Code Coverage

What Does Code Coverage Mean?

Code coverage is a term used in software testing to describe how much program source code is covered by a testing plan. Developers look at the number of program subroutines and lines of code that are covered by a set of testing resources and techniques.


Code coverage is also known as test coverage.

Techopedia Explains Code Coverage

Using code coverage analysis, development teams can provide reassurance that their programs have been broadly tested for bugs and should be relatively error-free. Professionals in the software industry have pointed out the evident benefits of this kind of testing analysis, namely, that including code coverage analysis and other testing aspects in beta or other development rounds exposes bugs to a small test audience, rather than to millions of users when products finally go live.

Some development environments such as Microsoft Visual Studio have specific menu tools for doing code coverage analysis. In other cases, developers may use relatively manual methods that involve mapping out the software source code and determining where testing applies. Third-party vendors also provide specific code coverage tools for different programming languages.

Experts describe code coverage analysis as a part of "white box testing," a method that examines program code. In some cases, code coverage analysis is done mostly to find the precise areas that are not covered by testing strategies. There are many different technical metrics and parameters used to specifically assess code coverage in a given project.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…