beta test

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beta test A test of a packaged software product in a small number of normal working (as opposed to development) environments. The beta test is usually performed at carefully selected customer sites. A beta test is carried out following acceptance testing at the supplier's site (alpha test) and immediately prior to general release of the software as a product. It is a confidence-building exercise that also limits the costs of correcting faults revealed when new or upgraded software is first exposed to its normal working environment and workload.