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78507Re: [XP] Alpha and Beta release in XP

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  • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
    Aug 27, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Mark Striebeck"
      To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
      Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 8:46 PM
      Subject: [XP] Alpha and Beta release in XP

      > Hi,
      > I know that the terms alpha and beta release are somewhat old school and
      > not really applicable to XP projects, nevertheless:
      > Our customers are used to get a functionally complete pre-release
      > (alpha) and a bugfixed pre-release (beta) before the end of our
      > development. So far, we had these as follows:
      > - alpha was the release that we had at the day of "code freeze". Not
      > QA'ed, UI and features might still change
      > - beta was the release that we had after the first QA sweep. UI and
      > functioanlity more or less final, critical bugs fixed.
      > The plan for our current release is to stop coding (last iteration) at
      > the end of October, have one month of QA and release at the end of
      > November. I know that the one month of QA should not be necessary, but
      > this is our first XP project and I needed some safety to make up for
      > imperfect XP processes. Also, our QA manager wants to experience that XP
      > really works (i.e. VERY short final QA phase).
      > I tend to propose that we declare
      > 1. a build at the end of one of the next iterations as alpha. It will
      > have some functional areas completely implemented, others not.
      > 2. the build at the end of development as beta. It will have all
      > features, UI should be final and it will be pretty much bug free.
      > Is anyone else working on commercial products where
      > customers/marketing/sales demands alpha and beta releases?

      I'd like to know too, because I don't really know why they should
      want them.

      However, you've got two different issues here:

      I think you need to send the end-of-iteration products to
      QA for testing. If they find issues (other than planned
      missing functionality) you've got feedback for where your
      process needs to be improved. If they don't, that should
      solve your QA issue to everyone's satisfaction.

      As far as the alpha / beta goes, I think you need to find
      out what the actual customer is using them for. Are they
      checking for features, usability, integration into their
      own process or what? Or are they simply verifying that
      there's a real product there and making their own bug
      list for correction?

      John Roth

      > MarkS
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