What is Interoperability Testing in Software Testing?

A Quick Overview of Interoperability Testing

Interoperability is defined as the combination of the words inter and operable.

  • Inter means "between us," "inside us," or "mutual."

  • Operability refers to a person's ability to complete a task.

Combining the two concepts, interoperability refers to the capacity of two (or more) systems to fulfill their assigned tasks independently while communicating with one another as expected without compromising their unique assigned capabilities.

Consider the case of making a flight reservation. Consider the following scenario: you need to go from New Delhi to New York. There isn't a direct flight available right now. You must go from New Delhi to London, then from London to New York on a connecting flight. You book a ticket from New Delhi to London with "Jet Airways" and a trip from London to New York with "Virgin Atlantic" due to a time restriction. As a result, all of your personal information has been transferred from Jet Airways to Virgin Atlantic.

So, Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic are both separate applications, and when you buy a flight, your booking information is sent from Jet Airways to Virgin Atlantic in a meaningful manner, with no prior notice.

Consider the hospital administration system, which involves the transfer of patient information from one department to the next. As a result, a department can be linked to an application in this case. Without notice, the patient's information is transmitted from one application to another.

So, why are we doing the IoT?

Interoperability testing would be required to guarantee that

The network's apps fulfill their intended behavior independently, and they can communicate information without warning.

The information/data is transferred without interfering with the intended behavior of the individual.

The data or information that is transmitted is not updated or altered in any way.

What is the best way to conduct interoperability testing?

To do interoperability testing, we can use the Deeming wheel (the PDCA cycle).

#1) Make a strategy.

The most essential aspect in defining the approach for practically everything in software development is planning. Before we can define the technique for conducting the IoT, we must first understand each and every application or system that has been installed in the network.

We should be aware of the functionality, behavior, input it accepts, and output it produces for all applications. Before preparing an application for interoperability testing, I would also urge that it be thoroughly functionally tested with no flaws. So, while planning, don't simply think about one or two applications; think of them all as a unified unit. When planning for this testing approach, you'll need a bird's eye perspective. It goes without saying that you should record your strategy.

We may take our regular Test Plan document and tweak it a little to meet the needs of documenting IOT planning. After you've created your test strategy, it's time to create your test conditions. The focus of your test condition should not be on individual apps, but rather on the flow of data through all of them. The criteria should be set up in such a way that most, if not all, of the network's applications, are traversed.

After you've defined your test criteria, you may start designing or scripting your test cases (if you want to automate them). You may map your test cases to test conditions and your test conditions to acceptance test conditions/requirements using an RTM (Requirements Traceability Matrix). It's critical to plan for non-functional testing while working on a network. Checking for nonfunctional aspects of the system as a whole is necessary, even if it isn't mentioned or documented anywhere. Nonfunctional domains include performance and security.

To perform the functional and non-functional testing, plan ahead of time. If necessary, separate plans for functional, performance, and security testing may be created, or a single plan and separate document containing test conditions can be created for each of these testing categories.

#2) Take action

Do – is the amount of time you spend actually carrying out your plan. To perform the functional and non-functional testing, plan ahead of time. In this step, we complete the testing cycle by running the cases, logging the defects, following up with the development team to address them, re-testing and regression testing the system as a whole, reporting the test findings, and closing it.

#3) Double-check

Check-In this phase, we go through our test results and try to map them to RTMs, making sure that all of the required criteria have been met and that all of the applications have been explored. We ensure that data is accurately traversed and moved across applications/systems.

We'd also need to ensure sure the data being traversed isn't being altered

Consider conducting a retrospective of the full interoperability testing process. Determine which areas went well, which did not, and any action items that need to be handled.

4) Take action

Act - Is to take action on the stuff from the past. Continue to execute the points that were recognized as "best practices," and determine the measures to remedy the points that may be improved and act appropriately. It's important to remember that regions or methods that didn't work properly shouldn't be duplicated. After all, we should learn from our mistakes and prevent repeating them.

The 5 1/2 Steps are as followed −

  • Determine which apps are connected to the network.

  • Determine their separate functions.

  • Determine the input it accepts and the output it produces for each application.

  • Determine which data will be sent via all or most of the apps.

  • Determine the expected response for each application and date combination that has to be validated 1/2 Make a note of it.

Why should you conduct interoperability testing?

Testing for interoperability is carried because,

It guarantees the provision of end-to-end service across two or more products from different suppliers.

Without any compatibility concerns, the software product should be able to connect with other components or devices.

The dangers of not conducting interoperability testing are numerous.

  • Loss of information

  • Unpredictable results

  • The operation that is unreliable

  • Error in operation

  • Low upkeep ability

Interoperability Testing Example Test Cases

The testing strategy for interoperability testing consists of the following steps −

  • Connect two or more devices from different manufacturers together.

  • Verify that the gadgets are connected.

  • Examine if devices can transmit and receive packets or frames from one another and whether data is processed appropriately at the network and facility levels.

  • Verify that the algorithms you've built are working properly.

  • If the outcome is satisfactory, go to the next step.

  • The outcome isn't satisfactory: Detect the cause of the issue with monitoring tools and submit the results in the test reporting tool.

Interoperability Testing's Drawbacks

Interoperability Testing has a number of drawbacks.

  • Identifying the sources of problems

  • Measurement that is precise

  • Testing scalability Network complexity

  • Equipment is put to the test

  • Keeping Track of Test Results and Learnings

  • Inadequate specifications

Mobile Interoperability Testing

When a new App (Mobile Application) is released, we conduct an interoperability test. When planning for this testing on mobile devices, there are a number of factors to consider −

The variety of mobile devices available on the market is enormous. You'll need to make a list of all the devices you're considering for your testing. You'll need to connect a device type with the operating system it supports.

All mobile operating systems are written in a distinct programming language. As a result, the program must be tested across all OS versions.

Understanding the legal aspects as well as contracts specific to the location.

Varying gadgets have different sizes and resolutions.

The impact of the built-in apps on mobile devices must also be addressed.

So, just like we did for computer-based application testing, you'll need to design and develop an RTM for IoT on mobiles.

In the case of mobiles, the goal, strategy, risks, and execution would all be the same, but the tools and approaches would be different.


Testing all of the applications with all of the permutations and combinations is difficult.

Applications are created using a variety of hardware/software combinations and installed in a variety of settings, so if one of the environments goes down, the testing suffers.

Because of the many software and settings, deciding on a testing strategy and putting it into action is a difficult process in and of itself.

It's difficult to create a stimulating setting in which to perform the exam.

Doing a Root Cause Analysis in the event of a malfunction is a difficult task.

There will be moments when the network is down because the applications are in a network. Testing is also harmed as a result of this.


Interoperability testing is a type of software engineering that checks whether a piece of software can communicate with another piece of software.

It guarantees that a software product can connect with other components or devices without encountering any compatibility difficulties.

Updated on: 30-Nov-2021


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