If you are an existing member of the beta programme, please log-in. If your log-in credentials have expired, please contact us.
Firstly, thank you for your interest in the beta programme. To start with, here are some answers to common questions asked:
Q: What is beta testing?
A: Beta testing is testing a program version that has been already tested by the developers on the reference test environment(s) but requires further testing in many more environments to certify that it works correctly.
Q: What is the purpose of beta testing?
A: The objective is to work in close co-operation with the beta testers to ensure the release of reliable, high-quality products that fully support as many systems as possible. By benchmarking and testing as many systems as possible we ensure the release of reliable, unbiased and objective benchmarks and testing processes.
Q: Why is beta testing not done by you?
A: What we do is alpha testing on all reference & test systems. The beta testing is additional testing "in the wild" that needs to be done before release.
Q: How stable is the beta?
A: Unknown since you'll most likely be testing on an untested configuration most of the time. However, in the worst case scenario it should not result in data corruption.
Q: Can I use the beta to evaluate the Professional version?
A: No, as it is a beta - not meant to be used for evaluation. Once the beta programme is finished you can evaluate the release version.
Q: Is this programme open to companies only?
A: No, it is open for anyone that satisfies the entry requirements.
Q: Is this programme open to companies also?
A: Yes. An employee (or more) need(s) to be chosen as liaison contact(s).
Q: Who can be a beta tester?
A: The entry requirements for the beta programme are similar those of other software houses:
- Current user of the product in question (not necessarily registered).
- Current interest in the product.
- Wilingless and free time to test at least one of the beta releases on the test system.
- Send at least one report from the test system or comments relating to the performance of the product on the test system (per programme not per version). You don't have to test each release - if you can, please do!
- Technical proficiency to understand what's going on.
- Backed up system that does not run mission-critical applications (police, hospital/ambulance, fire brigade, army, etc.).
- A test system that we are looking to test the product on (see requirements).
- Not a citizen/national of a country we could not sell/send/ship a product, i.e. UK/EU/US embargoed countries, or other restrictions.
The following list of people do not need to satisfy the entry requirements (except paragraphs 6 & 8 above):
- Previous beta tester of the product.
- Employee of computer press (reviewer, editor, tester, etc.).
- Employee of computer hardware/software technology partner (or use existing contact).
Q: Who can NOT be a beta tester?
A: We reserve the right to refuse or remove from the beta programme any user that does not adthere to the rules stated. We think the rules are just common sense and such issues should not occur but there is always the possibility. Here are other restrictions:
- Users providing a generic e-mail address (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, BigFoot, etc.); this way we could not confirm identity.
Q: Will I have to sign a NDA?
A: Generally no, although if the product has technology that has not been officially launched you may need to. You will still be able to beta versions that don't include such technology or after the official launch of the technology.
Q: Can I publish (benchmark) results using the beta?
A: No, unless you have special authorisation. This is granted only if the beta addresses issues that prevent the previous release from being used and the results are similar. Do note that users will be unable to verify your results otherwise before the release is published.
Q: How long does the beta programme last?
A: The beta process is on-going. You can drop out at any point.
Q: How do I drop out?
A: Please go to the Contact Page and tell us that you wish to drop out. Your current licenses are yours to keep.
Q: Are testers ever kicked out?
A: Yes, we do remove testers that do not respect the conditions or have never contributed to a major release. Woudn't you?
Q: What are the advantages in being a beta tester?
A: Here are some of them:
- A complementary copy of (all versions/platforms) the commercial/retail copy of the product, and licenses for your test systems. These are full new copies.
- Access to all the specification documents, beta releases and release candidate versions. This includes access to fixes and patches without waiting for the next release.
- Opportunity to ask for additions/modifications to the features of the product and thus influence the future of the product.
- Advance information on new features and modifications before release thus allowing you to be ready on release.
- Compatibility testing of your products on the current version of our product and resolve any issues before release(s) providing full compatibility.
- Acknowledgement in the product itself for your efforts.
Q: Are there multiple levels of memberhip?
A: No, it is a level playing field. All beta testers are treated the same way.
Q: Are there any membership fees or any other fees?
Q: How about payment for my efforts?
A: This activity is designed for interested parties that beta test as their time allows. It is not designed to be a proper test activity that would be compensated monetarily - although it is compensated (see above). Do note that you are not required to test each and every version but as your time allows.
Q: What configuration do I need to have to become a beta tester?
A: For best coverage, this is posted on the Product Page. Please visit this page for a list of current configurations we're looking to test.
Q: What information do you generally need from my system(s)?
A: We generaly require system reports that contain the output of all modules, except personal/confidential information, as well as information on which information (if any) you consider incorrect and what is the correct information.
Q: I do not feel confortable with sending you a full report for security reasons.
A: Firstly, we do not recommend you run the beta on a production system or a system that contains confidential information. However, even a test system may contain information that some people may consider personal/confidential; in most cases, you are free to delete that from the reports sent.
However, as the software is primarily for information gathering, the main aim of the Beta Programme is to ensure correct and reliable information; for this to happen both you and us need to analyse its output and work out what is incorrect, why, and how can it be fixed. If disclosure is not possible, then such analysis may well turn out to be impossible.
Thus, you have to decide whether you can indeed disclose such information and thus whether you can participate in this Beta Programme.
Q: OK, got that, how do I become a beta tester?
A: Please go to the Contact Page and open a ticket (with your configuration information) to the Beta address.
Q: I've sent an e-mail to the beta address and never got a reply! Why?
A: We do reply to each and every e-mail - eventually. Users that satisfy the requirements will be contacted first. Please check that you do satisfy the entry requirements.
Thank you again for your interest in the beta programme. We hope you have decided to join and we look forward to having you as a member.