3.1.3. Application Components

The framework enables splitting the application functionality into components. Each application component (AKA add-on) can have its own data model, business logic and user interface. The application uses the component as a library and includes its functionality.

The concept of application components allows us to keep the framework relatively small, while delivering optional business functionality in the components like Reporting, Full-Text Search, Charts, WebDAV and others. At the same time, the application developers can use this mechanism to decompose large projects into a set of functional modules which can be developed independently and have a different release cycle. Of course, application components can be reusable and provide a domain-specific layer of abstraction on top of the framework.

Technically, the core framework is also an application component called cuba. The only difference is that it is mandatory for any application. All other components depend on cuba and can also have dependencies between each other.

Below is a diagram showing dependencies between the standard components typically used in an application. Solid lines demonstrate mandatory dependencies, dashed lines mean optional ones.


The following diagram illustrates a possible structure of dependencies between standard and custom application components.


Any CUBA application can be easily turned into a component and provide some functionality to another application. In order to be used as a component, an application project should contain an app-component.xml descriptor and a special entry in the manifest of the global module JAR. CUBA Studio allows you to generate the descriptor and manifest entry for the current project automatically.

See the step-by-step guide to working with a custom application component in the Example of Application Component section.