Code Coverage vs. Test Coverage

May 31, 2023 | Best Practices, Best Practices

Code Coverage vs Test Coverage

Making sure that every member of your team is communicating effectively is critical to productivity and efficiency. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that team members are using shared terminology. 

While the terms code coverage and test coverage have been used interchangeably, they actually refer to separate (though similar) concepts.

What Is Code Coverage?

Code coverage is how much of your code has actually been tested, and it is commonly referred to with a percentage. If you have 100 lines of code and 25 have been tested, your code coverage is 25%. 

Though your testers may have executed plenty of tests on your software, they may have only covered a small percentage of the overall code. Knowing the code coverage percentage helps keep the scope of the work in focus.

Performing a Code Coverage Check

A code coverage check is often performed with static tools by placing short statements that monitor execution at specific points in the code. This allows testers to regularly check the code coverage without having to perform much additional work or testing to do so.

What Is Test Coverage?

While code coverage is a white-box test, test coverage is black box. It can include a number of different factors, including how many tests have been completed and the number of different platforms, browsers, and operating systems that they were tested on. Test coverage may also include the specific features that have been tested so far.

What’s the Difference?

Both terms are used to help testers understand how much of their code has been tested, but they describe different aspects. For example, you may have tested four out of five features of a piece of software, but that may only be 50% of the overall code. The first piece of information is test coverage, while the second is code coverage.

When to Use: Code Coverage vs. Test Coverage

It helps if developers and testers know both pieces of information, because that enables them to make more informed decisions about the number of tests that still need to be completed, and how comprehensive they need to be.

When team members know how much code has been tested, they can create a better timeline of work to be completed and ensure that workflow has been properly planned and that tasks can be finished in time. It can also help developers catch code that is performing poorly or is no longer relevant, and take the steps to fix it.

Test Coverage Metrics

There are a wide range of potential metrics to include when determining the test coverage for your code. How your team measures test coverage may be different from how other teams do it, so you’ll need to find what best allows developers and testers to catalog and even visualize their workflows.

Statement Coverage

This technique measures the execution level of statements in the source code. It verifies that all statements are executed at least once and that all lines of execution paths are covered. This helps to find and address software bugs.

Compatibility Coverage

Compatibility coverage focuses on testing the application’s compatibility across different operating systems and browsers. While it can be time-consuming and expensive, it is valuable in ensuring that software works as intended for all users.

Risk Coverage

The risk coverage metric verifies that the tests cover all risks associated with the software under development. By identifying potential risks, the team can prioritize them and cover the most important areas first.

Branch Coverage

This technique is put into place to make sure that all branches in the code are executed at least once. This can help identify errors that may cause the program to behave unexpectedly. To ensure complete branch coverage, the testing must confirm that all decisions, logical operators, and loops are covered.

Product Coverage 

Product coverage matches the ratio of testable items (requirements, function, use cases, etc.) to the number of items in the product. This metric helps developers measure the testability of a product and eliminate areas that cannot be tested.

Requirements Coverage

This metric helps testers identify gaps in requirements by identifying which software requirements have been tested and which have not. These can include functional, non-functional, interface, and performance requirements.

DesignWise Software

Making sure that your code has been thoroughly tested is essential to creating an excellent finished product. But teams can easily slip into performing too many tests and wasting critical resources through repetitive and redundant test cycles.

That’s why Ranorex created DesignWise, a software that helps testers create just the right amount of tests for their software. Using DesignWise, developers can quickly find gaps in their coverage where additional tests need to be run, and overlaps where tests can be eliminated.

DesignWise Testing Tools

DesignWise has a range of tools that are designed to make sure that you have the right amount of test coverage and code coverage. They include a “coverage dial” that allows developers to set the parameters for the number of tests that they want to create and finely tuned algorithms to generate them.

The suite of tools also encourages Behavioral Driven Development (BDD) with a Gherkin editor that includes syntax highlighting and autocomplete to help less technical members of the team contribute to the testing process.

Ranorex Studio

Once you have tests generated through DesignWise, you can easily implement them with Ranorex Studio. Our automated testing software has helped thousands of developers test their code across a wide range of devices, operating systems, and browsers.

Ranorex Testing Tools

  • Functional Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • Black Box Testing
  • Cross-Browser Testing
  • Data-Driven Testing
  • Keyword-Driven Testing
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Automation Intelligence
  • Browser Automation
  • Selenium
  • Automated Testing Tools

Start a Free Trial Today

Looking for automated testing software that will save your team time and money while creating better code? Start a free trial of Ranorex today.

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