The release of a software product is frequently done in stages by the development team. In order to share and incorporate ideas, suggestions, and changes before a final product is made available to the broader public, it is frequently practiced to ask for feedback and counsel from a community. Alpha is the first step in this kind of manufacturing process (also known as the software release life cycle), and it consists of the very first version of a simple, fundamental software or product. The software is put through a number of tests during the alpha stage, beginning the production and feedback loop. It is an important milestone for development teams since it permits some product iteration, which in turn gives developers more knowledge about the effectiveness and caliber of the software. Both open alpha and closed alpha product launches are options available to software development organizations. Any person can use a website, like Github, during an open alpha and download the source code to test the just published product. A different choice is to develop a "invite only" alpha, where only a select few users are permitted to access and test the product. Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, an open alpha might be able to gather information from a far wider sample, while a closed alpha to a select group might enable the team to gain direct input from particular target demographics. Consequently, a closed alpha may be helpful when interacting with the initial group of users that the company hopes to reach with the software's final release. Depending on the approach taken, the team can use a variety of testing techniques to gather insightful data on the product's usability and quality, which can then be used to inspire future product enhancements. However, in many instances, access to the alpha stage is restricted to the company's engineers and staff, and the beta stage is the only time the software is made accessible for testing by the general public.