Interoperability refers to a whole bunch of systems working together and communicating to the best of their ability. The systems' ability to work together seamlessly.
Types of Interoperability
Semantic Interoperability is two or more systems working together to gather and exchange data. The systems then take that data, analyze it, and put it into use in a productive, understanding and correct manner.
There are different degrees of interoperability. Certain systems are able to just communicate, while others are able to communicate and produce useful data. The degree of interoperability can be measured. For example, the degree to how effective a two-way radio is determined by it's effectiveness within its compatible communication paths, both radio's signal strength, and their scalable capacity.
Achieve Software Interoperability
Step can be taken in order to achieve software interoperability. Before sending out new software to the market, the communication lines should be tested to make sure they are functioning properly. The Product Engineers should stick to the same standards, protocols and ways most software are engineered when creating new products. If the new product (software) is not engineered to communicate with all other software properly, interoperability will not be achieved. Production companies, the people that create the software, should work together and agree to create standards for communication efficiency purposes. This will lessen the chances of the systems not having interoperability. Communication between systems is easier when common technology or IP is used. So again, software engineers should work together in creating new products and ways of communication between the systems and software created. The highest degree of interoperability will be achieved within software is the ways suggestions above are followed.
Customers want user friendliness. Interoperability is key to customer satisfaction. But what if interoperability is there, but customers just don't know how to use it? Microsoft's way of making sure customers are satisfied is by providing support and helpful resources for all customers who purchase their software. All customers have access to Microsoft protocols and APIs. All customers are able to import and export data to all Microsoft product software so they can view their data in any form they available by Microsoft. (Example: We can import excel sheet to access in the form of a table) Microsoft works with customers, partners and other product engineers to ensure interoperability within the information technology sector.
Links for more information and fun facts on Interoperability
Interoperability of Enterprise Software and Applications