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Defining Active (or Functional) Components

To enable real CBD (e.g. achieving CBD-structure) for the software products, it requires inventing new kind of software components (or Component-Parts in short CPs). This website presents a new kind of software components (for achieving the CBD-structure), referred to as Replaceable Self-contained Component (or RSCCs), where the components must possess two essential properties that are: (i) ‘Self-Contained’ and (ii) Replaceable. The term ‘Self-Contained’ has unique intended meaning, where the term ‘Self-Contained’ is hard to grasp and has incommensurable meaning.
To illustrate the intended meaning of “Self-Contained Components/Parts” (or SCCs), the physical components are logically divided into 2 kinds of components (ii) “active-components” (or functional-components) and (i) “passive-components” (or non-functional-components). The designers of a physical CBD-product need to deal with both kinds of components. But designers of a software-product need to deal with only functional-components (that are also referred to as SCCs in this paper). That is, software products can’t have such passive-components. Although certain static objects such as GIF-images in the web applications are equivalent to the passive-components, since the Images don’t perform any active operations (e.g. by executing internal application code to offer functionality) except sitting pretty. The passive-components perform or run no internal operations and offer neither features (e.g. functionality) nor services (e.g. to collaborate with other parts).
Examples for passive-components include car-tires, rim, auto-frame/chassis to assemble parts, wires to connect electric-devises, screws, bolts, PCB (Printed-Circuit-Board), metal/plastic-body-panels/casing/doors for PCs etc. The cars contain many metal/plastic passive-components, such as dickey-door, fasteners, number-plate, bare-bumpers, and wind-shield glasses (in front, back and in each of the side doors). Many of the passive-components are custom designed and build for a given product-model (e.g. Toyota Camry 2012 model), so can be easily replaceable (i.e. easy to disassemble or reassemble), but most of the passive-components can’t be reusable in any other product-model (e.g. a 2012 model Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord). For example, any ready to assemble metal or plastic interchangeable component (i.e. plastic or metal pieces, plates or panels) created by forging or casting (e.g. by using a mould) for a product-model is a passive-component. Many passive-components are custom designed and made for a product-model, so it is not necessary for the passive-component to be reusable in any other product-model. However, a real Component reuse means using a component (or interchangeable-part) across multiple product-models or product-families.
The CNC-lathe machines, forging or casting may be used for creating a metal or plastic custom interchangeable-component (i.e. plastic/metal piece or panels) for a given product-model, which can be readily assembled in to the product-model (so passive interchangeable-component are also essential for achieving CBD of physical products). Such plastic or metal interchangeable-component can’t be an active-component, since a piece of plastic or metal (e.g. cut/shaped into a ready to assemble interchangeable piece, fastener, bolt or panel) can’t have any internal operations (except sitting pretty and strong for enduring the elements and stresses). They can’t offer services for other parts such as Auto-battery. They can’t collaborate with each other such as DRAM, CPU, CD-player and Hard-Drive.
A passive-component can be created by using many other methods such as cutting, pressing or welding two or more metal pieces etc. On the other hand, multiple passive-components can be assembled (or used) for building an active-component such as an auto-engine, alternator, gear-box or analog-watch etc. For example, an active-component (e.g. an auto-engine or a Gearbox) is built by assembling (and/or using) multiple passive-components (and/or parts). Also both the passive and active components are built by using ingredient parts (so comprise other kinds of parts).
Examples for active-components include car-engine, Gear-box, car-battery, alternator to charge car-battery and most of the electrical or electronic devices such as DRAM, CPU, Hard-drive or CD-player etc. Auto-battery is an example for electro-chemical active-component. A cooling-fan or the motor that spins magnetic-disks in a hard-drive are examples for electro-mechanical active-components. Each of the active-components must (i) offer one or more features or functionality (e.g. magnetic-compass in a car, solar-powered gauge to show temperature or a Speedo-meter) and/or (ii) collaborate with other active-parts/CPs in the application, for example, by offering or getting services of each other.
For example, auto-engine and gear-box collaborate with each other for moving the car. For another example, an alternator consumes service of engine to spin magnetic generator to generate power and provides a service to car-battery, by charging the car-battery. Likewise, when operating a computer each active-CP such as CPU, DRAM and other active-parts collaborate with each other. The active-components of physical products are good examples for the SCCs. Since code-base each and every large software-part is implemented to perform certain operations (e.g. functionality, features or services), this is certainly applicable to the code-base of a SCC (i.e. where the code-base is construction code for including a SCC in the application). Almost every electronic chip/device is an active-CP.
It is extremely important fact with respect to the physical components: No active-CP can function, if it is not self-contained. The active-CP (e.g. a CD-player in car) can still be self-contained, even if it depends on external service (e.g. on car-battery for power), speakers to play music and CD or FM-signal to gety music. Some SCCs (or active-CPs) only offer one or more feature or functionality (e.g. to user of the product), so it is not necessary for an active-CP to collaborate with any other parts in the product. Observing and carefully analyzing the properties, operations and hidden nature of the active-CPs of the physical-products are helpful to comprehend the unique intended meaning of the term “Self-Contained”.

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