RF photonic systems place extremely high demands on optical component performance. To achieve this, a low noise, high power optical source, a high power, linear and low Vπ optical modulator, sharp and uniform optical filters and high saturation power photodetectors are required. While some of these individual components exist, they have not, to date, been integrated in any currently existing monolithic or hybrid photonic integration platform. In this paper, recent advances in discrete component performance is presented, including optical sources, modulators and detectors. In addition, options for the integration of these components onto an integrated photonic platform is reviewed.