The difference between "Chocolate" and "Compound Coating" is the fat used. Chocolate is made with Cocoa Butter which is why it must be tempered. - to get the proper crystal form of the cocoa butter.
Some other fats i.e. coconut oil are easier to work with in that tempering is not needed, but you give up some flavor and satisfaction.
The main difference between chocolate candy coating and real chocolate is the oil based used. Candy coating has palm kernel oil or other fats while real chocolate has a cocoa butter base. Real chocolate is a bit more expensive and more difficult to work with than candy coating, but nothing beats the flavor. Good quality candy coating is easy to use, delicious in taste and is an excellent alternative to real chocolate. Beginners will enjoy the ease of working with candy coating while advanced candy makers may want to tray working with real chocolate. Real chocolate must be tempered when dipping or molding. That means it needs to be a certain temperature (generally 86-89 degrees) when working with it, or your chocolates will not come out as desired. Candy coating is available in milk, dark or white flavored chocolate as well as a variety of colors. It is easy to use. Candy coating does not have to be tempered. Simply melt and it is ready to use.
Candy coating is sometimes called almond bark, summer coating, Candy Kote wafers or Candy Melts. Chocolate-flavored candy coating is much easier than real chocolate to use, and the results are more likely to be successful for the novice. Candy coating is available in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white, peanut butter, butterscotch, mint, and a variety of colors. Candy coating is also available in tubes called candy writers. Candy writers are ideal for detailing on finished candy pieces or painting details in candy molds. You may also add an oil-based food color to achieve colors not commercially available. High quality candy coating is delicious; high quality real chocolate is superb. Real chocolate is available in milk, dark or white. All real chocolate contains cocoa butter.
Information and image taken with permission from Autumn Carpenter's Book, All About Candy Making. All rights reserved.