A component is a re-usable unit of functionality defined by a workflow. Components can be created from a workflow, normally by annotating the workflow, its ports and services with semantic annotations.
Components belong to a component family. The components in a family conform to a component profile that describes the annotations that can be on the component and also what errors can be produced by the component. The component profile specifies the permitted annotations using ontologies.
When creating or using a component, you do not need to know the contents of the component profile, nor how it relates to ontologies.
You do not need to understand ontologies to define or use components.
Component families exist in component registries. There are two forms of component registries: local and remote. A local component registry exists on the user's file system. A remote component registry is normally http://www.myexperiment.org but can be another website that conforms to the myExperiment REST API.
You can specify which component registries are available using the Components Preferences.
Components can be managed using the options under the Components menu in the Workbench.
The menu is organized into several sections corresponding to the component registries, profiles, families and components.