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Component-Based Model: Definition, Uses & Examples

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

In this lesson, we'll examine the component-based process model, its definition, uses, and some examples. Once done, you should have a solid understanding of this type of process model.

Addressing Complexity

We live in a complex world; a world that is full of incredible technology. If you don't agree, just take a quick look around you. Chances are you have an automobile, a cell phone, or a building, close by. Creating these types of items isn't easy, and neither is creating the software systems that run each of them. So, how do you deal with the software portion? How do you ensure that the software system is created properly in spite of the complexity involved? There's no simple answer. But one way is to employ a component-based process model.

What is a Process Model?

A process model is a description or template that details the steps needed to plan, organize, and execute a development project. Think of them like getting directions from Google Maps or your grandmother's recipe for turkey stuffing. Each provides a set of actions that you can perform to achieve a known result, e.g. a route from point A to point B or the stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. It is important to note that in addition to providing a template, process models also have a few other benefits:

  • They allow you to track progress because the needed steps are enumerated.
  • The steps are generally small, and self-contained, so they are easy to follow.
  • They increase the probability of success because the steps are usually known and well understood.

What is a Component-Based Process Model?

It follows then that a component-based process model is a description or template that fosters the development of a project by identifying and reusing components that already exist. Components are simple, self-contained, pieces of functionality that you can combine in any fashion to solve a problem or set of problems. Think of them like individual pieces of Lego. They each perform some function, and they can be combined in any number of ways to produce different resulting objects. This is a very powerful idea. Not only do you get the first object, but potentially a number of others as well.

How is a Component-Based Process Model Used?

There are many descriptions out there that detail the steps needed in a component-based process model, particularly from a software engineering perspective. Luckily, these descriptions all reduce down to the same 4 fundamental steps. Those steps are as follows:

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