Alpha Test

What Does Alpha Test Mean?

An alpha test is a preliminary software field test carried out by a team of users in order to find bugs that were not found previously through other tests. The main purpose of alpha testing is to refine the software product by finding (and fixing) the bugs that were not discovered through previous tests.


Also known as alpha testing.

Techopedia Explains Alpha Test

The team that conducts the alpha test is often an independent test team, perhaps made up of potential users/customers. Alpha testing involves simulating a real user environment by carrying out tasks and operations that the actual users might perform. Once software passes the alpha test, it is considered for the next phase of testing called beta testing.

The meaning of alpha also can differ based on whether the project is custom software done for a client. In this case, alpha testing implies an initial meeting between software vendor and client to ensure that the client’s requirements are properly met by the developer in terms of the performance, functionality and durability of the software program.

Compare this versus the context of a web application, where alpha testing can be interpreted as an online application that isn’t completely ready for usage, but that has been opened up to get some initial feedback. Commonly an alpha might allow power users to get their first look at the system via a a private invitation.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…