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Component-based development (CBD) is recognized today as the standard paradigm for structuring large software systems. However, the most popular component models, such as Enterprise Javabeans and DCOM, provide almost no guidance about how to incorporate exception handling into component-based systems. The problem of how to employ language-level exception handling mechanisms to incorporate fault-tolerance in component-based systems is recognized by CBD practitioners as very difficult and often not adequately solved, with negative impact on reliability and maintainability. We believe that the construction of dependable component-based systems requires both (i) a global exception handling strategy for inter-component composition and (ii) a local exception handling strategy for dealing with errors within the reusable components. In This work we describe a general strategy for the development of fault-tolerant software components and their integration into dependable component-based software systems.