Development Stages of Softwares

Discussion in 'Software Q&A' started by rajivrocks, Dec 24, 2006.

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  1. rajivrocks

    rajivrocks New Member

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    Each major version of a product usually goes through a stage when new features are added (alpha stage), then a stage when it is actively debugged (beta stage), and finally a stage when all important bugs have been removed (stable stage). Intermediate stages may also be recognized. The stages may be formally announced and regulated by the project's developers, but sometimes the terms are used informally to describe the state of a product. Conventionally, code names are often used by many companies for versions prior to the release of the product, though the actual product and features are rarely secret.

    Pre-alpha:-
    Sometimes a build known as pre-alpha is issued, before the release of an alpha or beta. In contrast to alpha and beta versions, the pre-alpha is usually not "feature complete". At this stage designers are still determining exactly what functionalities the product should have. Such builds can also be called development releases or nightly builds. A team will often release a pre-alpha that lacks features promised in the final release, but which demonstrates the feasibility and basic structure of the software

    Alpha:-
    The alpha version of a product is the first version of a computer program that the development team decides is feature complete and ready for testing. A build is feature complete if it implements all of the features in the software requirements. The alpha build of the software is the first build delivered to the software testers.

    Some development teams use the term alpha informally to denote an early, unstable build of the software that lacks features promised in the final release, but demonstrates the feasibility and basic structure of the software.

    The name is derived from alpha, the first letter in the Greek alphabet.

    Beta:-
    A beta version or beta release represents the first version of the software that has passed system testing and regression testing. These tests were performed in a test environment using hardware and data constructed for the purposes of testing. The beta build is now ready for a beta test, in which it is tested through a limited roll-out to a production environment using live data and real users. The beta test is closely monitored by the software testers.
    Developers release them to a group of beta testers (sometimes the general public) for a user test. The testers report any bugs that they found and sometimes minor features they would like to see in the final version.
    The beta version, named for the second letter of the Greek alphabet, typically refers to the second stage of software testing. Traditionally distributed to a limited group of testers, it follows the alpha version, which is tested in the lab.

    But in recent years, as complex applications reach their audience through Web sites rather than as shrink-wrapped or downloaded software titles, beta tests are getting longer, less restricted and more common.

    As Page acknowledged, Google, too, is known for the quantity and longevity of its betas. Google Catalogs? Beta since 2001. Google News? Beta since 2002. Froogle? Just as old.

    {Note:Google News did leave beta in January 2006}


    Release candidate:-
    The term release candidate refers to a final product, ready to release unless fatal bugs emerge. In this stage, the product features all designed functionalities and no known showstopper class bugs. Microsoft Corporation often uses the term release candidate. Other terms include gamma (and occasionally also delta, and perhaps even more Greek letters) for versions that are substantially complete, but still under test, and omega for final testing of versions that are believed to be bug-free, and may go into production at any time. (To many software testers, Gamma testing is an informal phrase that refers derisively to the release of "buggy" or defect-ridden products. It is not a term of art among testers, but rather an example of referential humor.) Gamma, delta, and omega are, respectively, the third, fourth, and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

    Gold/general availability release:-
    The gold or general availability release version of a product is the final version of a particular product. It is typically almost identical to the final release candidate, with only last-minute bugs fixed. A gold release is considered to be very stable and relatively bug-free with a quality suitable for wide distribution and use by end users. In commercial software releases, this version may also be signed (used to allow end-users to verify that code has not been modified since the release). The expression that a software product "has gone gold" means that the code has been completed and "is being mass-produced and will be for sale soon." Other terms for the version include gold master, gold release, or gold build.

    The term gold anecdotally refers to the use of "gold master disc" which was commonly used to send the final version to manufacturers who use it to create the mass-produced retail copies. It may in this context be a hold-over from music production. In some cases, however, the master disc is still actually made of gold, for both aesthetic appeal and resistance to corrosion.

    Microsoft and others use the term "release to manufacturing" (RTM) to refer to this version (as in, "Build 2600 is the Windows XP RTM release").

    Stable/unstable:-
    In open source programming, version numbers or the terms stable and unstable commonly distinguish the stage of development. In the Linux kernel, version numbers take the form of three numbers, separated by a decimal point. An even second number represents a stable release and an odd second number represents an unstable release. The practice of using even and odd numbers to indicate the stability of a release has been used by many other open source projects.


    ~$t0LeN n did sum personal research~:cool:
     
  2. sam_1710

    sam_1710 New Member

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    whys all this in da 'Q n A' section ???? ...

    reporting..
     
  3. manas

    manas Wandering in the zone ...

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    Good info but wrong section ...
     
  4. Rollercoaster

    Rollercoaster -The BlacKCoaT Operative-

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    did someone ask for this.. u should have posted in the tutorial section...
     
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