Which Comes First Alpha or Beta Test

Beta terminology and definition

There are many steps in software development that must be followed before the software can be brought to market. One of the most important parts in the Software development is the use of a Beta version, because this can help in the further course to make the program more user-friendly and to fix possible errors that cause frequent crashes, for example. After a successful beta, the developers can start the gamma-delta phase and thus offer a better insight into the program. Beta is essential when developing a program by today's standards, otherwise there could be too many bugs in the end product, leaving users in displeasure and casting a bad light on the company's sales strategy.

Before and after the beta

Before there can be a beta, some Requirements and prototypes to be required. The foundation stone of a beta is laid by the so-called alpha, which requires a pre-alpha before the real alpha. It is also known as developer preview and introduces the first module, which already follows the principles of the software. Developers can use it to give an insight into the program and advertise it right away.

A developer preview is very often found in the area of ​​gaming. It shows some scenes from the game, mostly rendering sequences that point in the direction of the finished software. The first in-game excerpts are in the Pre-alpha very seldom, as the developers do not want to give too much information yet and want to attract interested parties. It serves as the first step in successful software and is the best advertising medium as soon as it comes to light.

After the pre-alpha comes the alphawhich brings further progress. Here the developers publish a version that can be tested by strangers. However, this does not include the end user, but mostly other developers, studios or selected testers, and more rarely also magazines on the Internet that can offer a concrete report on the current state of development. The end users usually have too little experience in this area to give clear definitions of what could be improved. An Alpha is actually already provided with all the functions of the later end product, but contains a lot Bugsthat interfere with user-friendliness and could also damage the computer. Such bugs can always occur.

After the alpha comes the one betawhich is the most important part of an in-game development. After the beta there is a so-called Prerelease or Release Candidate, which is known in end-user circles as a trial version is known. All functions of the finished software are included and can be tested. All bugs that were found during the beta are no longer available in the prerelease and thus a user-friendly version is available to the user. However, bugs can still occur after the prerelease. If a bug is found during this phase, a new version must be published after the fix. A software is available in several versions.

The Gamma phase refers to the moment before the prerelease. The software is then released. Now all known errors have been removed and the software can be sold. If bugs are made aware of during sales, they will be fixed by hotfixes, patches and service packs. A complete restructuring is no longer necessary.

Understanding the Beta

The beta denotes the center of a release of the software. Developers use this to find all bugs and use several testers who test the software under real conditions. The aim of the beta is to find all bugsthat reduce user-friendliness or even make the software completely unusable. In order to be able to recognize a beta version, the designation “0” is placed after the title of the software, sometimes also in connection with “Beta”. This makes it clear to users that the program is not yet finished and that it needs to be checked carefully. The errors that are detected in this phase cannot be discovered by developers during programming because the real circumstances cannot be imitated.

End users own different computers that have different operating systems. Very often the Software is incompatible with another program. The hardware components also allow more errors to be found, because the larger the testing audience, the more varied the conditions are available. It is interesting for developers to see if problems arise with an ultrabook or gaming PC and how they can affect them.

The bugs will be documented during the beta. The beta tester does not necessarily have to list every single bug, because there are many problems that the tester does not even see. In games, for example, stuttering in the game, crashes and problems with the display can be described. Obvious bugs must be reported while Compatibility issues can be determined with the help of programs by the developers.

A beta is constantly updated so that the developers know whether the following version fixes the bugs and brings new ones. Users usually have to install the new version themselves. For this purpose, the current version is loaded onto the system and the testers can use it. Such updates can also appear daily for titles that are very present and therefore the job of a beta tester is not always easy. For titles with a fixed release date, a bug tracking module, such as Amarok, is always used to send the bug reports to the developers. The beta is the HEAD and thus designates the full version that is in constant development.

Large-scale projects usually require several beta phases, which enable all bugs to be eliminated. Just at Video games beta phases can occur that last for several months, up to half a year.

Perpetual beta

With the advent of the Web 2.0 the web standard also changed. A perpetual beta is a software or website that is constantly under development and never becomes a full version. Due to the many possible bugs, using a perpetual beta is always a little risky, but these are very popular and most of the time the programs never have to be paid for, as the actual development status is never completed. An acquaintance Perpetual beta is for example FarmVille. However, this beta managed to become a full-fledged browser game after about three years and shows that not every perpetual beta remains incomplete forever.

The testing

New software from well-known companies very often receives a large rush of testers, as they are eagerly waiting for the new programs and are therefore happy to make themselves available. A beta test can either be closed, Closed beta, or open, Open beta, respectively. A closed beta is particularly often available for large games because they contain a lot of information. Due to the large number of players, it is advisable to do such tests, because due to the different systems, a uniform version can be released after the bugs have been fixed.

Testing is very popular withOnline role play. There it must be found out whether, for example, the servers are doing their job or whether there are major complications. Software that is used to edit text content or the like usually has an open beta, since errors are limited there. In order to be able to apply for a closed beta, the developers require registration and with a little luck the testers will then receive an invitation to the beta test. During the closed beta, testers are required to report any suspicious bugs. If this is not done, the tester will be removed from the program. An open beta, on the other hand, can be used without restriction by every tester.

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