What is the difference between using Module item and using mapped layouts folder when deploying files (images/css/js) to SharePoint?

I guess 1 difference is that module allows you to deploy the file into the libraries (content db) as well as the hive (reference - check the defn of Path, whereas, the mapped layout folder allows us to deploy files only to the hive. Any more in terms of security/access/delays, etc?

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Module could be treated as a more advanced and flexible way to provisioning site assets.

With Module:

  • files could to be targeted to a specific site
  • files could be managed by users using designer tools (SPD)
  • some assets could not be hosted in layout folder and therefore provisioned via Mapped folder. For example, xsl files for Content Query web part could be referenced from Style Library in site collection only

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