The final round of testing before releasing the product is known as beta testing. At this point, the team is aimed to figure out as many bugs as possible. This controlled setting allows the testing team to look out for all sorts of usability issues and make the system error-free before the release.
Basically, it is the opportunity for real users to actually use the product when it is still in the production environment so that bugs can be uncovered before the general release.
Generally, beta testing is performed by real users which carry out this testing in the production environment. It means that during this testing phase, security and reliability are also completely tested which were not taken care of in previous testing phases.
Beta testing can be conducted in two ways such as open or close. In open beta testing, anyone can use the product and put forward their feedback through the communicated ways whereas, in closed beta testing, a certain set of testers are given access to the product who use their expertise to look out for issues. These testers can be the expected users, paid beta testers, early adopters, or current customers. This testing is usually performed until the system becomes error-free.
The Objective of Beta Testing
Usually, testers perform a sufficient amount of time and use all sorts of tools while performing internal testing so that they can create an error-free product. All requirements are documented and properly managed through test case management tools but still, there are chances that some loopholes are left uncovered.
To deal with such situations and test the product from the user perspective, software testing companies go for beta testing practice right before the product release. This is the final round of testing and after that, all sorts of issues are fixed so that product can be delivered to the client. Real users performing this testing give an edge to the whole scenario as you get to know their expectations regarding the completion of the certain task while using the system and the limitations they faced to complete a certain job. This is the first opportunity where a product can be tested in a real environment instead of a lab or staged atmosphere. A better understanding is developed how a system works in load and stress and the real performance of the product can be analyzed.
This testing is performed at the final stage when no more changes are being made or features are being updated so this validates the hypothesis regarding expectations and requirements. It also helps you to refine the marketing and position of the product as the end-user is testing it by himself.
Product Managers Take on Beta Testing
Managers usually get a flood of feedback during this testing phase which they utilize in an intelligent way and save them for future products too. As beta-testers are asked to make a suggestion so they put forward requests in a proactive way as compared to regular users.
It also helps teams to analyze that the system is working as per requirements and there are no uncertain patterns that might cause issues. Detailed learning is gathered in this phase which can help to modify the general release to ensure a smooth experience.
The feedback received from this testing phase can serve multipurpose. It not only helps you to make required changes, but it can also be used for the relative projects in the future and can also act as ammunition if there would be any sort of conflict regarding the error’s seriousness among the team. There are times when teams are resistant to fix some issues or features but with the repeated feedback from different beta testers, the case becomes strong and that feature is fixed instantly.
Beta testing is valuable and testing teams need to consider this type of testing to deliver a quality product. This testing would be helpful if initially testing requirements are met by the quality assurance team while the product was developed and they recorded all the cases using defect management and test case management tools.