Device Compatibility Testing Simplified

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Computer hardware and software are developed independently but are expected to function properly together. For example, the Web application developed using HTML are expected to work properly on an Apple or Windows system browsers. This sounds simple, but there are many browser types and different versions available for various operating systems including mobile devices and mobile OSs. This makes Device Compatibility Testing a necessity.

Device Compatibility Testing – An Overview

Compatibility Testing focuses on determining if the applications function properly on systems with different software and hardware configurations. Mobile Compatibility Testing is checking or validating that the application behaves as expected across the combination of mobile devices and browsers that the customers will be using to access the application.

The majority of time spent on Mobile Device Compatibility Testing is focused on testing applications just as the customer or an end user would do on different browsers on OSs and verify that the screens and applications performance and behaviour perform as expected.

Tests can be automated and executed across different devices for capturing screenshots but complete automation is not possible and manual intervention is required for interpretation of the results. There are other tools available like emulators, simulators and some third party tools that reduce the need for physical devices for testing.

Compatibility Testing – Types

  • Hardware: Checks whether the software is compatible with different hardware configuration
  • Operating Systems: Checks whether the software is compatible with different OSs like Windows, UNIX, Mac, etc.
  • Software: Checks whether the developed software is compatible with other software. For example, MS Word application should be compatible with Outlook, Excel, etc.
  • Network: Evaluation of performance of system in network with varying parameters such as network speed, application performance, capacity, etc. It also checks application in different networks with all the above parameters mentioned earlier.
  • Browser: Checks compatibility of the website with different browsers e.g. Firefox, Chrome, IE, etc.
  • Devices: Checks the compatibility of the software with different devices like Bluetooth, USB, Printers, Scanners or any other media devices.
  • Mobile: Checking whether the software is compatible with the mobile platforms like Android or iOS.
  • Versions of the Software: Checks whether the software application is compatible with different software versions. For instance, checking your Microsoft Word to be compatible with all the different versions of Windows 7 OS and service packs.

Compatibility Testing – Process

  1. First phase of Compatibility Testing defines the environments/platforms that the application is expected to support.
  2. The tester should have the knowledge on the platforms/software/hardware and should know the expected behaviour of the application.
  3. The environment should be available for testing with different platforms, devices and networks and should test that the application works as expected for all configurations.
  4. Report the bugs. Fix the defects. Re-test to confirm defect fixing.
Conclusion

The purpose of the Compatibility Testing is to ensure whether developed software and the components work as expected under the different configurations which is stated in the requirements documentation.

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