Vector's Probe tool instruments code for comprehensive software tests

March 15, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Vector Software has added VectorCAST/Probe, which employs user-defined blocks of code, or probe points, that can be added before or after executable statements to solve common test problems.

VectorCAST/Probe, the company says, provides a simple way to dynamically instrument an application with blocks of code to enable white box testing, inject faults, and debug hard to repeat race conditions. VectorCAST/Probe supports multiple platforms and is integrated with the full family of VectorCAST tools for unit testing, system testing and integration testing. Common software test issues addressed by the tool include;

- Testing the error path; a probe point can force variables to be set to unexpected values or to explicitly induce a software fault such as divide by zero, stack overflow or clock rollover. By explicitly inducing the fault, the error logic will be executed, and the recovery procedure can be validated.

- Capturing debug data at the time of failure; when a test case fails, the tester can often see the cause of the error. A tester can validate a potential fix by creating a probe point and rerunning the test.

- Separating test code from production code; when adding test code directly into the source, there is a risk of leaving test code in the end product. A better way, says Vector, is to use VectorCAST/Probe to maintain the test code separately from production code.


“The main goal of VectorCAST test tools is to use automation to make testing easier and faster,” said Jeffrey Fortin, head of product management for Vector Software. “VectorCAST/Probe simplifies testing tasks for developers by enabling them to simply click the line of code where they want to add a probe and enter a snippet of C code. VectorCAST/Probe takes care of the compilation of the probe, the insertion into the source code, and the build of the instrumented application.”


VectorCAST/Probe has been nominated for an embedded award at this year’s Embedded World show in Nuremberg, Germany from March 14-16, 2017. A demonstration of VectorCAST/Probe is available at the Vector Software booth in Hall 4, Stand: 4-241. For an image