Code Coverage Testing Vs. Test Coverage: Subjectivity And Usefulness


The most popular techniques for calculating the performance of the code are test coverage and code coverage testing. But as you might imagine, they’re not as close. I’ve found many times that the research staff and production team are uncertain about the usage of these two terminologies.

What is the difference between code coverage and test coverage?

Code coverage: This shows the percentage of data covered by Selenium test cases or some other software engineering method by both manual monitoring and automatic testing. For instance, if the source code has a basic if … else loop, the code coverage implementation will be 100% of all possibilities that were protected by the test code, i.e. if & else.

Test coverage: This includes testing the features and the test coverage techniques implemented as part of the technical standards description, the programme requirements definition, and other necessary documents. For example, whether your web application needs to be cross-browser reviewed to ensure that your application renders well from multiple browsers or not? The number of browsers + OS combinations across which you have checked your web application’s browser compatibility may be around your test scope.

Let’s proceed into more details about code coverage & test coverage.

Understanding Code Coverage in detail

Code coverage is carried out during unit checking by engineers to validate the execution of the code in such a way that almost all code statements are implemented. Most of the code coverage approaches use static code coverage instrumentation where statements that control execution are placed at the required locations in the code.

Although the incorporation of code coverage instrumentation leads to an increase in the overall program size & execution time, the overhead is marginal compared to the information provided from the execution of the instrumented method. The output consists of a report which reports the test coverage of the test suite.

Why should code coverage testing be performed? 

Unit checks are usually used at an independent unit level to validate the code. Since unit tests were written by the creator, the tests that can be used as part of unit testing are more noticeable to the creator. Unit testing aims to increase the software’s performance efficiency, but the number of measures that constitute unit testing will still be a concern.

New functionality, as well as improvements (to the bugs posed during code coverage testing) is applied to the release schedule as the software development progresses. This suggests that to keep it updated with the program improvements made during development, the test code will also need updates. It is critical that, with subsequent release cycles, the testing requirements set at the launch of the project are retained. Code coverage best practices will be used to ensure that certain requirements are met by the checks and the highest performing code reaches the development process.

Why should code coverage testing be performed?

In some companies, the programming committee decides the minimum amount of code coverage that must be completed before the software is passed into the code coverage implementation phase. The primary explanation for this is to decrease the risk of identification of vulnerabilities at a later point of product growth.

How Code coverage testing is performed ?

There are various degrees at which code coverage testing is possible. Some of the typical subgroups of code coverage are:

Branch coverage-Branch coverage is often referred to as decision coverage to ensure the implementation of a potential division included in a decision-making process. 

E.g., whether you include an If … A conditional statement or a Do … While statement in the code, as part of the coverage, if you are adding a fall back for cross-browser compatibility, you must ensure that all branches, i.e. If, Otherwise, Do, and While are checked to create a cross-platform friendly website by supplying sufficient inputs.

Function coverage-Function coverage ensures the checking of required functions (particularly exported functions / APIs). Because the logic used in the functions will then be checked, it may also require checking the functions for different kinds of input parameters. Method coverage will be 100 percent of all the functions in the code that are checked.

Loop Coverage-This strategy is to guarantee that at least once any loop in the source is executed. There may be several loops that can be executed based on outcomes you obtained at runtime, it is, therefore, appropriate to validate those loops to make the code foolproof.

Understanding Test Coverage in detail 

Test analysis is a black-box testing methodology, unlike code inspection, which is a white-box testing methodology. Test cases are written in such a manner as to provide full security for the specifications defined in FRS (Functional Requirements Specification), SRS (Software Requirements Specification), URS (User Requirement Specification), etc. As the experiments are extracted from these texts, there are minimal / no automation possibilities.

How to test coverage is performed ?

Test coverage may also be checked by multiple forms of testing, including interface coverage. For eg, there might be a case in user-centered web apps where the UI / UX tests are of greater value to functional tests, whilst in other types of apps (e.g. banking, finance); accessibility tests, security tests, etc.may be more relevant. However, which method of testing do you pursue, depends entirely on the market proposal.

Listed below are some test coverage mechanisms:

  1. Unit TestingA unit level/module level conducts this method of testing. Bugs found at the level of a network will vary from the problems experienced at the stage of integration.
  1. Functional Testing-The functions/features are evaluated against the specifications specified in the Functional Design Specification (FRS) in functional testing.
  1. Integration testing-Since the program is evaluated at a device stage, it is often referred to as system testing. After all the necessary components are implemented, this method of testing is done.
  1. Acceptance Testing– All this depends on when the product can be published to the final consumer/customer as a result of acceptance testing. This is where the developers get a sign-off from the web application’s reviewers and SMEs as a green pass, just before moving the code improvements from the staging phase to development.

Code coverage testing is a white-box technique, while test coverage is a black-box research approach. You can choose test coverage, code coverage, & feature coverage, based on the project’s specifications and scope. For each operation, you can prioritize the test tasks and give a preliminary deadline.