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Testing inbound and outbound emails.

Force.com Apex Code Developer's guide says - test methods commit no data to the database, send no emails, which is obvious.

I do e-mail testing in salesforce using my e-mails and sometimes friend's emails who work with me. If everything(incliding templates's look and feel) works as supposed to be I do deployment in the prod. But I am looking for a formal way of testing it - like we test our normal class/triggers.

We can use System.assert(....) in this case. But how to assert inbound/outbound emails(w/out attachments) worked?