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Property of hardware and software components which permits to exchange such components among each other or to combine them into a system without needs for adaptation. It refers to the ability of devices, subsystems or systems to effectively cooperate with each other in providing some service. This can mean that an originally designated subsystem or external device can be substituted by a different one. It can also mean that software can be executed on computers for which it was not written originally. In informatics compatibility is the most widespread one of the four different concepts to connect systems, i.e. interfaceability, compatibility, interoperability, and integration of electronic information systems. (Hornung)
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