Component Object Model Explained Easily

Published: 11th May 2009
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In the process of developing computer applications, developers in software development companies have strived hard to achieve greater efficiency and interoperability. In their attempt to achieve greater efficiency, they have created object-oriented programming, procedure calls and libraries of reusable software.
However, there are other ways of creating applications in a more cost-effective manner. Some developers take the advantage of previously created software components, existing tools and software and hardware infrastructure to develop and deploy applications. This approach is mainly referred to as "component software". Microsoft Corporation has gained its monopoly by offering its own set of standards and products for component software. Among them is the Component Object Model (COM).
It is a software architecture developed to build component-based applications. COM objects are separate components with a unique identity each. The objects expose interfaces that, thus allow other components to gain access to their features. Their versatility makes them easily fit into an object-oriented program design. This is because they are completely language-independent. COM objects are the main building blocks of developing component-based software in the custom software development scenario.
The Component Object Model technology is used in the Windows family of operating systems that allows software components to commune. A Software development service uses COM to re-create re-usable software components and link them together to create applications, thus taking advantage of Window services. The line of COM technologies also includes ActiveX controls, DCOM (Distributed COM) and COM+.
COM+ is the name of COM-based services that brings together the technology of COM components. It handles complex programming tasks such as resource pooling, event publication and distributed transactions. .Net developers can also take advantage of COM+ infrastructure as it provides valuable services through the system.
For those who are confused with the results achieved by COM and .Net framework, it would be important to note that these two achieve similar results in application development, although Microsoft recommends .NET as the best technology for new application development because it manages runtime environment in a robust way.

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