Understanding The Difference Between Alpha And Pilot Testing

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Alpha And Pilot Testing

Alpha testing is a form of acceptance test undertaken before releasing the finished product to end consumers for finding any potential problems and glitches. The internal staff of the firm conducts alpha research. 

The key aim is to define and test the activities characteristic of a customer. In other words, this method of testing is called alpha only since it is performed before the completion of the software design. The primary focus of Alpha research is the use of the black box and white box methods for simulating actual users.

What is Pilot Testing

Pilot Testing is conducted in the “actual world” and can be called a type of external user acceptance testing by “real users” of the software application. It is the final test before customers are delivered with a product. The great benefit of Pilot testing in software testing is immediate input from consumers. This research aims to test goods in the atmosphere of the consumer.

Pilot Testing

The Pilot version of the software is set to release to a limited number of end-users of the product to gain feedback on the product quality. Pilot checking decreases the probability of product loss and enhances production efficiency by validating the consumer.

Key Difference between Alpha and Pilot Testing

  1. Alpha testing is carried out on the developer’s website, and Pilot testing is carried out at the consumer site.
  2. In alpha testing, durability, protection, and robustness testing are not conducted in profundity, while Pilot testing tests are performed.
  3. Alpha testing encompasses Whitebox and Blackbox, while Pilot testing in software testing specifically requires Blackbox testing.
  4. Alpha testing involves an atmosphere of testing, while Pilot testing does not require an environment of testing.
  5. Alpha testing takes a long period, while Pilot testing only requires a few weeks.
  6. In Alpha Testing, criticism complaints and vulnerabilities are discussed and patched promptly, while problems and bugs are gathered by end-users and introduced further in Pilot testing.

Alpha Testing Vs. Pilot testing

Following are the differences between Alpha and Pilot Testing:

Alpha TestingPilot Testing
Alpha testing executed by Testers who are proficient and skilled employees of the organizationPilot testing is carried out by consumers or end-users who are not business staff
Alpha test is carried out at the website of the developerPilot checks take place at a software testing buyer or end user’s site
No rigorous Alpha Testing and Security Testing is doneReliability, stability, and robustness during Pilot tests are tested
The white and black-box methods are used for alpha testingsUsually, Pilot testing uses black-box testing
Alpha testing requires a laboratory setting or environment for testingPilot testing requires no laboratory or research setting. The software is freely accessible and is said to be in real-time 
For alpha testing, a long-running period may be neededPilot testing takes only a few weeks of deployment
Developers in the alpha testing will automatically solve crucial problems or patchesIn potential iterations of this device, most of the problems or reviews are obtained from Pilot-testing

What are the Types of Pilot Testing

There are numerous forms of Pilot tests in software testing, and they are as follows:

  • Traditional Pilot testing: Goods are sold, and data is obtained in all the target market facets. This knowledge could be used to enhance the commodity.
  • Public Pilot testing: The product is made available publicly, and anyone can obtain data from the outside world. Product changes should be rendered based on reviews. Before it officially is released, Microsoft carried out the largest Pilot test for its operating system – Windows 8.
  • Technical Pilot testing: Software is published by the company’s internal community with feedback/data obtained from the organization’s staff.
  • Focused Pilot: Product is eligible for reviews on particular program characteristics to be obtained on the market. For instance, essential app features.
  • Post-release Pilot: Software is published on the market, and information is obtained to enhance its potential publication.

What are the Phases of Testing

Alpha and Pilot tests are commonly conducted for “off-the-shelf” software or product-oriented companies. The research phases for an entity normally differ from a business provider. Commodity companies will follow the research process.

  • Pre-Alpha: Prototype applications. UI is done. Nevertheless, not all features are done. Software is not released at this point.
  • Alpha: Program is close to development and is reviewed internally for bugs/issues
  • Pilot: Functionality is secure and open to a small database of customers. The aim is to collect product customer reviews and make program changes accordingly.
  • Release Candidate (RC): We adjust the program based on our suggestions and check for improvements in our errors. We don’t want to make drastic functionality changes at this point but search for glitches. RC is also made open to the public.
  • Release: Both works are freely accessible, and software is available.

Entry Criteria for Alpha testing

  1. Software requirements document or Business requirements specification
  2. Test cases for all frameworks
  3. Check team with solid software application expertise
  4. Research laboratory system
  5. Ready for implementation of QA Build
  6. Test Monitoring platform for test case downloading and logging errors
  7. Traceability matrix to ensure that the latest test case is checked for each concept criterion

Exit Criteria for Alpha testing

  1. All test cases were conducted and passed.
  2. All critical questions must be addressed and resolved
  3. Delivery of Test fact sheet
  4. Make sure no more features are included
  5. Register for the Alpha Exam

Entrance Criteria for Pilot Testing

  1. Sign an Alpha research paper
  2. The app Preview edition should be available
  3. Environment ready for the publishing of the application
  4. Tool for capturing errors in real-time

Exit Criteria for Pilot Testing

  1. All major and small problems have been addressed
  2. Feedback report from the public should be generated
  3. Delivery of Pilot test summary report


No matter how many experiments we conduct in Software Engineering and how many bugs we destroy, our software is worthless until our end-users want it. Pilot testing aims to provide actual users with true reviews on the apps. 

Alpha training helps to replicate real-time user acceptance testing before the application is submitted in Pilot tests and shapes the Pilot-eligible software applicant. Alpha and Pilot Testing are crucial in our testing lifecycle.

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