What is Compatibility Testing?

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After reading about configuration testing, usually few people merge configuration concept with compatibility testing. But compatibility testing is an altogether different way of identifying the defects.  Compatibility Testing is a non-functional type of testing and performed to ensure the application’s behavior within various environments.

Usually, testing team prefer to perform this testing on the available devices. They take the calculated risk as if target audience using a different type of device for operating the application was not a part of the testing environment. If those target audiences are not able to operate the application on their device, you may lose the major chunk of you target audience.


Following things need to verify while doing compatibility.


  • The user can use the developed application on different systems and use them.
  • Different screen resolution, screen size, various OS should not impact the application behavior.
  • The application must be tested against different hardware devices like headphone, graphics card, etc.
  • Different browsers and their versions are also considered while putting efforts on compatibility testing.


Types of Compatibility Testing


Forward Compatibility

This is the way of developing the software so that it should fulfill the need of its future versions. Forward compatibility testing usually looks into the system or developed the program to ensure that it should work satisfactory way in future as well with new versions of software or hardware.


Backward Compatibility

When we develop the new version of the product it should work with old version of the product in a smooth manner, the testing we perform to make it sure is called backward compatibility. Usually achieving backward compatibility is quite easy as compared to forward compatibility. For making product forward compatible we need to assume or guess about the feature but in backward compatible testing we know the older version of the software.

Out of two compatibility type, backward compatibility is mostly used because organization releases the new version and the new version should be compatible with the old version.


               Example: Backward compatible document writer software will allow you to modify the documents created in an older version of document writer. Usually, organizations should keep their new versions backward compatible. But the organization also ignore the backward compatibility in order to take the advantage of latest technologies.


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