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4.7. Interoperability Testing

Interoperability testing is to test the interfaces, particularly the external interfaces with the system. The emphasis is on verifying exchange of data, transmission and control, and processing times. External interface testing usually occurs as part of System Test. Interoperability Testing commences after completion of unit, functional, and integration testing, reported critical errors have been addressed, and updated version of the code is brought under configuration control.

Testing external interfaces is critical to ensuring a working system, and may help to identify performance issues before beginning production. Some external organizations have dedicated test environments, but most do not. Thus the Testing Team must determine how to approach and coordinate testing of these interfaces. A tradeoff must be made about a reasonable level of confidence in the system/testing and the amount of risk the project is willing to accept, vs. the amount of work, coordination and ability of the external organization to participate in testing. The best approach is to include the external organization in the planning process early to determine what is and is not possible.

4.7.1. Interoperability Test Expectations
Major expectations of Interoperability testing are as mentioned below:
  • The primary emphasis is testing the interfaces with external systems in order to understand the ability of systems, units, or forces to provide services to and accept services from other systems, units, or forces, and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together. Depending on the number of external interfaces, this may be very complicated.

4.7.2. Interoperability Test Considerations
Interoperability Testing focuses on evaluating:
  • The ability of two or more systems or elements to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged
  • The capability for units of equipment to work together to do useful functions
  • The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information in a heterogeneous network and use that informationThe capability, promoted but not guaranteed by joint conformance with a given set of standards, that enables heterogeneous equipment, generally built by various vendors, to work together in a network environment
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Arunkumar Khannur, Software Testing - Techniques and Applications, Published by Pearson Publications, 2011 (ISBN:978-81-317-5836-6; Pages:341 + xxii)
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