Interoperability Testing in Software Testing

What is Interoperability Testing?

Interoperability Testing is a software testing type, that checks whether the software can interact with other software components and systems. The purpose of Interoperability tests is to ensure that the software product is able to communicate with other components or devices without any compatibility issues.

In other words, interoperability testing means to prove that end-to-end functionality between two communicating systems is as specified by the requirements. For example, interoperability testing is done between smartphones and tablets to check data transfer via Bluetooth.

Different levels of Software Interoperability

There are different levels of Interoperability Testing, they are

  • Physical Interoperability
  • Data-type Interoperability
  • Specification level Interoperability
  • Semantic Interoperability

Why to do Interoperability Testing

Interoperability testing is done because,

  • It ensures end-to-end service provision across two or more products from different vendors
  • The software product should be able to communicate with other component or device without any compatibility issues

The risk associated due to lack of Interoperability Testing are

  • Loss of data
  • Unreliable performance
  • Unreliable operation
  • Incorrect operation
  • Low maintainability

How to do Interoperability Testing

The testing process for Interoperability testing includes following steps

Step 1: Launch Project.

  • Define formalize statement of work and set up project management infrastructure.

Step 2: Set up test lab

  • Make sure all required skill and automation tools are set up for test activities
  • Use automation tools for minimizing test cases and re-use test cases
  • Maintain a database of configuration files
  • Record and analyze metrics for project
  • Record configuration from unsuccessful tests for reference and analysis

Step 3: Develop test plan

  • Write the Test Plan
  • Define the test cases and procedures
  • Set up necessary monitoring equipment for maintaining test logs.

Step 4: Execute test plan

  • Execute test cases
  • Work with test team to analyze root cause of failure

Step 5: Document Results

  • Use test logs to record the implementation notes

Step 6: Free up resources and evaluate performance on the project,

  • With the help of automation tools analyze the test results

Example Test Cases for Interoperability Testing

Example Test Cases for Interoperability Testing

The testing strategy for Interoperability testing include

  • Connect two or more devices from different vendors
  • Check connectivity between devices
  • Check if device can send/receives packets or frames from each other
  • Check if data is handled correctly in the network and facility layers
  • Check if implemented algorithms work correctly
  • Result ok: check next result
  • Result not ok: Use monitor tools to detect source of error
  • Report result in Test reporting tool.

Disadvantages of Interoperability Testing

The Disadvantages in Interoperability Testing are

  • Determining root causes of defects
  • Accurate Measurement
  • Scalability of testing
  • Network complexity
  • Testing the Test Equipment
  • Documenting Test Results and Learnings
  • Inadequate requirements

Interoperability Testing Vs Conformance Testing

Interoperability Testing Conformance Testing
  • It ensures that the product or software will interoperate with other certified product without any issues
  • It ensures the compliance of product with respect to required standard and specification


  • Software Engineering, Interoperability testing is nothing but to check whether software can inter-operate with another software component
  • It ensures that software product should be able to communicate with other component or devices without any compatibility issues.