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Definition: interoperability

The capability of two or more hardware devices or two or more software routines to work harmoniously together. For example, in an Ethernet network, network adapters, hubs, switches and routers from different vendors must conform to the IEEE 802.11 standard in order to interoperate with each other.

Although executable applications must always conform to the machine language of the CPU they run in, this is known as "platform compliance" and not interoperability. The term tends to be used mostly with networking equipment. See machine language and 802.11.