Technology is changing tremendously in style. To keep up with the competition, constant upgrades of a product and a focus on branding are necessary even after successful versions of any given software or hardware have been launched. This is where compatibility testing comes into play.

Compatibility testing is the most important part of software development to test whether a developed product is working as expected to see if improvements or enhancements are required. Hardware, mobile devices, and other applications can all be tested for compatibility.

All major product developments in the corporate space include some kind of compatibility testing before launching the product into the market. This compatibility testing has two forms: backward compatibility testing and forward compatibility testing.

Software Compatibility

Software compatibility means, it is the ability of the particular software to live and work together without any inconsistency. For instance, if the site is compatible, then it must open in all browsers and operating systems.

Forward Compatibility Testing:

To verify and test developed software or hardware to see if it is compatible with future versions of other platforms or not is known as forwarding compatibility.

Because all of the dynamics of the future compatible platform(s) are not always known, forward compatibility testing is a little bit harder to test than backward compatibility.

Backward Compatibility Testing:

To verify if a developed software or hardware product is compatible with older platforms or not is known as backward compatibility.

In this case, all of the dynamics of the potentially compatible platform are known, so backward compatibility testing is much more predictable than forwarding compatibility testing.

Forward Compatibility Testing Example:

A Siebel CRM update to the new version was halted with the help of compatibility testing:

Our client wanted to upgrade Siebel CRM from 8.1 to 8.4. With the help of a test environment set up with Siebel’s backup framework, the testing observed that the migration of their customized database would not be stable with the Siebel 8.4 version. Due to this testing, development on the migration to the new version was stopped. This helped to avoid lots of issues and had the clients start thinking about alternative platforms.

Backward Compatibility Testing Example:

Mobile Apps:

Every brand (Samsung, HTC, etc.) has its own different Android UI and customization. If they release new UIs, versions, or customizations, they will test their platforms to make sure that they are backward compatible with older applications as well. They don’t want people who download their new UI not to be able to use their favorite existing apps, hence backward testing.

During backward compatibility testing in this example, we ask these questions:

  1. Is the new version/platform working fine with every older application and API?
  2. Are the devices’ securities remaining stable and strong?
  3. Is the new version/platform upgraded device working fine with older components – hardware like battery and its backup, charging and status of the charged device,  camera, flash, network, calls, display UI’s resolutions, etc. working fine?
  4. Is the new version/platform upgraded device working fine like before?
  5. Is the new version/platform upgraded device not corrupting older data of the device and customer data?
  6. Is the UI of the applications still graphically pleasing and working well with all applications?
  7. Is the new version/platform upgraded device as good as before or better?

Some of the tools used for compatibility testing:

Operating System Compatibility:

  1. Virtual Desktops
  2. iOS Simulator
  3. ADT bundle

Browser Compatibility Testing:

  1. Adobe Browser Lab.
  2. CrossBrowserTesting
  3. IE Tester


As technology is evolving faster than ever, you also need to cope up with the competition. The product is the main aspect of the business and it is crucial to take your product to the next level by upgrading. Thereby compatibility testing has its own importance while developing the software.

Read Related Article: Exploring the Benefits of API Testing

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  • Bharat
    Posted at 11:10h, 27 September Reply


  • Priya
    Posted at 09:29h, 12 September Reply

    Good Information

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