There are lot of misunderstanding about the what exactly is Alpha testing and Beta testing. many companies implements it wrong way. on different blogs i have found they compare Alpha testing and Beta testing with product and service based industries.
Its very simple and crystal clear.
Alpha Testing : We invite the Selected Customers/Client to our location and Ask them to take a look at software, how it works? etc. get the feedback front them its called as Alpha testing. Also Alpha testing happens only ONCE and not many times.
Main purpose of Alpha testing to get the feedback or client or customers or users about how they feel about the software. this feedback gets analysed by Product Manager, Delivery Manager and Team to change the certain things before the release.
Then What is Beta Testing?
Beta Testing : In Beta Testing we distribute the software to the selected users or customer or client ask the feedback of it. as Alpha testing was already done before Beta testing, Customer/Client can give more precise feedback on the software. its like, during alpha testing customer/Clients given some feedback and software development team worked on it, did some changes and again go the selected customer/client to ask their opinion about the software.
In Beta Testing software is more stable than alpha testing. some companies do the public beta releases also they have series of beta releases to keep customers/users intact with them and do not loose the focus.
Main difference in Alpha testing and Beta testing is , Alpha testing performed “in house” and in Beta testing we give the software to selected customer/clients( many times do public releases)
Second difference is Alpha testing is performed before Beta Testing