The goal of this blog entry was to clarify the difference among TDD tests, unit tests, and acceptance tests. A TDD test is similar to both a unit test and an acceptance test, but it is not the same.
Like unit tests, TDD tests can be used for regression testing. You can use TDD tests to immediately determine whether a change in code has broken existing application functionality. However, unlike a unit test, a TDD test does not necessarily test one unit of code in isolation.
Like acceptance tests, TDD tests are used to drive the creation of an application. TDD tests work like mini-acceptance tests. You create a TDD test to express the application functionality that needs to be implemented next. However, unlike an acceptance test, a TDD test is not an end-to-end test. A TDD test does not interact with a live database or Web server.
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