Frequently Asked Questions About Beta Testing

What are the requirements to be a beta tester?

No special skills are required for beta testing except that we prefer people who are reasonably comfortable with computers, and not complete novices. Beta testers just test the software by using it in the ordinary way – i.e. in a ‘real world’ context. You will need to be able to download files from the Internet, and you will need to have email access. You will need to have an account with the Family Historian User Group website ( as we will use special beta forums in this site for beta testing purposes. For Family Historian version 5 beta testing you will need to have an installed, licensed copy of version 4.

What happens after I complete the application form?

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application. Later hopefully you will receive another email confirming that you have been accepted as a beta tester. You will not normally start beta testing immediately. Beta testing usually happens shortly before a new version of the product is about to be released. At that point you will be notified by email that there is a new version that needs to be beta tested. A special beta version of the program will be made available to you to download and install, so that you can try it out.

How long does beta testing last?

A new version of the software is typically beta tested for a few weeks prior to a release. If significant bugs are found, there may be more than one beta test version before the product is ready to be released. Major upgrades are typically “in beta” (i.e. in the beta testing stage) for longer than smaller upgrades.

How much of my time is it likely to take up?

We would hope if you sign up as a beta tester that you can find the time to put in an hour to two a week (or more) during each beta test period. Most of that time would be spent just using the program. We will explain how you report any bugs you may find when you sign up.

Will there be opportunities to communicate with other beta testers?

Yes. We will explain how it all works when you are contacted, when beta testing is about to start. You will need to be a member of the Family Historian User Group website ( if you aren’t already. Its free.

What if I sign up, but can’t do do any testing come the point because I’m away or too busy?

You aren’t required to make a firm commitment to actually do any testing. Please don’t sign up if you’re unlikely to have the time to help out in practice. But if you sign up and find that come the point, you don’t have time, or you’re away, that’s OK.

What state will the beta version of the software be in? Will it be full of bugs?

Absolutely not. We do a great deal of testing prior to releasing beta versions. Beta testing is the last ‘layer’ of testing if you like.

Can I stop being a beta tester whenever I want to?

Yes of course. In the ordinary way of things, we will keep you on our records and notify you by email whenever there is a new release that needs to be beta tested. If you decide at any point that you don’t want to do any beta testing any more, you can email us and we will remove you from our list of registered beta testers.

Is there a reward of any kind for doing this?

I’m afraid not. You get to help make Family Historian a better product, but that’s it.

Go Back to Main Beta-Testing Page.