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Alpha Testing

Alpha Testing is a type of software testing performed to identify bugs before releasing the software product to the real users or public. It is a type of acceptance testing. The main objective of alpha testing is to refine the software product by finding and fixing the bugs that were not discovered through previous tests.

This testing is referred to as an alpha testing only because it is done early on, near the end of the development of the software, and before Beta Testing. Check Differences between Alpha testing and Beta testing

Alpha testing is typically performed by in-house software engineers or QA staff. It is the final testing stage before the software is released into the real world.

Who is involved in Alpha testing?

Alpha testing has two phases,

The first phase of testing is done by in-house developers. They either use hardware-assisted debuggers or debugger software. The aim to catch bugs quickly. Usually while alpha testing, a tester will come across to plenty of bugs, crashes, missing features, and docs.

While the second phase of alpha testing is done by software QA staff, for additional testing in an environment. It involves both black box and White Box Testing.

So, alpha testing can be envisioned as an online application that is not completely ready for the usage but has been opened up to get some initial feedback.

Alpha Testing Process Example

Usually, an alpha testing takes place in the test lab environment on a separate system. In this technique, project manager teams up with the developer to define specific goals for alpha testing, and to integrate the results into evolving project plans.

As such alpha testing is done on a prototype, in-depth reliability testing, installation testing, and documentation testing can be ignored.

A good alpha test must have a well-defined Test Plan with comprehensive test cases. Various activities involved in alpha testing are logging defects, fixing defects, retesting, several iterations, etc.

Although Alpha testing is not completely functional, QA team must ensure that whatever is on hand should be thoroughly tested, especially those which has to be sent to the customer.

For best practice, the QA team should gather early all additional information like usability feedback on an alpha stage storage code, look and feel of the software, navigation scheme, etc.

Also, e-mail to the customer citing all the details about the test is recommended to make the customer aware of the current condition of the software.

How to do Alpha Testing

To do Alpha Testing efficiently for software testing, we need to first review the design specification and functional requirements, then develop a comprehensive test plan and test cases, after that execute the test plan in order to find log defects and fix those defects and finally retest once the issues are solved for smooth functioning of software.

Advantage of Alpha testing

Better insight about the software’s reliability at its early stages

Free up your team for other projects

Reduce delivery time to market

Early feedback helps to improve software quality

Summary

In Software Engineering, Alpha testing is an early version of a software product

The objective of Alpha testing is to involve customer deep into the process of development

A good Alpha test must have a well-defined test plan with comprehensive test cases

It gives better insight about the software’s reliability at its early stages

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Alpha Testing Vs Beta Testing: Which Is Right For You?

Difference between Alpha Testing and Beta Testing

Web development, programming languages, Software testing & others

Alpha Testing

It is a type of testing which is performed before the release of the product to identify all the possible bugs. It is done to simulate real users by using techniques like white box testing and black-box testing technique. It is done in a lab environment, and internal employees are the testers. The aim is to hold out the tasks that a typical user may perform.

It is done in two phases:

In-house developers do the first phase; they either use hardware-assisted debuggers or debugger software.

The second phase is performed by QA (quality assurance) team.

It is named alpha only because this kind of testing is done at the early stage, i.e. near the end of the software development. It is conducted before beta testing.

Beta Testing

It is a type of external User Acceptance Testing as it is performed by real users of the product in a real environment. It is done to take feedback on the standard of the software/product. A limited number of end-users test the product as it gets released to a restricted number of end-users only. It reduces the risks of product failure as customer validation provides assures the hyperbolic quality of the product.

Head To Head Comparison Between Alpha Testing and Beta Testing (Infographics)

Below is the top 12 difference between Alpha Testing vs Beta Testing.

Key differences between Alpha Testing and Beta Testing

let’s understand the key differences between alpha testing vs beta testing:

Alpha testing is done by the testers who reside as an internal employee in the organization, while the end-users perform beta testing.

Alpha testing is done in a lab environment as it is performed mainly by the developers, while beta testing is done in a real-time environment as real-time users perform it.

Both of them ensure a good quality product, but alpha testing does not test the in-depth security and reliability of the product, while beta testing tests the robustness, reliability, and security of the product.

Alpha testing uses both white box and black box testing techniques, while beta testing uses only black-box testing techniques.

Bugs/Issues which are identified in alpha testing can be fixed and implemented easily as it is done near the end of the development, while feedback that you get in beta testing is implemented in the future release of the environment.

Alpha testing ensures that you are sending a quality product for beta testing, while beta testing ensures that the product is ready for the end-users.

Alpha testing vs Beta Testing Comparison table

Below is the topmost comparison between Alpha Testing vs Beta Testing:

S. No. ALPHA TESTING BETA TESTING

1 Performed by the internal employees of the organization. Performed by the end-users or clients who aren’t the employees of the organization.

2 Performed within the organization or at the developer’s site. Performed at the client’s location or with the end-users.

3 Involves both white box and black box testing techniques. Involves only the Black box testing technique.

4 Do not test the in-depth security and reliability of the product. Tests robustness, security, and reliability of the product.

5 Done to identify all the possible bugs. Done for quality testing.

6 Requires a lab environment. It requires a real-time environment as it is done by the real-time users.

7 It takes more time as the execution cycle of the product is expected to belong. It takes lesser time as the execution cycle is of few weeks only.

8 Developers can address critical issues immediately. Feedback or issues are collected from the end-users.

9 Have mainly technical issues or some issues with the working of the product. User’s feedback also involves things like the addition of the new feature.

10 It can be incorporated/ implemented easily as it is done before the near end of the development. Will be incorporated/ implemented in the future release of the product.

11 Performed to ensure the quality before the beta testing phase. Performed to ensure that the product is ready for the end-user.

12 Finding testers is not a challenge as in-house employees are the testers. Finding the right users for testing and maintaining their participation could be a challenge.

Advantages Advantages of Alpha testing

It helps to detect designing and functionality errors at an early stage.

It gives you a better view of the quality and reliability of the product at an early stage.

Advantages of Beta testing

It reduces the risk of product failure.

It improves the quality of the product through customer validation.

It increases the satisfaction of customers.

It helps you to get involved with real-time users.

Conclusion

In the Software world, no matter how much hard work you do, how many tests you perform, how good you make the interface or how many bugs you fix, your product is useless if your client and your end-users do not like it. Beta testing helps you to take feedback from your end and real-time users. It helps you to ensure that you are providing a quality product.

On the other hand, Alpha testing helps you simulate a real-time user environment before you send the software for Beta Testing; it helps to fix possible bugs so that you can send an eligible product for beta testing.

Alpha testing and Beta testing are inseparable from each other, and they play a major role in your testing lifecycle. So, you can’t imagine a product release without them.

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Difference Between Severity And Priority In Testing (Example)

Severity Vs. Priority: Difference Between Them

Priority is the order in which the developer should resolve a defect whereas Severity is the degree of impact that a defect has on the operation of the product.

Priority is categorized into three types: low, medium and high whereas Severity is categorized into five types: critical, major, moderate, minor and cosmetic.

Priority is associated with scheduling while Severity is associated with functionality or standards.

Priority indicates how soon the bug should be fixed whereas Severity indicates the seriousness of the defect on the product functionality.

Priority of defects is decided in consultation with the manager/client while Severity levels of the defects are determined by the QA engineer.

Priority is driven by business value while Severity is driven by functionality.

Priority value is subjective and can change over a period of time depending on the change in the project situation whereas Severity value is objective and less likely to change.

High Priority and low severity status indicates, defect have to be fixed on immediate bases but does not affect the application while High Severity and low priority status indicates defect have to be fixed but not on immediate bases.

Priority status is based on customer requirements whereas Severity status is based on the technical aspect of the product.

What is Bug Severity

Bug Severity or Defect Severity in testing is a degree of impact a bug or a Defect has on the software application under test. A higher effect of bug/defect on system functionality will lead to a higher severity level. A Quality Assurance engineer usually determines the severity level of a bug/defect.

What is Priority?

Priority is defined as the order in which a defect should be fixed. Higher the priority the sooner the defect should be resolved.

Defects that leave the software system unusable are given higher priority over defects that cause a small functionality of the software to fail.

Types of Severity

In Software Testing, Types of Severity of bug/defect can be categorized into the following parts:

Critical: This defect indicates complete shut-down of the process, nothing can proceed further

Major: It is a highly severe defect and collapses the system. However, certain parts of the system remain functional

Medium: It causes some undesirable behavior, but the system is still functional

Low: It won’t cause any major break-down of the system

Priority Types

Types of Priority of bug/defect can be categorized into three parts :

Low: The Defect is an irritant but repair can be done once the more serious Defect has been fixed

Medium: During the normal course of the development activities defect should be resolved. It can wait until a new version is created

High: The defect must be resolved as soon as possible as it affects the system severely and cannot be used until it is fixed

Tips for determining the Severity of a Defect

Decide the frequency of occurrence: In some cases, if the occurrence of a minor-defect is frequent in the code, it can be more severe. So from a user’s perspective, it is more serious even though it is a minor defect.

Isolate the defect: Isolating the defect can help to find out its severity of the impact.

Difference between Severity and Priority in Testing

Priority Severity

Defect Priority has defined the order in which the developer should resolve a defect Defect Severity is defined as the degree of impact that a defect has on the operation of the product

Priority is associated with scheduling Severity is associated with functionality or standards

Priority indicates how soon the bug should be fixed Severity indicates the seriousness of the defect on the product functionality

Priority of defects is decided in consultation with the manager/client QA engineer determines the severity level of the defect

Priority is driven by business value Severity is driven by functionality

Its value is subjective and can change over a period of time depending on the change in the project situation Its value is objective and less likely to change

High priority and low severity status indicates, defect have to be fixed on immediate bases but does not affect the application High severity and low priority status indicates defect have to be fixed but not on immediate bases

Priority status is based on customer requirements Severity status is based on the technical aspect of the product

During UAT the development team fix defects based on priority During SIT, the development team will fix defects based on the severity and then priority

Low

Medium

High

Critical

Major

Moderate

Minor

Cosmetic

Example of Defect Severity and Priority

Let see an example of low severity and high priority and vice versa

A very low severity with a high priority: A logo error for any shipment website, can be of low severity as it not going to affect the functionality of the website but can be of high priority as you don’t want any further shipment to proceed with the wrong logo.

A very high severity with a low priority: Likewise, for flight operating website, a defect in reservation functionality may be of high severity but can be a low priority as it can be scheduled to release in a next cycle.

Defect Triage

Defect triage is a process that tries to do the re-balancing of the process where the test team faces the problem of limited availability of resources. So, when there are large number of the defect and limited testers to verify them, defect triage helps to try to get as many defects resolved based on defect parameters like severity and priority.

How to determine Defect Triage:

Most systems use priority as the main criteria to assess the defect. However, a good triage process considers the severity as well.

The triage process includes the following steps

Reviewing all the defects including rejected defects by the team

Initial assessment of the defects is based on its content and respective priority and severity settings

Prioritizing the defect based on the inputs

Assign the defect to correct release by product manager

Re-directs the defect to the correct owner/team for further action

Guidelines that every tester should consider before selecting a severity

Severity parameter is assessed by the tester whereas the priority parameter is assessed by the product manager or by the triage team. For prioritizing the defect, it is imperative for a tester to choose the right severity to avoid confusion with the development team.

Understand the concept of priority and severity well

Always assign the severity level based on the issue type as this will affect its priority

Understand how a particular scenario or Test Case would affect the end-user

Need to consider how much time it would take to fix the defect based on its complexity and time to verify the defect

Conclusion:

In Software Engineering, Assigning wrong severity to defect can delay the STLC process and can have some drastic implication on the overall performance of the team. So, the responsible person needs to be precise and accurate on its call for assigning defect.

What Is Semaphore? Counting, Binary Types With Example

What is Semaphore?

A semaphore either allows or disallows access to the resource, which depends on how it is set up.

In this Operating System (OS) tutorial, you will learn:

Characteristic of Semaphore

Here, are characteristic of a semaphore:

It is a mechanism that can be used to provide synchronization of tasks.

It is a low-level synchronization mechanism.

Semaphore will always hold a non-negative integer value.

Semaphore can be implemented using test operations and interrupts, which should be executed using file descriptors.

Types of Semaphores

The two common kinds of semaphores are

Counting semaphores

Binary semaphores.

Counting Semaphores

This type of Semaphore uses a count that helps task to be acquired or released numerous times. If the initial count = 0, the counting semaphore should be created in the unavailable state.

Counting Semaphores

Binary Semaphores

The binary semaphores are quite similar to counting semaphores, but their value is restricted to 0 and 1. In this type of semaphore, the wait operation works only if semaphore = 1, and the signal operation succeeds when semaphore= 0. It is easy to implement than counting semaphores.

Binary Semaphores

Example of Semaphore

The below-given program is a step by step implementation, which involves usage and declaration of semaphore.

Shared var mutex: semaphore = 1; Process i begin . . P(mutex); execute CS; V(mutex); . . End; Wait and Signal Operations in Semaphores

Wait for Operation

After the semaphore value is decreased, which becomes negative, the command is held up until the required conditions are satisfied.

Copy CodeP(S) { while (S<=0); S--; } Signal operation

This type of Semaphore operation is used to control the exit of a task from a critical section. It helps to increase the value of the argument by 1, which is denoted as V(S).

Copy CodeP(S) { S++; } Counting Semaphore vs. Binary Semaphore

Here, are some major differences between counting and binary semaphore:

Counting Semaphore Binary Semaphore

No mutual exclusion Mutual exclusion

Any integer value Value only 0 and 1

More than one slot Only one slot

Provide a set of Processes It has a mutual exclusion mechanism.

Difference between Semaphore vs. Mutex

Parameters Semaphore Mutex

Mechanism It is a type of signaling mechanism. It is a locking mechanism.

Data Type Semaphore is an integer variable. Mutex is just an object.

Modification The wait and signal operations can modify a semaphore. It is modified only by the process that may request or release a resource.

Resource management If no resource is free, then the process requires a resource that should execute wait operation. It should wait until the count of the semaphore is greater than 0. If it is locked, the process has to wait. The process should be kept in a queue. This needs to be accessed only when the mutex is unlocked.

Thread

Ownership Value can be changed by any process releasing or obtaining the resource. Object lock is released only by the process, which has obtained the lock on it.

Types Types of Semaphore are counting semaphore and binary semaphore and Mutex has no subtypes.

Operation Semaphore value is modified using wait () and signal () operation. Mutex object is locked or unlocked.

Resources Occupancy In case if the object is already locked, the process requesting resources waits and is queued by the system before lock is released.

Advantages of Semaphores

Here, are pros/benefits of using Semaphore:

It allows more than one thread to access the critical section

Semaphores are machine-independent.

Semaphores are implemented in the machine-independent code of the microkernel.

They do not allow multiple processes to enter the critical section.

As there is busy waiting in semaphore, there is never a wastage of process time and resources.

They are machine-independent, which should be run in the machine-independent code of the microkernel.

They allow flexible management of resources.

Here, are cons/drawback of semaphore

One of the biggest limitations of a semaphore is priority inversion.

The operating system has to keep track of all calls to wait and signal semaphore.

Their use is never enforced, but it is by convention only.

In order to avoid deadlocks in semaphore, the Wait and Signal operations require to be executed in the correct order.

Semaphore programming is a complicated, so there are chances of not achieving mutual exclusion.

Semaphore is more prone to programmer error.

It may cause deadlock or violation of mutual exclusion due to programmer error.

Summary:

It is a mechanism that can be used to provide synchronization of tasks.

Counting semaphore uses a count that helps task to be acquired or released numerous times.

The binary semaphores are quite similar to counting semaphores, but their value is restricted to 0 and 1.

Signal semaphore operation is used to control the exit of a task from a critical section

Counting Semaphore has no mutual exclusion whereas Binary Semaphore has Mutual exclusion

Semaphore means a signaling mechanism whereas Mutex is a locking mechanism

Semaphore allows more than one thread to access the critical section

One of the biggest limitations of a semaphore is priority inversion.

Hyperloop Alpha: Elon Musks’ High

Hyperloop Alpha: Elon Musks’ high-speed train begins its journey in detail

After a bit of a foot-in-mouth mention of a high-speed transit system between the two ends of the country earlier this year, Elon Musk is today ready to bring a bit more heat to the very real possibility of this Hyperloop system. In a release made through Tesla Motors, Musk suggests that this next-generation system must be faster and cheaper to operate than either our current airplane system or driving a car. It must be, he suggested, far better than any other mode of transport for the journey it’s capable of making – a fifth mode of transport.

The problem with creating a system like this is the massive amount of effort it would take, that tied with the beastly amount of cash that’d need to be tossed into it.

This “Hyperloop”, as Musk calls it, would have to pair cities that are less than 1500 km or 900 miles apart. Anything further would be better served by supersonic air travel – which you can bet Musk will be ready to provide once the time comes. Distances below this “several hundred mile journey” would not be good for a supersonic aircraft, on the other hand, as they do take quite a bit of time heading up to ultra-high altitudes.

For that spot in-between miniature car-friendly distances and a distance well-suited for supersonic airplanes, the Hyperloop would fit quite well. Musk suggests that this Hyperloop system must be each of the following compared to current alternatives:

• Safer

• Faster

• Lower cost

• More convenient

• Immune to weather

• Sustainably self-powering

• Resistant to Earthquakes

• Not disruptive to those along the route

So you’ve got planes, trains, cars, and boats, and this high-speed Hyperloop (also a train, if you’re asking someone to identify it at a glance.)

“Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome

(someone please do this), the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube

over or under the ground that contains a special environment. This is where

things get tricky.” – Musk

One possibility Musk suggests is similar to that of the pneumatic tubes used to send mail in massive buildings and paper/pens between your bank and your bank’s drive-up window. Another possibility includes using a “near hard vacuum” in a tube combined with an electromagnetic suspension. The problem with the second approach is the near-impossible task of keeping a tube of that size at a full hard vacuum.

Musk also acknowledges the Kantrowitz limit which, with a capsule in a tube, limits the speed of said capsule traveling through said tube both in how slow and in how fast it can travel. Air bearings are one key element to the successful delivery of this system, suggests Musk, this system using the same principles as a cushion of air in an air hockey table.

Musk suggests that the pod work with an electric motor which gains a reboost of energy every 70 miles, this made possible with a round induction motor rolled flat – a round induction motor, that is, just like the one delivered in the Tesla Model S. This sort of system would be an external linear electric motor, and it would only need to be used for right around 1% of the whole journey the Hyperloop system would make.

Musk suggests in the first abstract pulled together for the Hyperloop system that a crew capsule would ring in at a cool $1,350,000 USD, totaling in at $54 million USD for a full Hyperloop system. As for the total cost of the crew AND the cargo that’d be needed for the system, that’d be $1,525,000 USD, or $61 million in change.

“Hyperloop is considered an open source transportation concept. The authors encourage all members of the community to contribute to the Hyperloop design process. Iteration of the design by various individuals and groups can help bring Hyperloop from an idea to a reality.” – Hyperloop Alpha authors

And of course this is all just a concept at the moment. The full report (in alpha mode) is available as Hyperloop Alpha in PDF format from Tesla Motors, where you can study it for hours on end. For now you’ll have to rest with the idea that it could happen some day (perhaps even inside our lifetime).

You’ll also find the Hyperloop system earning its own place amongst SpaceX’s ranks. Here in SpaceX, the 5th mode of transport known as the Hyperloop would appear just as friendly to the future-molded universe of space travel as it would the current-generation electric vehicle environment in Tesla.

Difference Between Unit Testing And Integration Testing

Testing is the most important stage in the process of delivery of any software product, as it not only validates the quality of the product but also provides an opportunity to the developer to improve it further.

Unit testing and integration testing are both software testing techniques, but they are quite different from each other in their scope and they focus on different parts of the software.

Read this article to learn more about unit testing and integration testing and how they are different from each other.

What is Unit Testing?

Unit testing is a type of testing technique in which a single module is tested at a time. It is also known as white box testing. Unit testing checks if a small piece of code in the application is doing what it is supposed to do. In unit testing, a single module is going to be tested at a time, hence the focus of the tester is on the internal design of the application as well.

Unit testing is performed as the first stage of testing and it is generally performed by developers of the application. Parallel testing is not supported in unit testing because a single module is tested at a time in unit testing.

As a single module is tested at a time, so defects get easily identified and are locked as per module. Unit testing generally does not depend on the size of project, so it can be performed in both small and large sized projects.

What is Integration Testing?

Integration testing is a type of testing in which multiple modules are tested to verify if different pieces of the modules are working together as expected. Thus, integration testing helps to validate the collection and interface modules of the product.

Integration testing is generally performed after performing the unit testing, because this testing requires the knowledge of interlinked modules and their interactions. Importance is given to the functionalities in the system interface among individual modules.

Integration testing covers only the functional testing of the product. It is often performed by test engineers and developers.

Difference between Unit Testing and Integration Testing

The following are the important differences between Unit Testing and Integration Testing −

Key

Unit Testing

Integration Testing

Definition

Unit testing is the testing where primarily single module is tested or it checks if the small piece of code is doing what it is supposed to do.

Integration testing is the testing where multiple modules are tested to verify that if different pieces of the modules are working together as per expectation or not.

Focus Area

A single module is going to be tested at a time, so the focus of the tester is on internal design of the application as well.

Multiple modules get integrated and are tested as a single module so tester focus more on integrated functionality rather on internal design of the application.

Perform stage

Unit testing is performed at the first stage of testing as it is performed first of all other testing processes.

Integration testing is performed after all modules get integrated are done with unit tested i.e. Integration testing is done after unit testing and before System testing.

Abbreviation

Unit testing is also known as white box testing.

Integration testing is known as black box testing.

Tester

As unit testing as mentioned in above points performed at first stage of testing so generally performed by developers.

Integration testing is done after all modules get integrated and thus performed by Testers.

Defect Detection

In unit testing, the detection of defects is comparatively easy as single module interaction at a time.

While in case of Integration testing, detection of defects is comparatively difficult as compare to Unit testing.

Conclusion

The most significant difference that you should note here is that, in unit testing, only a single module is checked at a time; whereas in integration testing, multiple modules are tested simultaneously.

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