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Is there any difference between use case and user stories?

Or are these totally different terms in the context of agile planning?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes, there is a difference as far as what a user story and what a use case is. There are a lot of references on these online (search use case vs user story), however EITHER can be used in terms of agile planning. I think what you'll find, at least in my opinion, that the user story is better suited for agile planning and development.

This is one of my favorite references for user stories:

And here is a great article on why user stories are NOT use cases:

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Their context is different, but what they represent is the same.

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User Story

User story is the high level requirement of a client. For example: 'As an actor i need to retrieve a data from the SQL database' or 'As an actor i need to book a ticket in a web portal'.

Use case

Use case is a digramatical representation of what the actor performs in a system

Actor + System + Action = Use Case

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Use Cases have to parts, the diagrams that show an overview and the relations between use cases and the detailed steps which show the process including prerequisites, outcomes, possible branches and exceptions. – Danny Varod Jan 31 '13 at 13:11

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