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Mala Sharma
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Hi,

I had a interview over telephone today where i was asked the difference between a "class" and a "component". To me this question made no sense so i basically told them the difference between class and a object. Is there an answer to the above asked question or was my understanding right (it was probably HR person conducting the interview). Any comments are welcomed.

Regards,
Mala
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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There are a couple of different definitions of "component", but generally, a component is the smallest unit of software reusability. Sometimes it's one class, but usually it's a group of classes, together with published interfaces and documentation. By this definition, Lucene is a component. An EJB that provides credit-card charging is a component.
 
Arun Kumarr
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To add more: You can decide upon the components while you are designing your architecture and classes you do it later.
[ September 14, 2005: Message edited by: Arun Kumarr ]
 
Rick O'Shay
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Answer: it depends on the context but in general a component is a pluggable service. A component may consist of one or more classes plus any associated configuration resources.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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