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Compatibility Testing - Definition, Types, Tools Used

What is Compatibility Testing

  • Compatibility testing is to check whether your software is capable of running on different hardware, operating systems, applications , network environments or mobile devices.
  • Compatibility Testing is a type of the Non-functional testing
  • Initial phase of compatibility testing is to define the set of environments or platforms the application is expected to work on.
  • Tester should have enough knowledge on the platforms / software / hardware to understand the expected application behavior under different configurations.
  • Environment needs to be set-up for testing with different platforms, devices, networks to check whether your application runs well under different configurations.
  • Report the bugs .Fix the defects. Re-test to confirm defect fixing.


Types of Compatibility testing :

  • Hardware
  • Operating Systems
  • Software
  • Network
  • Browser
  • Devices
  • Mobile
  • Versions of the software
Let’s look into compatibility testing types briefly.

Hardware : It checks software to be compatible with different hardware configurations .

Operating Systems: It checks your software to be compatible with different Operating Systems like Windows , Unix , Mac OS etc.

Software: It checks your developed software to be compatible with other software’s.For example: MS Word application should be compatible with other softwares like MS Outlook,MS Excel , VBA etc.

Network: Evaluation of performance of system In network with varying parameters such as Bandwidth, Operating speed, Capacity. It also checks application in different networks with all parameters mentioned earlier.

Browser: It checks compatibility of your website with different browsers like Firefox , Google Chrome , Internet Explorer etc.

Devices : It checks compatibility of your software with different devices like USB port Devices, Printers and Scanners, Other media devices and Blue tooth.

Mobile: Checking you software is compatible with mobile platforms like Android , iOS etc.

Versions of the software: It is verifying you software application to be compatible with different versions of software.For instance checking your Microsoft Word to be compatible with Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1 , Windows 7 SP 2 , Windows 7 SP 3.

There are two types of version checking.

  • Types of Version Checking

    • Backward compatibility Testing
    • Forward compatibility Testing
Backward compatibility Testing : is to verify the behavior of the developed hardware/software with the older versions of the hardware/software.

Forward compatibility Testing : is to verify the behavior of the developed hardware/software with the newer versions of the hardware/software.

Tools for compatibility testing

  • Adobe Browser Lab – Browser Compatibility Testing - This tool helps check your application in different browsers.
  • Secure Platform – Hardware Compatibility tool - This tools includes necessary drivers for a specific hardware platform and it provides information on tool to check for CD burning process with CD burning tools.
  • Virtual Desktops - Operating System Compatibility - This is used to run the applications in multiple operating systems as virtual machines. N Number of systems can be connected and compare the results.


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