Is code coverage a good criteria for DoD?

Code coverage tools like JaCoCo, Istanbul, and others provide a Code Coverage Report that displays which regions are covered by tests and which are justify untested. Looking at its limitations first, we all know that having 100 percentage code coverage does not guarantee that the code is bug-free or that all requirements have been covered in the code. For instance, we are likely to have bugs in the code even if we have 100 percent of code coverage because coverage does not ensure that all scenarios have been tested. If you have a 500-line application to test, just 400 lines will be executed by tests. Let’s presume this code coverage results from a loop or condition not being run.

definition of code coverage

For example, the test should cover all of the ‘If’ statements and any surrounding ‘Else’ lines for 100% Branch Coverage in the above code. If the tests run the whole piece of code, including all branches, conditions, and loops, we can claim that all potential cases have been covered, and the Code Coverage is 100 percent. In simple words, Code Coverage refers to the percentage of a target software program’s or application’s source code that is executed during testing. The software program is unit tested before being delivered to the actual test team for testing . The developer does this testing because it involves testing at the code level. This is done to guarantee that each code component being tested functions correctly.

Statement Coverage

A team may choose to include several stipulations of this nature in its DoD. For example, coverage by BDD tests might be included and distinguished from TDD coverage. Also, there may be assertions that other «code quality» measures (e.g. cyclomatic complexity, brittleness) will not increase. No, Code Coverage is only a metric for evaluating the effectiveness of unit tests, which are tests that are only run on a software’s source code.

Code coverage scripts generate a report that details how much of the application code has been executed. As Clover uses source code instrumentation, it actually «sees» a real code structure. Therefore, Clover offers a Statement Coverage metric, which is similar to a Line Coverage metric in terms of it’s granularity and precision. Now you can learn everything about code coverage in an audio version. You have 100% line and branch coverage, and you’ve covered invalid inputs. What this tells us is that the «coverage» metric depends too much on the implementation, whereas ideally testing should be black box.

Proven Testing Solutions

Soon you’ll have so many tests in your code that it will be impossible for you to know what part of the application is checked during the execution of your test suite. You’ll know what breaks when you get a red build, but it’ll be hard for you to understand what components have passed the tests. Function coverage will be satisfied if, during this execution, the function foo was called at least once.

definition of code coverage

Use this type of coverage to determine whether every statement in the program has been invoked at least once. So, it is not a choice of which one to choose, but rather how much time should you give to each of them. If you just perform test coverage on a branch and not the code coverage for example, you might miss the bug in another part that could affect the functionality. The previous point states that code coverage can help us determine how many lines of code we are running through our tests. Hence, as a result of that, we can conclude that the more code coverage we have, the more bugs we would find as more lines are being executed.

What is Code Coverage?

Software authors can look at test coverage results to devise additional tests and input or configuration sets to increase the coverage over vital functions. Two common forms of test coverage are statement coverage and branch coverage. Line coverage reports on the execution footprint of testing in terms of which lines of code were executed to complete the test. Edge coverage reports which branches or code decision points were executed to complete the test. The meaning of this depends on what form of coverage have been used, as 67% branch coverage is more comprehensive than 67% statement coverage.

definition of code coverage

Now for the time being, the inner workings of those methods do not matter because we are only focused on the testing of the retrieveData function. Method coverage measures if a method was entered what is code coverage at all during execution. This approach adds instrumentation statements to the source code and compiles the code with the normal compile tool chain to produce an instrumented assembly.

Support for multiple application platforms

The risk coverage focuses on the things that could be a risk to the system or the application, and hence to the user. While all other types of test coverage can list down a few common things, risk coverage depends completely on the type of application you are building. A failure in testing requirement coverage can mean that either you are pushing a faulty application, or that some requirement may never have been implemented at all. This could be devastating to the reputation if the end-user finds the application faulty or cannot find the promised feature. A code is always at one of the states given in the FSM at any point in time. When we execute code further ahead from this state, the machine might go to a different state or remain in the same state, depending on the code execution.

  • I would use code-coverage to highlight bits of code that I should probably write tests for.
  • may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums.
  • JaCoCo is a great tool, another one is SonarQube which can even calculate your total technical debt in person days, including metrics mentioned by Ian.
  • Developers look at the number of program subroutines and lines of code that are covered by a set of testing resources and techniques.
  • The main purpose of Statement Coverage is to cover all the possible paths, lines and statements in source code.
  • As a result, the objective of Function Coverage is to ensure that we have all of the functions required.

Later on, when I started working as a software engineer, I found out that the confusion I had faced in college was still present with most of the employees. While there are multiple roles involved in delivering a successful software project, all share the ultimate goal of ensuring to provide a quality product. Code coverage offers a metric that all members can work to enhance and edge their projects efficiently, closer to delivery.

What is Code Coverage and Why It Should Not Lead Development

Now that was a simple example of how code coverage can give false security. Now developers worth their salt could instantly pick up the problems with these tests but let’s just all look at it through the eyes of a beginner for a moment. These tests both test the retrieveData function and do so to 100% coverage. Try it, run the equivalent in your favourite language and you’ll find that 100% of the retrieveData code is covered. Now if we were to take the mentality of “if it’s covered, we are good”, then we could commit this and feel safe because all tests pass and all code is covered, right?

C1 stands for statement coverage and C2 for branch or condition coverage. With a combination of C1 and C2, it is possible to cover most statements in a code base. Statement coverage would also cover function coverage with entry and exit, loop, path, state flow, control flow and data flow coverage. With these methods, it is possible to achieve nearly 100% code coverage in most software projects. Now with that code the new assertions correctly verify the code is performing the way we want it to perform, the tests pass, and the code is covered, therefore meaning we have full test coverage . However, with the second test, with 100% test coverage, 100% of the code is covered too.

Learn More on Codecademy

Typically, it is quantified in the percentage of the total lines executed of the overall code lines and run code tests. Additionally, 100% code coverage should not be sought at any stage of SDLC because it will end up wasting more time and resources as developers would miss out on vital testing modules when short at the time. The core objective of both code coverage and test coverage remains the measurement metrics leveraged to simplify the assessment of the quality of application code.


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