beta testing


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Related to beta testing: alpha testing

beta testing

(programming)
Testing a pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software by making it available to selected users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the industry.

"Alpha test" was the unit, module, or component test phase; "Beta Test" was initial system test. These themselves came from earlier A- and B-tests for hardware. The A-test was a feasibility and manufacturability evaluation done before any commitment to design and development. The B-test was a demonstration that the engineering model functioned as specified. The C-test (corresponding to today's beta) was the B-test performed on early samples of the production design.

An item "in beta test" is thus mostly working but still under test. In the Real World, systems (hardware or software) often go through two stages of release testing: Alpha (in-house) and Beta (out-house?). Beta releases are generally made available to a small number of lucky (or unlucky), trusted customers.
References in periodicals archive ?
The start date has yet to be revealed, but Sony made it clear that registration for the program ends when beta testing commences.
The rollout should continue through the summer with beta testing ending in June of 2010.
Players interested in participating in the open beta testing can visit the official Battle.
The five healthcare facilities completing beta testing of Affinity Pharmacy v3.
Customers wishing to participate in the beta testing of ADS 3.
During the program's beta testing process, which involved 165 dealers overall, customer contact rates improved an average of 50% among the dealers who provided direct contact numbers (as opposed to toll-free and third-party tracking numbers) and who consistently opted to connect with Autobytel customers.
We are inviting both rated and non-rated insurers to participate in the Beta testing to allow for the broadest possible level of industry feedback.
Those submitting the twenty-sixth (26th) through seventy-fifth (75th) questionnaires with all correct answers will win access to "Savage 2: A Tortured Soul" beta testing (winners may participate in the beta testing for the game).