Components have traditionally been used to add extra functionality to websites in a modular fashion. With the advent of Microsoft's .NET, came the ability for programmers to create ASP.NET Web Parts that could be embedded within web pages to give those pages additional functionality (e.g. a shopping basket). One of the main benefits of these Web Parts is that they only need to be programmed once and can be reused in different parts of our site (or indeed in many different sites).
SharePoint provides us with specialist Web Parts that can be placed in our page to allow the end user to perform a specific function (e.g. interact with a calendar) within their browser.
Web Parts are much more powerful than traditional components because they also allow us to specify which users can edit the Web Parts.
There are many Web Parts included with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and others are available to download free of charge. Microsoft used to host an online SharePoint Products...