An overview of beta testing concepts and best practices for product developers.
Beta testing is the process of subjecting a product to testing by real customers in their real environments prior to its release. It adds a key dimension to quality testing, with its unscripted use and wide variety of environments that can't be replicated in a lab setting.
Important! While we use the generic term beta (or beta test) throughout our web site and materials, the same principles, processes, challenges, and benefits apply equally to Customer Acceptance Testing (CAT), User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Friendly User Testing (FUT), Field Trials, Customer Validation, Customer Testing, External Testing, Pre-release Testing, etc. While each term may have its own nuances based on the organizations that utilize it, they all share the same foundation.
Beta testing is a partnership between companies developing products and the customers who love them, so beta can offer huge benefits to product teams of all types. Since beta testing involves all the different departments that touch a product (quality, marketing, product management, etc.), beta testing can fall into the lap of many different team members. Please visit our Beta Testing by Job Titles section to find more information on how beta helps everyone from product management to marketing reach their goals.
For product developers, beta testing results in higher quality products, improved customer satisfaction, better reviews, increased sales, reduced support costs, more insightful product planning, and a more positive brand image. For customers, beta testing offers the unique opportunity to help improve products they love in a community of invested, like-minded people.
We're beta test management experts — it's what we do. Our beta test software and managed betas power beta programs at companies of all sizes. We also host a large beta tester community, offering testing opportunities to people around the world. Our solutions help teams run betas of every size and shape. Learn more about our offerings by product type, beta type, or job title in our solutions section.