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    Can you briefly Explain the difference between backward and forward compatibility testing with examples?


    You have some app and two version, say, N and N+1 (like 2 and 3).

    Backward compatibility example. Some data file saved by version N+1 can be opened in version N. As we go from greater N+1 to lesser N, and programs have increasing version numbers, this is called “backward”, we “go back” to previous version.
    Forward compatibility: tables turn. Data file saved from version N gets opened in version N+1. As we go from lesser N to greater N+1, this is called “forward”.


    Backward Compatibility: In this type of testing as tester has to verify that a developed software or hardware is compatible with older platform or versions or not.

    Example: Whenever any new software is developed for Windows 10, the companies make sure that same software will work on Windows 8 or 7.
    Forward Compatibility: To verify the software or hardware if it is compatible with future versions of other platform or not. Because of unpredictability, future compatible platforms are not always known and it is harder to test the application.
    Example: If any application is built with any older versions of tool or software like any application is built in Siebel CRM 8 and wants to upgrade the software to 8.4 version.  When try to migrate database from older to new version the build was not stable. So forward compatibility testing helps to identify issues at early stage.


    Munish Sharma


    Thanks for the Reply, It’s been very helpful.



    Backward compatibility Testing is to verify the behavior of the developed hardware/software with the older versions of the hardware/software.

    Forward compatibility Testing is to verify the behavior of the developed hardware/software with the newer versions of the hardware/software.

    Tools for Compatibility Testing
    Compatibility Testing Tutorial: Forward & Backward Testing

    BrowserStack – Browser Compatibility Testing: This tool helps a Software engineer to check application in different browsers.
    Virtual Desktops – Operating System Compatibility: This is used to run the applications in multiple operating systems as virtual machines. n Number of systems can be connected and compare the results.

    How to do Compatibility Testing

    The initial phase of compatibility testing is to define the set of environments or platforms the application is expected to work on.
    The tester should have enough knowledge of the platforms/software/hardware to understand the expected application behavior under different configurations.

    The environment needs to be set-up for testing with different platforms, devices, networks to check whether your application runs well under different configurations.

    Report the bugs. Fix the defects. Re-test to confirm Defect fixing.

    The most important use of compatibility testing is to ensure whether developed software works under different configurations (as stated in requirements documentation). This testing is necessary to check whether the application is compatible with the client’s environment.

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