Understanding Cyclomatic Complexity And Finding The Best Tool To Decipher It

To put it simply, cyclomatic complexity reflects how many branching paths (among other connections) there are in a program. This is based on the fact that the more complicated a code is, the more it needs to be tested since it is less reliable. It is like counting each of the possible branch points in your code.

It was introduced in 1976 by Thomas McCabe. That is the reason why it is also known as program complexity, or as McCabe’s complexity. It has been developed for a long time and is still being used today.

CYC = E – N + 2P is the formula for cyclomatic complexity. The P of the formula signifies the number of the disconnected parts of the flow graph like a calling program and a subroutine. The E is the number of edges or the transfers of control. The N is the number of nodes which is the sequential group of statements containing only one transfer of control. This translates to the number of decisions + one.

Then the numbers that have been derived can be used for length testing and breadth testing. Length testing is a way by which you can try to cover the entire scope by selecting the important test cases for each feature. Breadth testing is when you try out the entirety of a program but do not test the product features in detail.

Since cyclomatic complexity is not easily understood by everyone, there are many tools that can help you out with it. Here are the factors you should consider when selecting one.

Always read through the comments and reviews section of each cyclomatic complexity tool you have stumbled upon. This will help you learn more about the cyclomatic complexity tool since you will get a first-hand opinion from their previous and current clients. Skim through and check if there are any complaints resolved by their support staff.

It is a good idea to select a cyclomatic complexity tool which was designed to function for different clients. Also check on the problems their support staff may have faced during their work and how they were able to overcome it.

Lastly, considering that the cyclomatic complexity tool is not free, you should conduct a canvas for each companies’ price quotations that offer them. Pick out those who are able to meet your budget.

Note that the most successful businesses and individuals seek help from developers offering cyclomatic complexity tools to be up to date.

Make sure that you research a lot about cyclomatic complexity so that you will be able to understand it in no time.

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