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Friday, October 29, 2010

Software Testing - Validation Phase - Alpha Testing

A software prototype stage when the software is first available for run. The software has the core functionalities in it but complete functionality is not aimed at. It would be able to accept inputs and give outputs. Usually, the most used functionalities are developed more. This test is conducted at the developer's site only. In a software development life cycle, depending on the functionalities, the number of alpha phases required are laid down in the project plan itself.

During this, the testing is not a through one since only the prototype of the software is available. The basic installation and un-installation tests and the completed core functionalities are tested.

The aim of alpha testing is :
- to identify any serious errors.
- to judge if the intended functionalities are implemented.
- to provide to the customer the feel of the software.

A thorough understanding of the product is done now. During this phase, the test plan and test cases for the beta phase which is the next stage is created. The errors reported are documented internally for the testers and developers reference. No issues are usually reported and recorded in any of the defect management or bug trackers.

The role of the test lead is to understand the system requirements completely and to initiate the preparation of test plan for the beta phase. The role of the tester is to provide input while there is still time to make significant changes as the design evolves and to report errors to developers.

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