Compatibility testing

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Compatibility testing, part of software non-functional tests, is testing conducted on the application to evaluate the application's compatibility with the computing environment. Computing environment may contain some or all of the below mentioned elements:

  • Computing capacity of Hardware Platform (IBM 360, HP 9000, etc.)..
  • Bandwidth handling capacity of networking hardware
  • Compatibility of peripherals (Printer, DVD drive, etc.)
  • Operating systems (Linux, Windows, Mac etc.)
  • Database (Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, etc.)
  • Other System Software (Web server, networking/ messaging tool, etc.)
  • Browser compatibility (Chrome, Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.)

Browser compatibility testing, can be more appropriately referred to as user experience testing. This requires that the web applications are tested on different web browsers, to ensure the following:

  • Users have the same visual experience irrespective of the browsers through which they view the web application.
  • In terms of functionality, the application must behave and respond the same way across different browsers.
  • Carrier compatibility (Verizon, Sprint, Orange, O2, AirTel, etc.)
  • Backwards compatibility.
  • Hardware (different phones)
  • Different Compilers (compile the code correctly)
  • Runs on multiple host/guest Emulators

Certification testing falls within the scope of compatibility testing. Product Vendors run the complete suite of testing on the newer computing environment to get their application certified for a specific Operating Systems or Databases.