In its JavaBeans application program interface for writing a component, Sun Microsystems calls a component a "Bean" (thus continuing their coffee analogy). A Bean is simply the Sun Microsystems variation on the idea of a component.

In object-oriented programming and distributed object technology, a component is a reusable program building block that can be combined with other components in the same or other computers in a distributed network to form an application. Examples of a component include: a single button in a graphical user interface, a small interest calculator, an interface to a database manager. Components can be deployed on different servers in a network and communicate with each other for needed services. A component runs within a context called a container. Examples of containers include pages on a Web site, Web browsers, and word processors.

This was last updated in January 2006

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