An alpha release generally means an application or a website functions, however, there is a need to check some of the functionalities. During this process, developers can face both known and unknown bugs. It is the first phase of the game or application release cycle.
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek Alphabet, and that is why the early stage called like that. Before alpha release, developers conducted pre-alpha testing that includes app development, design, requirements analysis, unit testing before formal test release. Followed by alpha release, which focuses on allowing users to experience an application so that they can give feedback about the functionalities. That feedback covers matters like bugs found, desired features that need to be changed, additional functionality that can be reworked. This stage of application/software release includes several tests.
Developers usually start with white box testing, and then they switch to a black-box testing method, which is held by another testing team. The period when a company moves from white box to black-box testing is called alpha release. Before the application is released for customers, developers using these techniques for maintaining better quality. Alpha release of the software does not include final features because developers do not want to face a situation that will lead to crashed or essential data loss.
Apart from users, some programs such as Trac, Open Atrium, Redmine helps developers on the alpha release stage of the product. This software is useful for bug tracking activities. Through the tests, different tasks gain different values, and they assign each of them according to their severity and priority. This method helps developers to focus on the most important aspects and work through enhancements and bugs in a logical manner.