Compatibility Testing

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Compatibility Testing in SDLC

In this article, I am going to discuss Compatibility Testing in SDLC. Please read our previous article where we discussed Usability Testing. At the end of this article, you will understand the following important pointers which are related to Compatibility Testing in SDLC.

  1. What is Compatibility Testing?
  2. What Happens During Compatibility Testing?
  3. When Do We Use Compatibility Testing?
  4. What is the Importance of Compatibility Testing?
  5. What are the Possible Compatibility Testing Defects?
  6. Compatibility Testing Tools
  7. Different Types of Compatibility Testing in SDLC
  8. Process of Compatibility Testing in SDLC
  9. Example of Compatibility Testing in SDLC
  10. What are the Advantages of Compatibility Testing?
  11. What are the Disadvantages of Compatibility Testing?
What is Compatibility Testing?

Software testing known as compatibility testing, which falls under the non-functional testing category, is done on a program to examine its compatibility (ability to run on various platforms and environments). Only after the application has stabilized will it be tested again.

Simply put, the purpose of this compatibility test is to assess the functionality of the developed software application across a variety of networks, browsers, hardware platforms, software, etc. This compatibility testing is essential from the perspective of product development and implementation because it helps to avoid compatibility issues in the future.

What Happens During Compatibility Testing?

We provide the range of contexts or platforms that the application is expected to operate in when we conduct compatibility testing. The next step is to create a test plan to identify the application’s most critical problems so that they can be tested first. The environment, including devices like computers, cellphones, tablets, etc., must be configured to reflect what the end user would encounter.

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Additionally, the tester needs to be well-versed in a variety of operating systems, pieces of hardware, and software, as well as how each of these elements functions in various scenarios. Once the environment has been set up, the tests can be run, and any errors or flaws should be reported.

When Do We Use Compatibility Testing?

We perform one round of compatibility testing before moving the program into production so that it can be used or accessed by multiple users on various systems without encountering compatibility problems.

What is the Importance of Compatibility Testing?
  • To make sure the relevant program can live up to expectations for various models and devices, a compatibility test is carried out.
  • Verify an application’s compatibility with operating systems, networks, databases, browsers, hardware, and other components.
  • The more effective method to assess application behavior in various contexts
  • In order to improve application speed, robust compatibility testing highlights usability and security features.
  • An easy way to spot flaws before the official product debut
  • Delivery of error-free software applications that can ensure your business’s success.
What are the Possible Compatibility Testing Defects?

During the process of doing compatibility testing, the following potential flaws could be discovered:

  • Alterations in font size
  • UI (user interface) changes, such as those to the design and feel
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) style and color changes
  • Problem with the scroll bar
  • Alignment problems with the content
  • Conflicting labeling or content
  • Shattered frames or tables
Explain Compatibility Testing Tools

Both manual and automated testing can be used for compatibility testing. The market has the following popular tools for testing compatibility:

  1. CrossBrowserTesting – The SmartBear Company is the maker of CrossBrowserTesting. They provide services including automated testing on more than 2050 browsers, visual testing, and live testing. They provide a seven-day free trial as well as other purchasing options. Test scripts for Selenium and Appium are supported.
  2. Ghostlab – Glostlab enables simultaneous testing of a website across several browsers and mobile devices. You can get a 7-day trial version of it. Interestingly, in addition to credit cards and Paypal, they also take Bitcoin payments.
  3. BrowserStack: With the help of BrowserStack, users may test their applications across more than 2000 actual hardware and web browser combinations. They provide a free trial as well as other purchasing options. Selenium is also supported.
  4. LambdaTest – With its tools for automated testing, live testing, visual testing, and responsiveness testing, LambdaTest supports more than 2000 operating systems and browsers. Along with one basic, free plan for a lifetime, they offer several pricing options.
  5. Ranorex Studio, a GUI test automation framework, was created by Ranorex GmbH. It accommodates selenium.
Explain Different Types of Compatibility Testing in SDLC

Below are a few illustrations of compatibility testing:

Different Types of Compatibility Testing in SDLC

  • Software: Software refers to multiple operating systems (Linux, Windows, and Mac), as well as checking the compatibility of the software with different operating systems versions like Win98, Windows 7, Windows 10, Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8, UNIX, Ubuntu, and Mac. Additionally, there are two different versions of compatibility testing that we offer:
  1. Forward Compatibility: Test the software or application on the newest or most recent versions via forward compatibility testing. For example, the most recent versions of the operating systems are Win 7, Win 8, Win 8.1, and Win 10.
  2. Backward Compatibility: Backward compatibility testing is done on earlier or older versions of the software or application. For example, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, and several browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome.
  • Hardware: The application can run on devices of various sizes, including those with RAM, hard drives, processors, graphic cards, etc.
  • Mobile: Verify the app’s compatibility with mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, etc.
  • Network: Examining the software’s compatibility with the various network factors, such as the operating speed, bandwidth, and capacity.
Explain the Process of Compatibility Testing in SDLC

Software testing must include compatibility testing, which aims to ensure that a system or software application works properly across various contexts, platforms, browsers, and devices. It guarantees that the software is appropriate for the target market and performs as planned. Compatibility testing often goes through the following phases:

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Process of Compatibility Testing in SDLC

  1. Planning: During this stage, the compatibility testing’s scope and test objectives are established. Based on the target market and market research, target platforms, browsers, devices, or operating systems are selected. During this stage, test cases and test data are also planned.
  2. Environment Setup: The infrastructure, software, and hardware required to build the testing environment are installed. This could entail setting up numerous operating systems, browsers, and other necessary programs on diverse hardware or virtual environments.
  3. Design of the Tests: The test cases are made to cover a variety of operating systems, browsers, devices, and other pertinent elements. The objective is to make sure there is enough coverage to find any compatibility problems. Functionality, user interface rendering, performance, security, and other elements particular to the target platforms may all be tested.
  4. Execution of Test Cases: In this stage, the designed test cases are run on the cited platforms, browsers, and gadgets. To ensure compatibility, the program or system is tested in a variety of configurations. During this phase, testers may run into problems like layout errors, inconsistent functionality, or performance degradation.
  5. Reporting Compatibility Issues: When compatibility problems are found, they are reported and recorded in a bug-tracking system or issue management tool. The issues are explained in full, including the platform, browser, and procedures for reproducing the issue. The development team uses this information to better understand and resolve issues.
  6. Resolution of Issues: The development team looks into and resolves any compatibility issues as soon as they are reported. To ensure compatibility with the specified platforms, they could alter the software code, configurations, or other elements. Tests are conducted on the fixes to confirm their efficacy.
  7. Retesting: To make sure that the fixes did not cause any new compatibility problems or regressions, the program is retested after the problems have been fixed. The issues that were previously noted are verified to make sure they have been properly fixed.
  8. Final Reporting: After all required tests have been finished and any errors have been fixed, a final report is generated. The report provides a summary of the compatibility testing procedures, including the platforms, browsers, and devices examined, along with the problems identified and their fixes. The report might also make suggestions or recommendations for enhancing compatibility in upcoming releases.
Example of Compatibility Testing in SDLC

Software testing includes compatibility testing to make that the software or application works correctly on a variety of hardware, operating systems, web browsers, and other software dependencies. It concentrates on determining whether the program is appropriate for various contexts and configurations.

Here is an illustration of a compatibility testing scenario: Say you are evaluating a recently created web-based program that enables users to create and edit documents online. Multiple web browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, are supported by the program. Compatibility testing in this situation would entail confirming that the application functions properly and presents consistently across these various browsers.

  • Web Browser Compatibility: To make sure that all the features and capabilities operate as expected, you would test the application using each web browser that is supported. This includes examining how online pages are displayed, how users interact with them, how well documents can be edited, and how well browser-specific features work.
  • Operating System Compatibility: According to the application, it works with Windows, macOS, and Linux among other operating systems. You would test the application on each operating system to make sure it functions properly and without any problems. This may entail making that the installation goes smoothly, the performance of the application is unaffected, and there are no incompatibilities with other operating system components.
  • Hardware Compatibility: The application ought to run well on a variety of hardware setups. To ensure that it works properly across multiple screen sizes, input methods, and resolutions, you would test it on a variety of gadgets, including desktop PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. By testing the application, it is made sure that it can adjust to the hardware’s features and deliver a consistent user experience.
  • Compatibility with Software Dependencies: The application may be dependent on certain third-party libraries, plugins, or database servers. You would check to make sure these dependencies are installed, configured, and working properly with the application. To verify data integrity and adequate functionality, for instance, you would test the application’s compatibility with various versions of the database it utilizes.

You would record any problems you ran into during compatibility testing, such as rendering issues unique to a certain browser, bugs affecting an operating system, hardware compatibility concerns, or dependencies conflicts. The development team would then be informed of these problems and asked to address them.

What are the Advantages of Compatibility Testing?

Through compatibility testing, it is made sure that software or applications work correctly on a variety of platforms, gadgets, and setups. The benefits of compatibility testing are as follows:

  1. User Satisfaction: By finding and fixing compatibility problems, it ensures a consistent user experience, boosting user satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Expanded Market Potential: The software’s market potential is increased by ensuring compatibility with a variety of operating systems (such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android).
  3. Competitive Advantage: Compatible software beats its rivals by providing a larger range of platform support, which draws in more clients.
  4. Quality Assurance: It improves the overall quality of software by identifying and fixing compatibility problems, leading to a more stable and dependable end product.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness: Finding compatibility problems early in the development cycle saves time and resources by lowering the cost of correcting them later.
What are the Disadvantages of Compatibility Testing?

The disadvantages of compatibility testing are as follows:

  1. Time-consuming: Software must be tested for compatibility across a variety of platforms, browsers, operating systems, and devices. When there are multiple combinations to try, this process can take a while.
  2. Resource-Intensive: Compatibility testing calls for a substantial number of hardware, software, and human resources. Costs may rise as a result, and the testing crew may feel the strain.
  3. Complexity: The availability of more platforms, browsers, and gadgets grows as technology progresses. Due to the requirement to thoroughly test each combination to assure adequate functionality, compatibility testing becomes more difficult.
  4. Limited Test Coverage: It is not feasible to test the software on all conceivable platforms, browsers, and devices. As a result, compatibility problems could always occur with unproven configurations.
  5. Findings That are Inconsistent: It is challenging to ensure findings that are consistent across different platforms and settings, even with thorough testing. Unexpected compatibility problems may occur, resulting in a fragmented user experience.

In the next article, I am going to discuss Test Documentation in SDLC. Here, in this article, I try to explain Compatibility Testing in SDLC. I hope you enjoy this Compatibility Testing in SDLC article.

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