Beta Testing | Software Testing
Beta Testing is performed by real users of the software application in a real environment. Beta testing is one of the types of User Acceptance Testing. A Beta version of the software, whose feedback is needed, is released to a limited number of end-users of the product to obtain feedback on the product quality. Beta testing helps in minimization of product failure risks and it provides increased quality of the product through customer validation. It is the last test before shipping a product to the customers. One of the major advantages of beta testing is direct feedback from customers.
Characteristics of Beta Testing:
- Beta Testing is performed by clients or users who are not employees of the company.
- Reliability, security, and robustness are checked during beta testing.
- Beta Testing commonly uses black-box testing.
- Beta testing is carried out in the user’s location.
- Beta testing doesn’t require a lab or testing environment.
Types of Beta Testing:
There are different types of beta testing:
- Traditional Beta testing: Product is distributed to the target market and related data is gathered in all aspects. This data can be used for Product improvement.
- Public Beta Testing: Product is released publicly to the world through online channels and data can be collected from anyone. Based on feedback, product improvements can be done. For example, Microsoft conducted the largest of all Beta Tests for its operating system Windows 8 before officially releasing it.
- Technical Beta Testing: Product is released to a group of employees of an organization and collects feedback/data from the employees of the organization.
- Focused Beta Testing: Software product is released to the market for collecting feedback on specific features of the program. For example, important functionality of the software.
- Post-release Beta Testing: Software product is released to the market and data is collected to make improvements for the future release of the product.
Criteria for Beta Testing:
- Sign off a document on Alpha testing.
- The Beta version of the software should be ready
- Environment ready to release the software application to the public
- Tool to capture real-time faults
Tools used for Beta Testing:
Advantages of Beta Testing:
- It reduces product failure risk via customer validation.
- Beta Testing allows a company to test post-launch infrastructure.
- It helps in improving product quality via customer feedback.
- Cost-effective compared to similar data gathering methods.
- It creates goodwill with customers and increases customer satisfaction.
Disadvantages of Beta Testing:
- Sometimes, it is complex to follow the errors or bugs because the testing environment varies from user to user.
- There is a chance of having duplication of errors or bugs.
- The development team and the testing team are not having control over this real-time test environment.
- This testing is a time consuming process since it involves real time users or clients and hence delay in the overall feedback about the entire product.
- The users who are testing the product should have enough knowledge about the working of the entire application or product. Otherwise, the testing will not be implemented in an efficient manner.