Did you know that there are a number of different development stages of our software? Which one you use will be dependent on your needs and your interaction with EFILive.
The alpha phase of the release life cycle is the first phase of software testing (alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, used as the number 1). In this phase, our developers generally test the software as the code is being written. Alpha software can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss, so the primary function of internal testing is to eliminate as many issues as possible before the software is integrated and released external to EFILive staff. At this point of the development cycle features for a release have been determined and cut-off.
The second phase of software testing is called the beta phase (beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet, used as number 2), and this is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the confines of EFILive. Software in the beta phase will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software and it's focus is reducing impacts to end users, so real-life usability testing is our highest priority. Often beta files are not in an installation package like public release downloads, instead beta testers extract a range of files and save them to specific locations for testing purposes. EFILive has an extensive team of beta testers who are very familiar with our software so that they can provide detailed technical feedback. In many cases beta testers run multiple computers, multiple software versions and multiple FlashScanV2/AutoCal devices for thorough testing purposes and to ensure should an unintended issue arise in beta, that they have a Public release version on hand to continue to meet their customers needs.
A release candidate (RC) is one step up from beta software and has the potential to be a final product unless significant bugs emerge (no Greek alphabet used here!). This is a stage of product stabilization, and files are packaged as a single installation. The code and new features along with existing features have been tested thoroughly through one or more beta cycles with no known showstopper type bugs. Release Candidates are generally available publicly via links on our forum, however contain warnings that if users cannot tolerate failure, then they should not rely on this release. At RC stage, the development team agrees that no entirely new source code will be added, however there could still be source code changes to fix defects, changes to documentation and data files.
Public release is the finished product, and as the name implies is publicly available without any known issues. Customers should take comfort in knowing that for software to reach this point it had been tested over and over (and over!) by a variety of different users at a variety of different testing levels and has become our stable base on which the next round of development will be built on.
Of course, all stages of the software life cycle run concurrently, and given how often enhancements are made it's important for customers to stay up to date to receive the latest features and for EFILive to continue to offer exceptional support....which is the primary reason why our first line support response is "Please ensure you are running the latest Public Release software."
So where are we at right now? Well in Pre-Alpha we have a list of features we plan on developing support for - CSP for Cummins 6.7L sits in this category right now. In alpha, we continue to work on V8 software functionality, 03-05 Cummins support along with E39A support. In beta, our testers are working on our Cummins 5.9L EDA functions, CSP operating systems, high RPM features and overhead chime fixes. Our latest release candidate software has been updated twice in the last 2 weeks and features our new V8 Scan Tool software which will form our forthcoming Public Release.
Our latest public release, June 22nd, 2012 contains updates for V7 software, V8 software and firmware, and can be downloaded from the download icon, or click on the Downloads link at the top of this email. Release Candidate software can be downloaded from our forum.