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What do we mean by "alpha"?

  • build a prototype of the service
  • test the prototype with users
  • demonstrate that the service is technically possible
  • We use our experience building prototypes in the alpha to:

find problems with the design of the service and decide how to solve them

  • make some estimates about how much the service will cost
  • identify the biggest risks for the beta stage, as early as possible

By the end of alpha we aim to know:

  • whether to move the service into the beta phase
  • what we need to build in beta if we move into beta

Is my data safe?

In the alpha phase we will still have appropriate data safety and integrity measures such as snapshots and backups. We do not intend to delete data between the alpha and beta phases.

How long will the service last?

As part of the alpha phase, we need to demonstrate that the service is useful, affordable and provides value to a good number of users. If this cannot be demonstrated we would not proceed to a beta phase.

The requirements for leaving alpha are not time-based. When we have reached the aims listed above we will decide if the service is to be taken forward to beta.

Will the service be stable?

During the alpha phase of any service we intend to run it with the same level of resiliance as any production service.