Year 2020 is a major year for us. We plan to have a demo-alpha version by June/July 2021. This will be far from a working bug-free version, but interested parties will be able to get a sneak-peak on what’s coming. And by the end of the year the first beta version is supposed to be ready. For that we need to define two scalable architectures, one for the backend and another for the frontend, and this is where our energy will be focused in 2020.
The alpha phase of the release life cycle is the first phase to begin software testing (alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, used as the number 1). In this phase, developers generally test the software.
Alpha software is software that is not thoroughly tested by the developer before it is released to customers. Alpha software may contain serious errors, and any resulting instability could cause crashes or data loss. Alpha software may not contain all of the features that are planned for the final version. The alpha phase usually ends with a feature freeze, indicating that no more features will be added to the software. At this time, the software is said to be feature complete.
Beta, named after the second letter of the Greek alphabet, is the software development phase following alpha. Software in the beta stage is also known as betaware. Beta phase generally begins when the software is feature complete but likely to contain a number of known or unknown bugs. Software in the beta phase will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software, speed or performance issues, and may still cause crashes or data loss. The focus of beta testing is reducing impacts to users, often incorporating usability testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release and this is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the organisation that developed it. Software beta releases can either be public or private, depending on whether they are openly available or only available to a limited audience. Beta version software is often useful for demonstrations and previews within an organisation and to prospective customers. Some developers refer to this stage as a preview, preview release, prototype, technical preview / technology preview, or early access.
Beta testers are people who actively report issues of beta software. They are usually customers or representatives of prospective customers of the organisation that develops the software. Beta testers tend to volunteer their services free of charge but often receive versions of the product they test, discounts on the release version, or other incentives.
A release candidate (RC) is a beta version with potential to be a stable product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. In this stage of product stabilisation, all product features have been designed, coded and tested through one or more beta cycles with no known showstopper-class bugs. A release is called code complete when the development team agrees that no entirely new source code will be added to this release. There could still be source code changes to fix defects, changes to documentation and data files, and peripheral code for test cases or utilities. Beta testers, if privately selected, will often be credited for using the release candidate as though it were a finished product. Beta testing is conducted in a client’s or customer’s location and to test the software from a user’s perspective.
Also called production release, the stable release is the last release candidate (RC) which have passed all verifications / tests. The remaining bugs are considered as acceptable. This release goes to production.