I think we can largely (and perhaps completely) agree that there are two major buckets we concern ourselves with when testing software:
1. Requirements - We want to make sure the application works per spec ... in other words we ensure that the application is doing what the customer asked for!
2. Code - We want to make sure that we kick ALL of the tires on the rig! It is never any fun when customers test our software for us!!
Rational has their finger on the pulse of requirements-based testing. We have the ability to tie requirements directly to test cases directly to defects (e.g. RequisitePro->ClearQuest Test Management/TestManager->CQ). Did you know that Rational also has its finger on the pulse of code-based testing? Ever hear of PurifyPlus? You typically find it on the developer's spice rack. When their cooking up their applications, they give a good dose of PurifyPlus. They primarily use it for the Purify feature. Purify allows them to look at their code for any memory issues (leaks, array errors, etc...). If the developer's don't mind you raiding their spice rack, check it out! I think you might find the PureCoverage portion quite useful.
As its name infers, PureCoverage allows you to get code coverage metrics. These are those lovely reports that tell you how much code your test suite is touching. This is the stuff dreams are made of. This let's you know if you're hitting all of the logic in your application (conditional, loops, etc...). It'll also give you an idea of whether you need more test cases/scripts or simply need to add more data to your tests (e.g. is your datapool broad enough to hit all of the code?).
I have been thinking about this lately. I believe the advent of server-side code pushed code-based tesing "out of sight ... out of mind" for a lot of QA teams. There is some great information on IBM developerWorks that discusses how to set up PurifyPlus to profile server-side code. For instance, here are two ... one for .NET and one for Java:
** .NET** Java
Is it for everyone? Probably not! PurifyPlus focuses on certain technologies, not all technologies. However, you should consider making coverage-based testing part of your arsenal if you can.
Go ahead ... take a bite and chew on this for awhile!! Let me know what you think ...
Another tool in the toolbox ... PurifyPlus