Beta (Release)


A software pre-release stage where its access is offered to a set number of users & third-party software testers for testing it under real-world settings.

What Is Beta (Release)?

The word beta is used in computer science to describe the second stage of a software development cycle, following the alpha stage. During this phase, the key functional requirements of the application software are operational and tests are done for effectiveness, accessibility, and security. Typically, the beta stage allows testers, who are not part of the development team or organization, access to the application to find and report bugs (if any). This allows for an unbiased review where the bugs that are identified get fixed within time. 
User acceptance testing is a process that is carried out during the beta stage by actual users of the application in a real environment. It is the final check before a product is released to the customers. A significant benefit of this stage is the direct input from clients. 
The software is made accessible to developers and potential consumers in order to conduct these evaluations. This is known as a beta release, and the people who participate in it are known as beta testers.
Beta versions go through internal alpha testing and are typically close to the final product in terms of appearance, feel, and functionality. This is why design modifications are common between the two versions.
Closed (or private) beta testing, as the name implies, includes a smaller number of testers. This method may be appropriate for testing software that needs input from a specific demographic or can't be tested on a larger scale owing to scaling constraints. Open beta testing, on the other hand, typically involves a large number of users, many of whom are potential customers. In this case, it may be viewed as a marketing technique aimed at demonstrating the product to the target audience.

When creating software, beta testing is necessary since developers are too connected to their developed software, and fresh eyes are needed to identify issues. There are no specific guidelines for how to set up this evaluation process or what it should entail, however, the procedure must be linked to a strict set of goals. There are a few conditions that a product must meet in order to be eligible for beta testing: 

  • The product must contain all of the necessary characteristics (it should have all the features that are planned for the final version)
  • The end product must be consistent (test participants should not face unpredictable crashes)
  • Participants in the test should be from the target audience of the product
  • The assessment requires participants to do real-world tasks while using an app in a real-world context (not in lab environments)

A small number of end-users are given the beta version of the software in order to get input on the product's quality. It lowers the chances of a product failure and improves its quality by allowing customers to validate it.

Beta testers, particularly volunteers, are generally motivated by a desire to learn more about a new product. This phase is usually focused on the usability, with testers reporting issues and providing comments. They may also suggest additional features and functions, but this is more frequent at the early stage.

As a result, the beta stage allows developers to make changes and address issues before moving on to the next step (release). When beta software is nearing completion, it is referred to as a "release candidate." If no further issues or defects occur, the application can be released as a "stable release."

The same procedure goes for any new cryptocurrency that is scheduled to be released into the market. Before it is enlisted on major exchanges, it is thoroughly tested by software developers both internally and externally. This process ensures that the cryptocurrency’s blockchain architecture does not collapse when an influx of users start trading it.