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Thread: Compare and contrast Test Coverage and Test Trace-ability

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    Compare and contrast Test Coverage and Test Trace-ability

    This question is posted from Brjesh Deb on Twitter

    What are the similarities or differences between test coverage and test trace-ability? Let me know what you think...

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    Test Coverage and Test Trace-ability

    Test Coverage is the amount to test cases conducted on the product, often expressed as a percentage of the total possible test cases and is used to provide a measure of the risk remaining in the product. For example, if we have tested 50% of the possible test cases (based upon requirements) then there exists a significant portion of the product that contains uncertainty (50% in which we have not tested). The reality is thing are really not this easy. Consider, for example, those test cases that are not based upon requirements, where do those fit in the test coverage discussion? This part of the testing is often based upon experience and the exploration of those aspects of the product not associate with the requirements, for example, the behavior that is unwanted and not documented, it is not possible to document everything about the product. Additionally, the number of test cases and therefore test coverage can quickly reach astronomical numbers for complex system, how much sense does test coverage make in that instance.

    Test Trace-abilty is the ability to trace the test cases and tests conducted back to through the requirements and through to the customer identified needs. This trace-ability makes it possible to understand the consequences of a failed test case on the entire system and ultimately the customer. This trace-ability is not the same as coverage, but can help understand the consequences of the failures found and assess the system capability as it applies to the customer.

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