in the new-product development process, testing a prototype product by letting a carefully-selected group of consumers use the product and register their reactions; concept may be applied to testing advertising or other promotion tools. See alpha testing and new-product development process.
One of the last phases of development of software in which final testing is performed, often involving external volunteer testers who help by reporting bugs and problems encountered.
The term beta refers to a stage near the end of a programme's development. Beta testing is the process of checking a programme at this stage for errors.