Understanding how Serena Release Automation uses the term component is critical to understanding Serena Release Automation. Components represent deployable items along with user-defined processes that operate on them, usually by deploying them. Deployable items–also called artifacts–can be files, images, databases, configuration materials, or anything else associated with a software project. Components have versions which are used to ensure that proper component instances get deployed.

Artifacts can come from a number of sources: file systems, build servers such as AnthillPro, source version control systems, Maven repositories, as well as many others. When you create a component, you identify the source and define how the artifacts will be brought into Serena Release Automation. If the source is Subversion, for example, you specify the Subversion repository containing the artifacts. Each component represents artifacts from a single source.