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4.4. What is a Component?

The key to understanding CBD is to gain a deeper appreciation of what is meant by a component, and how components form the basic building blocks of a solution. The definition of what it means to be a component is the basis for much of what can be achieved using CBD, and in particular provides the distinguishing characteristics between CBD and other reuse-oriented efforts of the past.

For CBD, a component is much more than a subroutine in a modular programming approach, an object or class in an object-oriented system, or a package in a system model. In CBD the notion of a component both subsumes and expands on those ideas. A component is used as the basis for design, implementation, and maintenance of component-based systems. For now we will assume a rather broad, general notion of a component, and define it as:


  

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