Compatibility testing is a part of non-functional testing conducted on application software to ensure the application's compatibility with different browsers, database, hardware, operating system, mobile devices, and networks. The application could also impact due to different versions, resolution, internet speed and configuration etc. Hence it’s important to test the application in all possible manners to reduce failures and overcome from embarrassments of bug’s leakage.
Types of Compatibility testing
Backward compatibility Testing is to verify the behaviour of the developed hardware/software with the older versions of the hardware/software.
Forward compatibility Testing is to verify the behaviour of the developed hardware/software with the newer versions of the hardware/software.
It checks software to be compatible with different hardware configurations.
It checks your software to be compatible with different Operating Systems like Windows, Unix, Mac OS etc.
It checks you’re developed software to be compatible with other software. For example, MS Word application should be compatible with other software like MS Outlook, MS Excel, VBA etc.
Evaluation of performance of a system in a network with varying parameters such as Bandwidth, Operating speed, Capacity. It also checks applications in different networks with all parameters mentioned earlier.
It checks the compatibility of your website with different browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer etc.
It checks compatibility of your software with different devices like USB port Devices, Printers and Scanners, Other media devices and Bluetooth.
Checking your software is compatible with mobile platforms like Android, iOS etc.
It is verifying your software application to be compatible with different versions of the software. For instance checking your Microsoft Word to be compatible with Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 7 SP2, Windows 7 SP3.
Process involved in Compatibility Testing
The following steps ensure that your IT team optimizes the compatibility testing process:
- The initial step is to define the set of platforms or environments that the application is expected to work on.
- Different configurations or test cases are designed in the second step. The tester must be experienced and must have in-depth knowledge of different platforms / software / hardware to easily understand the application’s behavior in different configurations.
- Test cases or environments to test an application’s compatibility with different platforms, networks, and devices in different configurations are established in this step.
- Lastly, the results are analyzed to report the bugs and fix the defects, if any. Typical defects revealed through compatibility testing include: changes in user interface (UI), font size, alignment and formatting, CSS color and style, scrolling, display of content or labels, presentation of tables etc.
Pro’s and Con’s
- It helps to detect errors in the software product before it is delivered to the end users.
- Reduces the future help desk cost, which is mainly incurred for providing relevant and required customer support for various compatibility issues.
- Helps test the product’s scalability, stability, and usability.
- With the assistance of compatibility testing, the team can validate that the software meets the business and user requirements and is optimized for quality.
- Ensures there is no loss of business if a potential customer visits an organization on any platform.
- Validates optimum user experience and 100% customer satisfaction.
- Compatibility testing will lead to a rise in cost of production and time.
- Test delays are common with compatibility testing, which may eventually result in prolonged delivery schedules.
- Any testing for quality will add to the cost of production or development.