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Beta Software Testing Agreement (Own Equipment)


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This Beta Software Testing Agreement (Own Equipment) has been designed to cater for a focussed closed beta test. The agreement is between a software developer and a specific company for the beta testing of a particular software product.

Testing is an essential part of the software development process. Whether the software in question is a new version constructed from the ground up or a simple patch or service pack, it must be tested on a range of different computers in order to identify bugs, errors, flaws or shortcomings. In-house testing is important, but cannot allow the developer to adequately assess the software’s performance in the real world. This is where beta testing comes in. Often beta testing is done in the form of an “open beta”. Users will generally download the software for free, subject to terms and conditions (and usually an in-built time limitation). For software that is more specialised however, a “closed” format may be preferred.

Under this agreement, the tester is supplied with the software free of charge and is required to select suitable employees to carry out testing in the course of their normal duties. Reporting obligations are included, requiring the tester to collect information from its employees with a view to compiling regular reports for the developer.

This template has been designed to protect the developer from potential liability for data loss, damage to computer systems and similar factors. The tester is made aware in clear terms that the beta software is provided “as is” and may put their computers at risk. By entering into the agreement, the tester accepts such risks.

Confidentiality and non-disclosure are an important part of any product development process. Obligations of confidentiality are imposed by this agreement, covering information directly relating to the software and to any additional documentation arising under the agreement.

Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.

An alternative version of this agreement is available which includes a provision for the loan of computer equipment by the developer to the tester. Further beta testing documents are available, designed for use as terms and conditions accompanying more “open” beta programmes.

This Beta Software Testing Agreement (Own Equipment) contains the following clauses:

1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Nature of the Agreement
3. Licence and Use of Software
4. Disclaimer of Warranties and Liability
5. Beta Test Period
6. Software Updates
7. Reports and Feedback
8. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure
9. Termination
10. Notices
11. Relationship of Parties
12. Assignment
13. Severance
14. Entire Agreement
15. Law and Jurisdiction

And the following Schedule:

1. Beta Testing Report

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