Introduction to Compatibility Testing
Compatibility testing is a non-functional testing technique, which is generally performed to validate and verify the compatibility of the developed software product or website with various other objects, such as other web browsers, hardware platforms, operating systems, mobile devices, network environments etc. It is performed during the early stages of quality assurance. Compatibility testing enables the team to ensure that the compatibility requirements requested by the client are fulfilled and inbuilt in the end-product.
Compatibility testing enables the team to deliver a software product that works seamlessly across various configurations of the software’s computing environments and offers consistent experience and performance across all platforms.
Need of Compatibility Testing
In today’s market, expectations on quality standards and compatibility with complete ecosystem of device / browser / OS is high from software applications. This is achieved through opting for compatibility testing which detects any errors before the product is delivered to the end-user. Testing confirms that the product meets all the end-user requirements.
The quality product in turn improves the reputation of the firm and propels the company to success. It also improves the sales and marketing efforts that bring delight to the customer. In addition, compatibility testing also confirms the workability and stability of the software that is of much importance before its release.
Testing confirms that the product meets all the end-user requirements.In addition, compatibility testing also confirms the workability and stability of the software.
Categories of Compatibility Testing
In hardware compatibility testing, it checks if software is compatible with different hardware configurations.
It checks if software is compatible with different operating systems such as Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac OS, etc.
It checks if developed software is compatible with other software. For example, MS Word application is compatible with other software like MS Outlook, MS Excel, etc.
It checks the performance of a software in a network with varying parameters such as Bandwidth, Operating Speed, Capacity, etc.
It checks the compatibility of website with different browsers like Firefox, Googel Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.
It checks the compatibility of the software with different devices like USB Port Devices, Printers & Scanenrs, other media devices, and Bluetooth.
It checks if software is compatible with mobile platforms like Android, iOS, etc.
It verifies the compatibility across various versions of OS across devices.
Categories of Compatibility Testing
Backward Compatibility Testing
It is a technique to verify the behavior and compatibility of the developed hardware or software with their older versions of the hardware or software. Backward compatibility testing is much predictable as all the changes from the previous versions are known.
Forward Compatibility Testing
It is a process to verify the behavior and compatibility of the developed hardware or software with the newer versions of the hardware or software. Forward compatibility testing is a bit hard to predict as the changes that will be made in the newer versions are not known.
Compatibility Testing Process
- Design Test Cases & Configuration:
During this stage of the process, team designs different test cases & configurations.
- Establish Test Cases & Environment:
Team establishes the environment for testing, wherein the compatibility of software will be tested and verified.
- Result Analysis & Reporting:
Any defect, issue, bug or discrepancies noticed by the team during this phase is recorded and reported.
- Rectification & Retesting:
The responsible team rectifies and resolves the issue and retests the software, to validate the accuracy of the process.
- Modifications or changes in the UI.
- Any changes in the font size.
- Issues related to alignment can hamper the effectiveness as well as the compatibility of the software.
- Changes in the CSS Style and color.
- Any broken or incomplete tables or frames in the software.
- Defects or issues related to scrollbar.
Benefits of Compatibility Testing
- It helps to detect errors in the software product before it is delivered to the end users.
- Improves the process of software development, as it tackles all compatibility related issues.
- Team can validate that the software meets the business and user requirements and is optimized for quality.
- It reduces the future help desk cost, mainly incurred for customer support for various compatibility issues.
- It helps to test the product’s scalability, stability, and usability.
- It ensures there is no loss of business if a potential customer visits an organization on any platform.
Compatibility in IoT
IoT is growing in many different directions, with many different technologies competing to become the standard. It is important to check Hardware-Software compatibility in the IOT system as there are lots of devices which can be connected through the IOT system.
These devices have varied software and hardware configuration, protocol, product versions and OS. Therefore, the possible combinations are huge.
Popular tools which can ease the compatibility testing process are:
- Ranorex Studio
- Turbo Browser Sandbox
pCloudy is our own Compatibility Testing platform that helps user to perform testing on more than 5000 device-browser combinations. (For more details refer https://www.pcloudy.com)
Selenium Grid helps to run automated scripts on the Selenium grid of desktop browsers and real mobile devices.
The main intention behind compatibility testing is to make sure that the software is working fine in different kind of platform/software/configuration/ browsers/ hardware etc.
Performing testing compatibility will reduce the gross error of the software. Thus, this comparatively inexpensive process is a boon to ensure that your product is a success