing because it is currently under development.
- Working on the comments of users who do not utilize the product correctly themselves is a waste of time and resources.
In the next article, I am going to discuss Database Testing. Here, in this article, I try to explain Beta Software Testing. I hope you enjoy this Beta Software Testing article.
About the Author: Pranaya Rout
Pranaya Rout has published more than 3,000 articles in his 11-year career. Pranaya Rout has very good experience with Microsoft Technologies, Including C#, VB, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, EF, EF Core, ADO.NET, LINQ, SQL Server, MYSQL, Oracle, ASP.NET Core, Cloud Computing, Microservices, Design Patterns and still learning new technologies.