RapiCover FAQs

This page lists several frequently asked questions for RapiCover, the structural code coverage analysis tool designed to meet the needs of the safety-critical embedded software industry.

RapiCover is part of the RVS product range. For frequently asked questions on RVS tools in general, click here

What is RapiCover?

RapiCover is the leading tool for structural code coverage analysis of critical software.

Used globally in the aerospace and automotive industries, it reduces the cost of analyzing structural code coverage analysis up to and including MC/DC.

As part of the RVS toolsuite, it forms part of a software verification solution that also includes tools for functional testing and worst-case execution time analysis. 

How does RapiCover work?

RapiCover works by injecting instrumentation code into source code and executing the native build system so that coverage results are collected during program execution. Data can be collected from almost any target hardware by a variety of approaches.

Which coverage criteria can I measure using RapiCover?

You can measure the most common coverage criteria required to support DO-178B/ED-12B, DO-178C/ED-12C and ISO 26262 certification using RapiCover. This includes function, call, statement, branch, decision and condition coverage, and MC/DC.

Can I determine coverage for a decision containing large numbers of conditions?

By default, RapiCover supports 30 conditions per decision, and includes support for up to 1000 conditions per decision using an alternate, inbuilt instrumentation strategy.

Can I collect coverage over multiple builds?

Using our configurable instrumentation mechanism, you can instruct RapiCover to determine coverage for specific subprograms as necessary. After running your tests, it’s easy to merge coverage data from these runs into a combined report using RapiCover’s Merge Coverage utility.

Can I add manual configurations that flag my code as being exempt/uncoverable?

RapiCover and RapiCoverZero include a powerful “justification” mechanism that lets you mark code as covered. Using this feature, you can provide a rationale for justifying the code and create templates to justify code more easily. When your code changes, justifications are automatically migrated to represent the new location of your justified code.

For more information on using justifications, see our white paper.

 

What happens when I change my code?

RapiCover and RapiCoverZero retain information about the revision of your code it used to generate results. The tool will report an error if you try to merge coverage from incompatible revisions. RapiCover includes an Optimal Dataset Calculator feature you can use to calculate the least expensive tests you need to run again when your code changes, saving you valuable testing effort.

Can I collect coverage data across power cycles and reset sequences?

RapiCover can be configured to collect data in real-time while your software runs. By writing data to an external device, the data will remain in place while your system reboots, and collection can be reinitialized when it restarts. This means that you can collect coverage data across a shutdown or reset sequence. This is subject to your target hardware architecture. 

How is my data presented?

All RVS tools include a friendly user-interface that presents your data in both tabular and graphical formats. Using this interface, you can filter your results to zoom in on target functions, making it easy to find the information you are looking for.

Treemaps provide a high-level overview of your code base and help you understand the coverage of your code at a glance.

My software is part of a product that must be certified against a safety guideline. Can RapiCover be qualified for use in my project?

RapiCover is designed to meet the most stringent needs of certification processes, such as the DO-178B/C process used in the aerospace industry and the ISO 26262 process used in the automotive industry. We can provide developer qualification documents, a template integration qualification report and on-site tests to support you in qualifying RapiCover tools in projects requiring certification.

How do I verify my software’s functional and temporal behavior when instrumentation has been applied?

We recommend that, when performing functional testing of safety-critical applications for a final run-for-score, you run your full test suite both with and without coverage instrumentation applied, then confirm that the results match. This provides evidence that RVS instrumentation has not changed the functional behavior of your code.

Which languages does RapiCover support?

RapiCover supports C, C++ and Ada projects, including mixed-language ones.

How large a code base can RVS tools handle?

RVS tools are designed to handle very large code bases. Because of the efficient algorithms used by RVS tools, there is no fundamental limitation to the number of lines of code that RVS can process, and our RVS tools have been used on projects with millions of lines of code.

Which host operating systems can RVS be used on?

RVS tools support Windows 7 or newer, Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer, and a variety of Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Red Hat.

RVS tools can be used on projects with unsupported operating systems by using a clone integration to split the process and delegate parts of it to the unsupported machine.

Can I use RapiCover with my build system?

RapiCover can be integrated to work with almost any compiler and target hardware. Our integration service promises to deliver a robust integration of RapiCover into your build system.

Which hardware architectures do RVS tools support?

RVS tools can be integrated to work with almost any embedded target. Our engineers can work with you to determine the optimal strategy for integrating the tool with your target, even for multi-core architectures. For more information on the hardware architectures we have integrated RVS tools with, see our support specification.

How are RVS products licensed?

We offer both “Node-locked” and “Floating” licenses, and a license server to support use of our tools in your specific development environment. Floating licenses follow the “Enterprise” model, meaning that you can use our tools across geographical boundaries and different projects and users.

For more information on our licensing models, see our RVS licensing FAQs.

What happens if I encounter an issue while using an RVS tool?

All RVS licenses include access to our dedicated in-house support team, who will work with you to provide a rapid fix to your issue. This is a critical part of our vision. During 2016, we responded to 97% of new support requests within one working day, closed 56% of these within 3 working days and 91% within 20 working days. We also inform our customers of known issues via our website and email. 

How do you support RVS users?

We provide an extensive set of RVS documentation with each of our products, and offer training courses guiding you through the most effective use of RVS tools. All our users can benefit from privileged access to our website, which includes downloads for new product releases. 

How do I learn more about RapiCover?

You can request a trial version of RVS, which includes RapiCover. You can also arrange a demonstration, where a member of our team will work with you to show the benefits RapiCover can offer you.

If you're interested in RapiCover in academia, you can search for it in the academic press