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In current times, software testing is considered as an essential activity in the software maintenance life cycle. It is a practice to improve software quality. Test coverage helps the testers to improve the quality of test cases that covers the missing areas. It is an important metric in software testing to assess the quantity of testing met by a set of tests.

What is Test Coverage?

Generally, it is defined as the amount of testing performed on the given set of Requirements or simply it can be defined as – “How much testing is done.''

This can be done with the help of the formula:

Test Coverage = No of Test Cases Executed * 100/Total No of Test Cases

Types of Test coverage

There are two types of test coverages which are mentioned below:

Functional Coverage & Non-Functional Coverage

For any application to release on a live server, certain criteria or testing required to be done like security, performance, configuration, installation, etc. Any application's core objective is to work as per expectations under any circumstances.

How to implement efficient Test Coverage methods?

The QA Manager should go through the number of requirements subject to be tested for the application. Besides, he/she should check the number of available resources and share timelines for the release of an application. Each QA in the team should be assigned tasks and when the test plan documentation is completed, the actual testing starts. Assigning a complicated task to a more skillful tester and medium level tasks to an average tester will help to achieve the more test coverage. Also, by using these methods to increase the test coverage, we can achieve the significance of lesser timings.

Test plan

  • Code Coverage
  • Data-Oriented Coverage
  • Platform-Related coverage

1. Code Coverage

Check the below parameters to attain perfect code coverage:

  • Functional Coverage: Check all the functions and database store procedures related to the functionalities.
  • Statement Coverage: Check every line of code.
  • Condition Coverage: Check all the loops and conditions in the code.
  • Path Coverage: Find the possible paths from the starting point in the code which has been executed.
  • Entry and exit Coverage: Check how many functions or procedures were executing from the beginning to the end.     

All these above-mentioned criteria are linked to each other. For example, the path coverage automatically involves condition, statement and entry/exit coverage. Statement coverage, on the other hand, does not involve any condition coverage.

2. Data-Oriented Coverage

Data-oriented coverage is applicable for both white box as well as black box testing, e.g. boundary values, equivalence partition, and combinatorial testing. Another aspect of data-oriented coverage is we can test the few data which allows choosing each possible value at least once. In data-oriented coverage, the input and output parameters that are taken into consideration depending on their domain.

3. Platform-Related coverage

Platform-related coverage ensures the test coverage for various platforms like web, desktop, and mobile. Mobile fragmentation is a core part of this coverage which allows assessing test coverage for mobility. It also includes test coverage for different browsers.

How to get more test coverage in a short time?

Each testing professional should be aware of the functionalities for the described requirements and specifications to evaluate the tasks in a better way. Usages of automation tool is a proven solution to get more coverage in less time. It helps to achieve the following things:

  • Prioritization of Requirements: Users should prioritize the requirements into critical, major and minor priorities enables the user to focus on the tasks actively.
  • Impact of Analysis: Identify the impacts in the initial releases and assess them.
  • Maintaining the Checklist: Maintaining a checklist for all the basic interactions that can help in including efficient tasks.
  • Build Management: The product owners should keep track of all the fixes, versions, and impacts on the current releases.
  • Create test data with logics: For tests, we create test data through a browser. In such cases, it will be effective if we can create test data directly from the database. The database service calls are easy and time-efficient, so by reducing the UI interactions, our test becomes fast and more reliable like an API.
  • Execute main business case on different browsers: This proposes to run the most important business test cases against all the browsers every time and run the test cases (which are on low priority) on a single browser. It gives a different browser for each test suite.

Popular methods of covering tests

Some of the popular methods of covering tests are:

  • Resource shuffling: Switching the tasks from one QA to another in team will help in finding out some minor bugs in the application.
  • Compatibility coverage: In every task, cross-browser testing will help in improving the accuracy of the application.
  • Ownership: Make testers accountable for the testing of the module which is assigned to them.
  • Deadline: Knowing the release date and setting a clean deadline will make things easier including accurate planning for entry criteria.
  • Communication: The communication gap can be reduced among team members which will help out in more work efficiency and quality output in the project.
  • Maintain an RTM: With the help of RTM and similar techniques, stakeholders or clients can plan their release schedules.

Advantages of implementing test coverage in the project

The advantages of implementing test coverage in projects are mentioned below:

  • As per the priority, testers will be able to figure out more critical and less critical test cases for the application.
  • Implementing test coverage provides good traceability between the generated test cases and given requirements.
  • Testers will get more ideas about how the selected release is different from the previous one and this ensures to find out the critical requirements more accurately.
  • The use of any test management tools always helps in attaining more test coverage.
  • Implementing test coverage can help in keeping a track of all your build cycles and fixes in the project.
  • Implementing test coverage helps in giving preferences to the functionality coverage as per the client's need.
  • Impacts analysis can be performed.
  • Implementing test coverage will help to maximize the multitasking ability of a tester.
  • Implementing test coverage will help in determining the EXIT criteria.

Tips to perform test coverage

We are mentioning some of the top tips to perform effective test coverage:

  • Make appropriate test cases that cover the maximum test scenarios required based on the current release.
  • Perform testing before the release so that the focus is provided to cover more scenarios in less time on a scheduled basis.
  • Ensure to cover pending items of release while having a new release.

Test coverage techniques

Some of the techniques via which we can achieve test coverage are:

  • Specification-based test coverage can be achieved by focusing on the main part of the project with the help of test cases designed before the release.
  • Structure-based test coverage can be achieved with the help of branch testing, statement testing, etc. and it helps to improve the testing before release.
  • Experience-based test coverage can be achieved with the help of errors that could occur during testing. It will be completed after other test coverage techniques are being tested.

This blog is co-authored by Mohammed Yasser Khan, Surabhi Chincholkar, Chetan Phulwar, Umang Shah, Rohan Velapurkar and Zuber Khan.