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A component is a unit of logic that exists as a standalone software program as part of a distributed computing architecture. Components can be created with different development tools and programming languages, such as Java and .NET. Component logic can be further exposed via the Web services technology platform through the use of Web service contract-related technologies, such as WSDL, XML schema, and WS-Policy.

Components can be designed according to different design paradigms, such as object-orientation and service-orientation. When applying the latter approach, component logic is shaped by the application of service-orientation design principles in support of the strategic goals and benefits associated with SOA and service-oriented computing.

Although the IT industry places a great deal of emphasis on creating services as Web services, it is important to acknowledge that services can be solely constructed from components as long as a meaningful extent of service-orientation is realized.


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