Compatibility Testing: Everything You Need to Know [ Definition, Types, Process & Tools]

Compatibility Testing

Currently, there is a lot that has been spoken about compatibility testing. The problem today is that people have half knowledge about the same, but there is a lot to know about this topic in reality. Hence, if you are looking forward to gaining more insights into compatibility testing, this is the right place for you.

What is Compatibility Testing?

Ideally, compatibility testing is a software type that checks if one’s software can run on various hardware, systems, network environments, applications, or mobile devices. Once the application gets stable, you can move to production; and you can access and use it by several users on various platforms. When you face issues, you can avoid these by doing some compatibility testing.

CT 1

Types of Compatibility Testing:

Software Compatibility Testing: Ideally, there are multiple operating systems, including Linux, Mac, or Windows, and check your software compatibility on different versions of operating systems including Windows 7, Win98, Windows 10, etc. it can also work for various browsers, including Firefox, Google Chrome. 

Hardware Compatibility Testing: The app is compatible with various sizes, including RAM, hard disk, graphic card, processor, etc.

Browser Compatibility Testing: This involves checking whether the application works properly across different web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.

Mobile Compatibility Testing- You need to check the app’s compatibility with various mobile platforms, including Android and iOS.

Network Compatibility Testing: You also need to check your software’s compatibility in different network parameters, including bandwidth, operating speed, or capacity. It helps detect issues related to network protocols, bandwidth, latency, and connection reliability.

Version Compatibility Testing: This type of testing involves checking if software applications work correctly on different versions of the same software or hardware. It helps identify issues related to backward compatibility, forward compatibility, and version-specific bugs. It is further divided into two types-

Backward Compatibility Testing

It is a technique to check the behavior and compatibility of your developed hardware or software with their previous versions of software besides hardware. Back compatibility testing is entirely predictable as almost all alterations from previous versions of your hardware or software. Therefore, backward compatibility testing is predictable as several changes are known.

Forward compatibility testing

It is a technique to check your developed hardware or software compatibility with the latest hardware or software versions. Forward compatibility testing is quite challenging to predict some changes made in the latest versions that aren’t known.

Desktop, Tablet and Mobile illustration showing Compatibility Testing

How to do Compatibility Testing?

When it comes to doing compatibility testing, it is no rocket science. People do have assumptions about the fact that compatibility testing is challenging. However, the truth is, follow the right steps and you will see the simplicity of compatible testing.

Follow these steps to do compatibility testing: 

  • The starting phase under compatibility testing is to define some platforms or environments the application is expected to work with.
  • The tester is has plenty of knowledge of platforms or software besides hardware to understand the behaviour expected under various configurations.
  • The environment tends to be set for testing with various devices, platforms, and networks to check if their app runs perfectly under multiple configurations.
  • You need to report the bugs besides fixing defects. So, retest the defect fixing to confirm it.

Tools for Compatibility Testing:

Here is a list of some of the prominent standard testing tools, which you should be aware of:

  • Lambda test is an open-source browser testing equipment tool available in the cloud. By using this tool, you can test your web app on several mobile or desktop browsers. In addition, Lambda Test has a screenshot feature that allows you to take full-page screenshots of the web page. Under this feature, you can also test applications on several real browsers, and you have different mobile or desktop browsers options to check the browser’s compatibility with your app.
  • Browser stack- This feature allows you to test your mobile apps or website’s compatibility over several browsers or platforms. Under this set, you can test your web application in different browsers and mobile apps, including android or iOS in all the mobile apps. The primary products of the tools include App Automate, Live, Automate besides App Live. These tools help you to minimize price and time besides maintenance overhead.
  • Browser Email- the tool can run the application on various operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows, besides its cross-browser testing tool. It tests the app on several mobile browsers and desktops. You can use it directly on the local machine in the same local network. You can also perform regression or visual testing without any delays in the network.
  • Testing bot- The tool mainly helps you perform the test on several browsers, including Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. under this, you can easily compare various screenshots from several browsers and platforms. You can also check the responsive layout of any app. it will give you several browser versions for quick automated testing.

Read also: 15 Amazing Automation Testing Tools to Ease Your Testing Journey

Step-by-step Process of Compatibility Testing:

If done rightly, and step-by-step then the process of compatible testing is easy and here is how it goes:

  • First, you need to provide your functional requirement besides non-functional requirement.
  • After submitting your requirements, the base platform will choose the most commonly used platform.
  • Then, the test engineer will start testing the functionality on your base platform until your app is functional.
  • You can use the VM server for compatibility testing to install the required operating system and browsers. Besides that, you need to access your server using the remote desktop connection.
  • The test engineer will check the compatibility remotely and stem the flow from end to end. So it will go until the app tends to stabilise or is working perfectly for all the essential functions. 

Hence, the above-mentioned points covered details about compatible testing and how you can actually inculcate it.