Component Oriented Programming

After having understood about the core .net framework terms, compilation mode and assemblies let’s take a pause and understand why such a programming model has been created at the first place. How the concept of assemblies helps in writing complex software applications.

Object oriented programming VS component oriented programming

You are familiar with the term object oriented programming. These are the principles used to organize your application source code. The most important principle that is followed while writing object oriented code is encapsulation which helps in combining similar set of functionality into the same class.

The new term which you should learn about is Component Oriented Programming. This is a technique to organize different parts of your application. Before talking more about component oriented programming let’s take a small example. The best example to understand about component oriented designs is your computer. If you have ever looked inside your computer hardware then you probably are familiar with this picture

computer hardware
This picture shows how different parts of the computer come together to make the computer work. The processor is manufactured by a different company and the hard disk is manufactured by a different company. But all these components easily fit together to make the computer system work.

Same is the concept with component oriented designs in software engineering. Here assemblies are called components. Many assemblies come together to complete a software application. One of the assemblies might contain classes to perform mathematical operations, other assembly might contain classes for handling the graphical user interface, some other assembly might contain classes to perform file operations. You can bring all the assemblies together and build a software application.

Your goal when you learn .net should be to understand how to think in terms of components. You should learn how to organize your functionality into various assemblies and then bring these assemblies to work together. If you write all your source code in the same project and just create one assembly out of it then you are probably not using the real power which the .net framework gives you.

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