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A component is a functionally independent part of any system. It performs some function and may require some input or produce some output. A component in software is often represented by classes.
A component represents one or more logical tasks. For example consider a car. It can be considered as a component since it allows people to sit, which can be considered an input. It transports a person from one place to another, which is its function. It requires a certain amount of fuel to operate and has a certain maximum speed limit, which represent its characteristics. It is composed of an engine, braking system, air conditioner and other such sub components. Each of these sub components has their own distinguished functions. The engine takes a certain amount of fuel as input, performs a process known as internal combustion and produces movement along with carbon monoxide as outputs.