I am looking for more information on a gradual release process - that is when you release new version of a software only to certain set of end users, mostly geographically limited (or limited by a reach of particular server).

Google seems to be blind to this term - that indicates that's not how it's called. What's the name then?

EDIT: An example of what I mean is when Facebook rolled out new image galleries they were first visible to certain users only, then to whole US and then to the rest of the world.

1 Answer 1


Please, take a look at: Software Engineering (Ian Sommerville) 8th.

Take a look at chapters 17 and 23. They'll give you an overview on how to release software for groups (testers and users).

More info about release planning: http://jamesshore.com/Agile-Book/release_planning.html

The technique name Beta Testing is commonly used: Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_testing#Beta_testing

Beta testing comes after alpha testing and can be considered a form of external user acceptance testing. Versions of the software, known as beta versions, are released to a limited audience outside of the programming team. The software is released to groups of people so that further testing can ensure the product has few faults or bugs. Sometimes, beta versions are made available to the open public to increase the feedback field to a maximal number of future users

You may also want to look into Software Prototyping.

  • 2
    Can you expand on this answer. As it stands it's not particularly useful or informative.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 13:07
  • I meant read the book, but I'll be more specific.
    – eestein
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 13:21
  • Amazon link to 8th edition added. Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 13:35
  • @JBRWilkinson that's the book :D. @daniel.sedlacek just take a look at these chapters they'll help you to understand more about this type of release, and also don't forget to check James Shore's link.
    – eestein
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 13:41
  • 1
    Many thanks but isn't there any online resource? Actually what is the accepted term for "releasing software for groups"? Is it the "gradual release process"? thx Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 14:11

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