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A Beginner Guide to Interoperability Testing in Software Testing

  • Ayush Singh Rawat
  • Jul 04, 2021
A Beginner Guide to Interoperability Testing in Software Testing title banner

Interoperability testing has become a serious testing measurement in recent times as many leading industries have adopted this method. It provides uniform data type transfer between two softwares and gives semantic form in transformation. 


Let’s understand the concept more in detail.



Interoperability testing


Interoperability testing is a technique that is performed to examine how an application interacts with another application, or simply, a software interacts either with its own elements or other software.


So. when we do the Interoperability testing, we check how the data from one application is transferred into another application without prior intimation, in a meaningful manner, and further processed to give the accepted output.


To put it another way, interoperability testing entails demonstrating an end-to-end functionality between two communicating systems that meets the desired criteria. Interoperability testing, for example, is carried out between smartphones and tablets to ensure data flow over Bluetooth.


At each of these application-to-application junctures, interoperability testing is conducted to ensure that the software on both sides of each link appropriately utilises the protocols that govern that link.


(Similar read: Compliance Testing)


To avoid the reasons for functionality difficulties from vanishing into a complicated network of near-simultaneous connections, it's critical to check each link independently of the others. 


Verifying the connection between the email client and the network connection driver, for example, ensures that it can handle all of the standard communications required by this link and manage any expected error recovery steps. The same may be said about the other connections.


Examples of Interoperability testing 


  1. Example 1: 


Consider the following scenario: for a trip from New Delhi to New York. You don't have a direct flight right now. You must go from New Delhi to London and then from London to New York on a connecting flight. 


Because of your tight schedule, you book flights with "Jet Airways" from New Delhi to London and "Virgin Atlantic" from London to New York. As a result, all of your passenger information was transferred from Jet Airways to Virgin Atlantic. 


So, Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic are both separate applications, and when you buy a trip with Jet Airways, your booking information is sent to Virgin Atlantic in a meaningful way, without your knowledge.


  1. Example 2: 


Consider the hospital administration system, where patient records are transmitted from one department to the next. As a result, the department can be linked to an application in this case. The patient's information is transferred from one application to another without prior warning.


(Also read: Human Computer Interaction (HCI))


Advantages of Interoperability testing


Following are the major advantages of interoperability testing;


  • Testing for interoperability aids in the development of a connection between two systems. This link aids in gaining a better understanding of how the system will operate in conjunction with other goods. It facilitates improved communication between two systems that are otherwise incompatible.

  • It improves productivity. It is easier to make decisions when data is provided consistently.

  • It guarantees that data is delivered in a consistent format and that there are no data type mismatches. To avoid problems, the data type should be consistent and compatible throughout the system.

  • The data formatting guarantees that the entire system is formatted in a consistent manner. There are no incompatibilities related to data formatting because all software is in sync.

  • It ensures that the semantics or algorithms of all interacting systems are the same.


As discussing an interaction between one software application to another, discover about the complete software development cycle (SDLC) with the link provided. 



Types of Interoperability Testing


There are five types of Interoperability Testing:

The banner enlists 5 types of interoperability testing, they are  a)Data type interoperability testing b) Semantic interoperability testing c) Physical Interoperability testing d) Protocol interoperability testing e) Data format interoperability testing

Types of Interoperability Testing


  1. Data type Interoperability Testing


It concentrates and works on the data type of the data being transmitted. To avoid inconsistency, the data type of sent and received data should be the same, for example, if the data transmitted is a number, the data received should be a number as well.


  1. Semantic Interoperability Testing


It concentrates on the data transmission algorithm. It examines the data semantics involved in data transmission. Data transport algorithms should be dependable.


  1. Physical Interoperability Testing:


It examines the connecting devices that link the two software systems together. It basically double-checks the ports and data cables that were utilised during the connection. In general, the USB port impacts the data transmission rate, therefore a 3.0 USB connection is utilised to enhance the data transfer rate.


(Must read: What is A/B testing?)


  1. Protocol Interoperability Testing:


It focuses on the protocol that is used to transport data between two software systems that are linked. It determines if the protocol in use provides enough data security. The checksum employed in the protocol allows data to be sent without error.


  1. Data format Interoperability Testing:


It verifies that the data delivered and received are in the same format. The data delivered and received should both be in the same format. If the sender's data is in binary form (0 and 1), the data received at the receiver's end should be in binary form as well (i.e. 0 and 1).


Understand the top trends in software development



How to do Interoperability testing?


We can follow the Deming wheel (the PDCA cycle) to carry out the Interoperability testing.


  1. Planning


The most essential aspect of establishing the approach for nearly every task in software development is planning. It is critical that we comprehend each and every application or system placed in the network before we prepare for defining the method for conducting the IoT. (With the link learn what is IoT)


We should be aware of the functionality, behaviour, input it accepts, and output it produces for all applications. I would also recommend that before preparing an application for interoperability testing, it be completely functionally tested and free of defects. So, while planning, don't just think about one or two apps; think about them all as a whole entity.


We might adapt our standard Test Plan document to fit the requirements of documenting IoT planning. It's time to set your test conditions after you've defined your test strategy.


The focus of the test condition should be on the flow of data through all of the apps, not on individual apps. The criteria should be put up in such a way that they cover the vast majority, if not all, of the network's applications.


You may begin creating or scripting your test cases when you've specified your test requirements (if you want to automate them). Using an RTM, you may map your test cases to test conditions and your test conditions to acceptance test conditions (Requirements Traceability Matrix).


When working on a network, it's crucial to arrange for non-functional testing as well. It may not be stated or documented anywhere, but checking for nonfunctional elements of the system as a whole is required. Performance and security are examples of nonfunctional domains. 


If necessary, separate plans for functional, performance, and security testing may be created, or a single plan with a distinct set containing test conditions can be created for each of these testing categories.


(Also read: top 10 examples of IoT)


  1. Performing


It is the amount of time you spend actually carrying out your plan. Plan ahead of time to complete the functional and non-functional testing. In this phase, we complete the testing cycle by executing the cases, logging the defects, working with the development team to address them, retesting and regression testing the system as a whole, reporting the test findings, and bringing it to close.


  1. Check


This is the step in which we go through our test findings and try to map them to the RTMs, ensuring that all of the expected criteria have been satisfied and that all of the applications have been traversed. We verify that data is traversed and transferred across applications/systems accurately and smoothly. We'd also have to make sure that the data being traversed isn't being changed.


Consider doing a review of the entire interoperability testing procedure. Identify the areas that went well, the ones that did not, and any action items that need to be addressed.


(Must catch: System Analysis and Design)


  1. Act


It is to take action on the stuff from the past. Continue to execute the points that were recognised as "best practises," and determine the measures to remedy the points that may be improved and act appropriately. One thing to keep in mind is that regions or processes that did not function well should not be repeated. After all, we should learn from our errors and avoid making the same ones again.


(Recommended blog: What is Risk Management?)





While it helps in establishing error-less connection between two software systems, sometimes it just requires really accurate measurement and tends to increase network complexity. It ensures that software products should be able to communicate with other components or devices without any compatibility issues.


Interoperability testing is carried out in mobile application testing and also in healthcare technology making it a reliable source of testing measurement.