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What means beta testing phase

In software development, a beta test is the second phase of software testing in which a sampling of the intended audience tries the product out.

Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. Originally, the term alpha test meant the first phase of testing in a software development process. The first phase includes unit testing, component testing, and system testing. Beta testing can be considered "pre-release testing."

Beta testing is also sometimes referred to as user acceptance testing (UAT) or end user testing. In this phase of software development, applications are subjected to real world testing by the intended audience for the software. The experiences of the early users are forwarded back to the developers who make final changes before the final release of the software.

The major downside to using a site or service that's currently in beta is that it may not be very stable. After all, the point of a beta test is to get users to identify hidden bugs or glitches that only become obvious once the site or service is actually being used.

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