What is Alpha Testing? Definition of Alpha Testing, Alpha Testing Meaning

Imagine that a software development team is working on a new messaging app. The various in-house tests conducted during alpha testing develop confidence in the software team that the software is now ready and can be used in any conditions. The public and developers eventually lost interest and the mod never got past alpha testing stage. Also called production release, the stable release is the last release candidate which has passed all stages of verification and tests. Practice reps for customer support—Alpha testing is a great chance for customer support to become intimately familiar with the changes and additions to the product before they’re dealing with real customers in a crisis.

definition of alpha testing

The main objective of alpha testing is to identify and resolve critical bugs and issues in the software before it is released to the public. The goal is to assess the software’s overall quality, functionality, usability, performance, and stability in a controlled environment, and to ensure that it meets the needs and expectations of the target audience. During alpha testing, the software is evaluated against a set of predetermined acceptance criteria and is tested for functionality, usability, performance, and stability. Alpha testing provides an opportunity to identify and fix bugs and issues before they reach end-users, ensuring that the final product is of high quality and meets the needs of the target audience. Pre-alpha refers to all activities performed during the software project before formal testing. These activities can include requirements analysis, software design, software development, and unit testing.

What is alpha testing?

Beta version of the software is released to a limited number of end-users of the product to obtain feedback on the product quality. Beta testing reduces product failure risks and provides increased quality of the product through customer validation. Private beta could be suitable for the software that is capable of delivering value but is not ready to be used by everyone either due to scaling issues, lack of documentation or still missing vital features. The testers report any bugs that they find, and sometimes suggest additional features they think should be available in the final version. Don’t leave things until beta testing—Although beta testers might catch the same issue uncovered during alpha testing, there’s no guarantee that will happen. Plus the more items addressed during alpha testing means the product will look that much better to public beta testers and they won’t be distracted by known issues.

In the glossary we gather the main specialized terms that are frequently used in the working process. All meanings are written according to their generally accepted international interpretation. For convenience, you can use the search bar to simplify and speed up the search process. This testing is performed by a small group of individuals within the development team, who use the app and try to identify any issues or bugs. In Software Engineering, no matter how many tests you perform, how many bugs you kill, your software is useless if your end-users do not like it. Beta testing helps provide authentic feedback of your software from real users.

Stages of development

A tester does Alpha testing to find out whether a software application is working correctly or not. Alpha testing includes Smoke testing, Integration Testing, System testing, UI and Usability testing, Functional Testing, Security alpha test definition Testing, and Performance Testing. Alpha testing is the first phase of validating whether a new product will perform as expected. During an Alpha test, internal staff try out the product and identify potential problems.

Unit tests are maintained along with the rest of the software source code and generally integrated into the build process . However, even in the waterfall development model, unit testing is often done by the software development team even when further testing is done by a separate team. This means that the number of faults in a software product can be very large and defects that occur infrequently are difficult to find in testing and debugging.


The test plan could come in the form of a single plan that includes all test types and planning considerations, or it may be issued as a master test plan that provides an overview of more than one detailed test plan . A test plan can be, in some cases, part of a wide “test strategy” which documents overall testing approaches, which may itself be a master test plan or even a separate artifact. In software testing, conformance testing verifies that a product performs according to its specified standards. Compilers, for instance, are extensively tested to determine whether they meet the recognized standard for that language. Testing for internationalization and localization validates that the software can be used with different languages and geographic regions.

  • These techniques incorporate methods for testing and checking both input and outputs in various scenarios.
  • Before digging further into the benefits of alpha testing, testing techniques, process, and the product manager’s role, let’s take a minute to break down the difference between alpha and beta testing.
  • Untranslated messages in the original language may be left hard coded in the source code.
  • A group of users, including end users and developers, should test the product before beta testing starts.
  • Software fault injection, in the form of fuzzing, is an example of failure testing.

Alpha testing involves simulating a real user environment by carrying out tasks and operations that the actual users might perform. Once software passes the alpha test, it is considered for the next phase of testing called beta testing. Now coming to time durations, alpha testing requires extensive time frames, whereas beta testing requires a much shorter time. Lastly, the issues identified during the alpha testing phase are mediated immediately in the product. Unlike beta testing, where the feedback is collected from the end-users, it takes time to be incorporated into the final product. Alpha testing is done to make sure a product is ready to send to potential end-users for beta testing.

Focus on testing your riskiest assumptions

The main goal is to identify the tasks that a typical user might perform and test them. Alpha testing is a type of acceptance testing where in-house team of developers, designers, and quality assurance staff test a product for all possible bugs, flaws, and issues in a controlled lab environment. Alpha testing, a part of the user acceptance testing, is the firms’ preliminary internal testing before offering the product to the external testers or early users.

definition of alpha testing

Alpha tests have gained traction and importance due to various reasons. The first and foremost reason behind its importance is that you are conducting comprehensive product testing for quality control purposes. Alpha testing is done at the developer’s location, and beta testing is done at the client’s location. A quick, high-level testing cycle to understand whether the system can be passed on to the next phases of testing. Some might argue that, for SRS, the input is the words of stakeholders and, therefore, SRS validation is the same as SRS verification.

Edwin Kooistra – Product Marketer & Founder

Alpha tests should only be done after a product has passed unit and integration testing. A group of users, including end users and developers, should test the product before beta testing starts. The more testers involved in alpha test, the better chances that bugs will be found early enough to correct before they become serious problems. Overall, this example illustrates how alpha testing can be used to identify and fix major problems or defects in a software application before it is released to beta testers or the general public. Alpha Testing is a type of acceptance testing; performed to identify all possible issues and bugs before releasing the final product to the end users. Alpha testing is carried out by the testers who are internal employees of the organization.

Boot camp for sales and marketing—The alpha testing period is an excellent opportunity for the sales and marketing organizations to become more familiar with the latest iteration of the product. By actually using it to execute test scenarios, they will increase their understanding of the user experience and be able to communicate with much more authority when they’re presenting the product to the market. Have the most critical items assigned to the development team for resolution. It is especially good practice to get marketing, sales, and customer support representatives involved in the second phase of alpha testing.

The benefits of alpha testing include:

The deliverable from the engineering organization is frequently in the form of a golden master media used for duplication or to produce the image for the web. Alpha testing aims to test the quality of the functionality and internal mechanics of the product. It enables the development team to immediately resolve any defects and bugs before the product reaches end users. The team that conducts the alpha test is often an independent test team, perhaps made up of potential users/customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *