Beta testing and pre-production testing are two distinct software testing stages, each with its own objectives and procedures. The main difference between the two lies in the purpose of the testing, the type of users involved, and the stage of development at which the testing is performed.
Beta testing is a type of testing performed by real end-users or customers on a software application in its pre-release stage. The main objective of beta testing is to identify any usability and functionality issues in the software and to provide feedback to the development team on the overall user experience. This testing is usually performed in a real-world environment and provides a good indication of how the software will perform in the hands of actual users.
On the other hand, pre-production testing is performed by the development team or quality assurance specialists during the development phase. The main purpose of pre-production testing is to identify and address any technical issues or bugs in the software before it is released to the public. This testing is typically performed in a controlled environment and focuses on the functionality and performance of the software rather than the user experience.
It is important to note that both beta testing and pre-production testing are critical steps in the software development process. Beta testing provides valuable insights into the usability and user experience of the software, while pre-production testing helps to ensure the technical reliability and stability of the software before release.
In conclusion, while both beta testing and pre-production testing are important steps in the software development process, they serve different purposes and involve different stakeholders. Beta testing is performed by real end-users to assess the usability and user experience of the software, while pre-production testing is performed by the development team to identify and address any technical issues before release. (Source: "Software Testing Fundamentals" by Marc Rochkind)