Zope Component Architecture
This page describes the Zope Component Architecture, or ZCA for short.
What is it?
The Zope Component Architecture is a Framework that arose out of Zope 3 development, and is now integrated into Zope 2. It is used by various software projects, and doesn't even require Zope to run. You can use it natively with Python. It's part of Zope, but it's not Zope.
Why Should I Use It?
You shouldn't. Well, I mean, don't use it unless you see the value in it, or if you are using a software project that uses it already. Due to the fact that it is a framework, it does impose a paradigm on how you develop Python code and you need to determine if that paradigm works for your particular situation, or if it doesn't.
In one phrase, the paradigm implemented by the ZCA framework is that of a "component architecture", which in itself may not mean anything to you, but it is easy to understand. If you are reading this, you have probably developed some Python software. Now imagine if you had to develop some large Python software as part of a team, and different members of the team had different skill sets. In order to have the team work well together, you need to break the software project into logical parts and assign smaller groups of people to work on each part separately. But when the software is complete, it needs to work together as an integrated unit.
One team's code will need to interact with another team's code. For this to work well, the teams need to define interfaces for how others can utilize their code. These interfaces are the interaction points for one team to utilize software that other teams write.
Quite possibly, these interfaces need to be defined before the various parts are even implemented. That way, people can go ahead and develop their part of the software with the understanding that the interfaces that their code depends upon will be available when everyone is done. Thus, everyone can work independently on their own parts and software projects can scale a lot better.
The same approaches can be used for other types of distributed development.
At its heart, ZCA implements mechanisms that allow this type of development to happen.