What is Software Compatibility Testing?

Compatibility Testing Tutorial:

The computer has become an essential part of our lives. Several software applications have been developed to help teach people in their careers, work, shopping, and in many other actions.

Online purchasing is very common nowadays. While selling the product or software, the 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 the 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 the amount they are paying. To deliver a good quality product it is very important the application or software goes through different stages of development in terms of quality, compatibility, reliability, and delivery.

Compatibility Testing

What is Software compatibility?

Compatibility is the ability to live and work together without any discrepancy. Compatible software applications also work on the same setup. For example, if the Google.com site is compatible, then it should open in all browsers and operating systems.

What is Software Compatibility Testing?

Compatibility is 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, databases, hardware, operating system, mobile devices, and networks.

The 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 embarrassments of bug leakage. As a Non- functional test, Compatibility testing is to endorse that the application runs properly in different browsers, versions, OS, and networks successfully.

Compatibility tests should always perform in a real environment instead of a virtual environment.

Test the compatibility of the application with different browsers and operating systems to guarantee 100% coverage.

Types of Software Compatibility Testing

  • Browser compatibility testing
  • Hardware
  • Networks
  • Mobile Devices
  • Operating System
  • Versions

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, Opera, etc.


It is to check the application/ software compatibility with the different hardware configurations.


It is to check the application in a different network like 3G, WIFI, etc.

Mobile Devices

It is to check if the application is compatible with mobile devices and their platforms like android, iOS, windows, etc.

Operating Systems

It is to check if the application is compatible with different Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.

Software Compatibility Testing 3


It is important to test 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 Do We perform Compatibility Testing?

Compatibility testing is to check whether the application working in the same way for all platforms.

Usually, the dev team and testing team test the application on a single platform. But the once application is released in production, the customer may test our product on a different platform and they may find bugs in the application which is not worthy in terms of quality.

To reduce such issues and not upset your customers it is important to test the application on all platforms.

When Should Perform Compatibility Testing?

When the build gets stable enough to test then we should perform compatibility testing.

Common Compatibility testing defects

  • Changes in UI ( look and feel)
  • Change in a 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

Software Compatibility Testing 4

Make a note of the most important testing parameter for your application where you feel the application can behave weirdly. Decide versions of browsers, operating systems, and devices where you would like to test your application.

The best practice is to analyze the requirement and cross-check with the client or customer for the browser matrix. Let the customer decide which all browsers, OS, and versions they would like us to test the application.

With the help of Google Analytics or an alternative type of statistical analysis system set up on your application can give you clear statistics of the widely used browser with their version and operating system.

Select pages to test

Filter out the main urls, and pages of your application. The 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 a certain template format, it’s fine if you consider that only as a part of compatibility testing.

How to perform Compatibility testing?

Test the application in the same browsers but in different versions. For Example, to test the compatibility of the site ebay.com. Download different versions of Firefox and install them one by one and test the eBay site. eBay site should behave equally the same in each version.

Test the application in different browsers but in different versions. For Example, 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 of browsers, databases, hardware, operating system, mobile devices, and networks. Make a pattern to test your application in equal intervals of time to confirm browser and operating system compatibility.