Usually conducted within a vendor, the last level of internal test prior to a (beta) release. Roughly analogous to a system test within a MIS shop. In a vendor-customer relationship, alpha testing
is the last level of testing conducted internally before external customer testing (beta testing
) and installation. An alpha test can be performed by the vendor or by a customer in a controlled environment at the vendor's site or a third-party certification site. The software is tested in an environment which is as close as feasible to the live operational environment.