What is Software Compatibility Testing?
Computer has become an essential part of our lives. Several software applications have been developed to help tech people in their careers, work, shop, and in many other actions. Online purchasing is very common now days. While selling the product or software, online seller has to keep in mind that the product he is selling should be bug free otherwise seller might lose business and reputation while buyer of the software may waste his or her money in buying defective software.
To endure the competitive market, it is a necessity that the software or applications you provide to buyers are worth it the amount they are paying. To deliver the good quality product it is very important the application or software goes through different stages of the development in terms of quality, compatibility, reliability and delivery.
What is Software compatibility?
Compatibility is the ability of living and work together without any discrepancy. Compatible software applications also work on same setups. For example, if Google.com site is compatible, then it should open in all browsers and operating system.
What is Software Compatibility Testing?
Compatibility is a non- functional testing to ensure customer satisfaction. It is to determine whether your software application or product is proficient enough to run in different browsers, database, hardware, operating system, mobile devices and networks. 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. As a Non- functional tests, Compatibility testing is to endorse that the application runs properly in different browsers, versions, OS and networks successfully.
Compatibility test should always perform on real environment instead of virtual environment.
Test the compatibility of application with different browsers and operating systems to guarantee 100% coverage.
Types of Software compatibility testing:
- Browser compatibility testing
- Mobile Devices
- Operating System
Browser compatibility testing
it is very popular in compatibility testing. It is to check the compatibility of the software application on different browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera etc.
it is to check the application/ software compatibility with the different hardware configurations.
it is to check the application in different network like 3G, WIFI etc.
it is to check if the application is compatible with the mobile devices and their platforms like android, iOS, windows etc.
it is to check if application is compatible with different Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, Mac etc.
It is important to test the software applications in different versions of the software. There are two different types of version inspection.
– Backward Compatibility Testing– Testing of the application or software in old or previous versions. It is also known as downward compatible.
– Forward Compatibility Testing-Testing of the application or software in new or upcoming versions. It is also known as forward compatible
Why we perform Compatibility testing?
Compatibility testing is to check the application working in same way for all platforms. Usually dev team and testing team test the application in the single platform. But the once application released in the production, customer may test our product in different platform and they may find bugs in the application which is not worthy in terms of quality. To reduce such issues and not to upset your customers it is important to test the application in all platforms.
When should perform Compatibility testing?
When build gets stable enough to test then we should perform compatibility testing.
Common Compatibility testing defects
- Changes in UI ( look and feel)
- Change in font size
- Alignment related issues
- Change in CSS style and color
- Scroll bar related issues
- Content or label overlapping
- Broken tables or Frames
Pick what to test as compatibility testing
Make a note of most important testing parameter for your application where you feel application can behave weirdly. Decide versions of browsers, operating systems and devices where you would like to test your application. Best practice is to analyze the requirement and cross check with the client or customer for browser matrix. Let customer decide which all browsers, OS and version they would like us to test the application.
With the help of Google Analytic or alternative type of statistical analysis system setup on your application can give you the clear statistics of the widely used browser with their version and operating system.
Select pages to test
Filter out the main urls, pages of your application. Selection of the pages totally depends on your application. You would require considering the majorly used modules as a part of compatibility testing. If your application consists of certain template format, its fine if you consider that only as a part of compatibility testing.
How to perform Compatibility testing?
- Test the application in same browsers but in different versions. For e.g. to test the compatibility of site ebay.com. Download different versions of Firefox and install them one by one and test the ebay site. Ebay site should behave equally same in each version.
- Test the application in different browsers but in different versions. For e.g. testing of site ebay.com in different available browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera etc.
The use of compatibility testing is to make sure the software application is working fine in all aspects like browsers, database, hardware, operating system, mobile devices and networks. Make a pattern to test your application in equal interval of time to confirm browser and operating system compatibility.