Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. Originally, the term alpha testing meant the first phase of testing in a software development process. The first phase includes unit testing, component testing, and system testing. Beta testing can be considered as “pre-release testing”.
- Beta testing is sometimes also referred to as user acceptance testing (UAT) or end-user testing. In this phase of software development, applications are subjected to a practical test by the intended target group for the software. The experiences of the participating users are passed on to the developers, who make the final changes before releasing the software commercially.
- For so-called in-house testing, volunteers or paid testers use the software. For widely used software, developers may make the trial version available for download and free testing over the Web. Another purpose of making software widely available in this way is to provide a preview and possibly generate some buzz for the final product.
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