Compatibility Testing

What is Compatibility Testing and its Types- Complete Guide


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Compatibility testing is a form of software testing that ensures whether your software is capable of running in different computing environments, including hardware, operating systems, and applications. It makes the software bug-free and produces a dynamic application that can endure the competitive market and run on different browsers, databases, mobile devices and network environments.

Hence, compatibility software testing involves testing applications to reduce failures and errors and enable the application to work smoothly.

As a result, there are different types of compatibility software testing. This includes:

  • Browser Testing: Test the compatibility of your website with Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc
  • Hardware Testing: This involves testing the compatibility of your software with different hardware configurations.
  • Operating systems Testing: Test the compatibility of your software in Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc
  • Mobile Testing: Test software compatibility with mobile devices and platforms like Android, Mac, etc.
  • Networks Testing: Test if the application works in a different network like 3G, Wi-Fi, etc
  • Software Testing: Test if your software is compatible with other software applications like MS Word, Excel, etc.
  • Versions of software: Check if your software is compatible with other software versions.

Since we have discussed different types of compatibility software testing. Let us go through what Compatibility testing is and what includes in Compatibility testing services

What is Mobile Device Compatibility Testing and Its Importance ?

Compatibility tests for the mobile application ensure your software works in different browsers, hardware, operating systems, and mobile devices as expected. Therefore, before launching a software application, it is mandatory to execute compatibility tests.

Importance of testing mobile application compatibility:

  • Checks issues related to navigation: Navigation varies with the screen size and devices. Therefore, navigating a website on mobile is different from navigating a website on a desktop. As a result, a compatibility test is to be done to ensure that the navigation runs smoothly across multiple devices.
  • Checks content and layout: The content and layout made for a mobile website are different compared to a desktop website. In other words, a website developed for mobile only fits on a desktop. Therefore, it is necessary to see if the website design is responsive depending on its device size.
  • Checks Functions and features: Since the display mode on desktop and mobile is different, it is necessary to check component behaviour in a website to ensure proper functionality in all device types.
  • Check the size of the elements: Font size, images, and logo on a mobile website are smaller than on a desktop website. As a result, compatibility testing is necessary to check the appropriate size required for the website.

What is Compatibility Testing for Web Applications ?

Web compatibility test, also knowns as Browser compatibility testing, is software testing that ensures that the website or web application works smoothly on any browser like Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. It guarantees all website features and functions are available to the end user.

Importance of web compatibility testing

  • Ensures accessibility of the website: Testing web compatibility makes sure all the features and technology used are accessible to all the users using the website. In other words, it involves checking your keyboard accessibility, testing in the screen reader and reviewing pages for compliance related to WCAG, etc.
  • Ensures functionality of the website: It ensures that the website's elements and components function properly without any hindrance. The developer can test formatting, spacing, dropdowns and navigations on the website for better functionality. As a result, it helps to make the website more interactive and responsive.
  • Ensures high performance: The key importance of web compatibility testing is checking the website's loading time and stress timing. Thus, the developer can build interactive and reliable websites.

Since there are different browsers for viewing websites, it is significant to check if your website is cross-compatible. As a result, there are automated browser compatibility testing tools to make the task easier. Some of the tools include:

  • Browser Stack: Browser Stack is one of the most reliable compatibility tools for developers. It helps to test websites and mobile applications across all browsers. Moreover, it provides manual and automated tools for testing the compatibility of websites.
  • Lambda Test: is a cloud-based platform that ensures your software application runs efficiently across all mobile and desktop browsers. Moreover, it helps developers to run automation tests of their websites and even self-hosting websites.
  • Browserling : A free web-based solution enables easy browser compatibility testing. Besides, it provides sharing and saving screenshots and debugging features to simplify the process of compatibility tests.
  • Testing Bot: Testing bot is also a cloud-based platform that allows tests on leading browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. It ensures your website works across multiple browsers.

Why is Compatibility Software Testing Important ?

In a competitive digital world with millions of dynamic websites and applications, compatibility testing in software testing ensures your website runs smoothly across multiple platforms. So, how is it beneficial?

  • User Experience: It is an important testing process that ensures quality user experience across all browsers, operating systems, devices and network environments. As a result, it delivers software according to the customer's requirements.
  • Ensure No errors and bugs: Testing software compatibility makes your software application distinctive and better by assuring bug-free and error-free software. It allows the developers to fix bugs before the production of the software.
  • Improves Software Development Procedure: Since compatibility software testing fixes all compatible-related issues in a software application, it helps to produce high-performing software available across multiple platforms.
  • Meets the Requirements: The one major advantage of this software testing is that it guarantees better functioning and meets all the business requirements.
  • Save Time and Resources: Since the software undergo a compatibility test during the development process, it helps to solve all the issues that act as a barrier to the good performance of the software. As a result, it saves the time of the developer to fix the problem during its production.


In conclusion, compatibility software testing is a necessary testing process before the production of the software. It is a non-functional software testing that ensures the application works under all conditions and on multiple platforms. They enable the developers to use different manual and automated tools to build dynamic and highly functional websites. Compatibility software testing is widely used to evaluate software functionality across platforms, including leading browsers and operating systems. Moreover, it implies essential solutions for software developers and reduces the bugs and errors hindering the application's running efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Why is Compatibility Testing Important?

Compatibility testing is important because it ensures your software will run smoothly on different platforms, including browsers, mobile devices, databases, hardware, operating systems, network environment, et cetera. Besides, because of compatibility testing, we can detect all errors and bugs before the software is delivered to the user. Moreover, they ensure that the end product meets the company's requirements. As a result, it satisfies the customer experience and helps the company to succeed.

2) What is the Purpose of Compatibility Testing?

The main purpose of compatibility software testing is to ensure that the application works smoothly on different platforms, including browsers, databases, hardware, operating systems, etc. Moreover, it checks if the software functions and works as expected across multiple platforms. Besides, it helps to give a pleasant user experience and meet all the users and business requirements. It identifies all the bugs and errors in software and makes the developers easily fix the problem and develop efficient software.

3) What Does Compatibility Testing Include?

Compatibility software testing includes mainly two techniques- one is backward compatibility testing the other is forward compatibility testing.

Backward compatibility software testing ensures that the developed software is compatible with the older versions of the software or hardware. On the other hand, forward compatibility software testing ensures that the developed software is compatible with the newer versions of software or hardware.

4) Who Performs Compatibility Testing ?

Compatibility software testing is non-functional software testing performed by QA Specialists or a software developer using different tools to confirm whether the software application works under multiple platforms and ensure that it is available to the users. They fix all the bugs and errors in software and build dynamic software that gives a better user experience. Moreover, they are usually experts in handling different automated tools for compatible tests, including Browser Stack for testing software for quality performance.

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