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The importance of beta testing

By Adam Leeflang - General Manager - Products

Beta testing is a vital phase of the software development life cycle here at Opmantek. Our software forms the critical business platforms for Network Management Software and IT Auditing and Compliance for our customers – hence reliability and performance are what our customer demand and have come to expect from us. We want to launch software that is successful, continuing to build upon our hard work and success. We want the user to have the best experience they can, so we need to get rid of the bugs and issues the software may have before it is launched.

This is where the Opmantek Early Adopter Program comes in – we work with beta testers to ensure new products and updated versions are up to scratch.

There are a number of different factors that are checked during beta testing – let us look at usability, performance and quality.

Is the product easily usable?

If you want customers to talk about the software for all the right reasons, then the product needs to have great usability.

To do this, you need to consider your target audience and come up with the solutions that would best suit this audience’s problems.

Through beta testing, you will get feedback about the user experience of your software, and through this, the developer will be able to improve the product to ensure it’s meeting the users’ requests.

How strong is the performance of the product?

During beta testing, the speed and performance of the product will be analysed. While we can virtualise a lab network and run all our various automated testing scenarios, we may not always use it in the way a customer does. It needs to be tested by real users trialing the software in their environment.

Why? Put simply, the product will get to operate on all different hardware with a blend of other software installed all begging for resources. There are many variables, which is why the software needs to be tested by real users – such as you – through the beta phase.

Is the product of high quality?

The overall goal of the beta testing phase is to create a product that is fully functional and of high quality. This involves testing all the features within the product to check that they are all working as they should.

Although it is tempting to add a plethora of features to the software, sometimes it’s best to keep its design simple, as having too many functions can sometimes reduce the overall quality and user experience of the product. Even at the late stage of beta testing, feature feedback can help us decide upon which features are useful, and also ensure that we document any unusual ways the tester applied the feature, so everyone can benefit.

Are there any bugs?

One of the most important steps of beta testing is checking the products for bugs. Officially launching a product on to the market with bugs in it can quickly turn users off the software and vastly reduce the number of users interested in your product.

By determining bugs early on, you can weed them out. Sometimes, one of the benefits is that by uncovering one type of bug, other types of bugs are found too. The earlier these are detected, the better.

As an Opmantek Beta Tester in our Early Acceptance Program, you will play a key role in helping software developers to launch their products. There are many benefits for the tester: you can try out new products before they are officially launched, contribute to innovative products, and be rewarded with an Amazon gift card or access to the new product for a year.

Our current program is open for Open-AudIT Cloud. Beta Testing officially starts on 20th May 2019.

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