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Code Coverage Vs. Test Coverage

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2023-09-07

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Code coverage and test coverage are essential metrics in software testing methodologies for determining the effectiveness of the codebase. These terms, however, are occasionally used interchangeably, which is wrong because they are two different things. The basic goal of both code coverage and test coverage stays the measurement metrics used to assess application code quality. They are essential for developers to correct any faults detected and improve the overall quality of an application.

Q1. What Is Code Coverage?

Code coverage testing is a software testing metric that describes the number of adequately validated lines of code in a test procedure. Code coverage in software testing can assist in evaluating how completely a software component has been tested.


During the testing phase, developers work on code coverage to ensure that nearly all code statements are run. Most code coverage solutions employ static instrumentation, in which statements that track execution are added at critical points in the code.

The Benefits Of Code Coverage

You also are conscious that testing code coverage improves test code effectiveness and allows you to enhance coverage performance. But why does the efficiency increase?


Let’s discuss the main advantages of code coverage:


  • Increased efficiency and productivity

With code coverage, developers may complete the software development cycle more quickly. As a result, productivity increases, and more products can be provided in a shorter period. As a result, your consumers are happier than ever, and your ROI has increased significantly.


  • Simple code-base management

It is critical to maintain your code base efficiently and provide scalable high-quality code. In addition, code coverage allows you to assess your code so that you may improve it quickly.


  • Elimination of poor code

Code coverage not only contributes to improving the entire code base, but it also enables you to spot bad and unnecessary code. A couple of things improve because of this: product maintenance improves, and developers learn how to avoid incorrect and repetitive code.

Code Coverage Tools

Numerous code coverage tools work with various programming languages, and many of them also serve as QA tools. In addition, many tools can be linked with build and project management tools, enhancing their power and use. When selecting an open-source code coverage tool, consider the features covered and whether the tool is actively being developed.


Based on those considerations, the following are some of the most widely used open code coverage tools:


  • Coverage.Py

It is a Python code coverage tool. It analyses your source code and determines the proportion of code executed, as the name implies. Python is used to create it.


  • Serenity BDD

Serenity BDD is a widely used open toolkit that supports the Java and Groovy programming languages and is used primarily for developing high-quality acceptance tests quickly.


  • JCov

JCov is a framework-independent code coverage tool. It easily connects with Oracle’s test infrastructure, including JavaTest and JTReg.


  • PITest

Most code coverage tools investigate the issue code for branch coverage, statement coverage, loop coverage, and so on, and return coverage results.

Q2. What Is Test Coverage?

The first key difference between test coverage and code coverage is that this is a black-box testing method. It essentially counts the number of tests that have been run and whether the active test cases cover the majority of the numerous documents included.


  • Functional Requirements Specifications (FRS)
  • Software Requirements Specifications (SRS)
  • User Needs Specifications (URS)


After all the functionalities specified in the papers have been completed, a test code must be written to verify the implemented product features. The goal is to offer analytics on tests performed on a software solution.


In software testing, test coverage includes a variety of testing methodologies such as unit testing, responsive testing, cross-browser testing, integration testing, and acceptance testing. The test coverage is then evaluated and measured based on the number of features addressed by the test code. Consider test coverage examples like, in a user-centric web application, UI/UX testing may take precedence over functional tests, whereas in other types of applications (e.g., banking, finance), user testing, security tests, and so on may be more significant.

Benefits of Test Coverage

Test coverage is an essential indicator for assessing the operational effectiveness of software components. The following are the primary advantages of test coverage techniques:


  • Untested code components identification

Test coverage assists you in identifying areas of the codebase that various relevant test cases have not directed.


  • Enables developers to develop new test cases

To improve overall test coverage, you can develop new test cases based on requirements derived from existing test coverage.


  • Identification of redundant test cases

In addition to providing new test cases, test coverage analysis will assist you in detecting worthless test cases that aren’t used in the current requirements. So you can get rid of those test cases and enhance the code.

Test Coverage Tools

Despite having other tools/test frameworks available to developers/testers for writing test code, JUnit and PyUnit are the most widely tested frameworks for their particular programming languages.


  • PyUnit

One of the most common test coverage solutions, the tool is primarily intended for unit testing. PyUnit, a Python-based framework, efficiently produces test cases, tests, suites, and test fixtures.


  • JUnit

It is a Java-compatible open-source unit testing framework. Developers use JUnit to do routine operations such as writing, performing, and analyzing tests. Surprisingly, the program can handle user interface and regression testing simultaneously.

Conclusion

Test and code coverages are both measurements of the quality of the application that is built. Code coverage specifies which application code is executed, whereas test coverage specifies which requirements have been met. Both are crucial regarding testing an application and providing a quality product.


As a result, there is no precise solution to the problem “code coverage vs. test coverage: which one to choose?” because it relies totally on your business needs and the complexity of the software application. However, in most cases, both test coverage and code coverage are employed.

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