Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm using "objects" – data structures consisting of data fields and methods together with their interactions – to design applications and computer programs. Programming techniques may include features such as data abstraction, encapsulation, messaging, modularity, polymorphism, and inheritance.OOP was developed to increase the reusability and maintainability of source code.Transparent representation of the control flow had no priority and was meant to be handled by a compiler. With the increasing relevance of parallel hardware and multithreaded coding, developer transparent control flow becomes more important, something hard to achieve with OOP. Many modern programming languages now support OOP, at least as an option.
The OOP programming style in most object-oriented languages:
  • Dynamic dispatch – when a method is invoked on an object, the object itself determines what code gets executed by looking up the method at run time in a table associated with the object. This feature distinguishes an object from an abstract data type (or module), which has a fixed (static) implementation of the operations for all instances. It is a programming methodology that gives modular component development while at the same time being very efficient.
  • Encapsulation (or multi-methods, in which case the state is kept separate)
  • Subtype polymorphism
  • Object inheritance (or delegation)
  • Open recursion – a special variable (syntactically it may be a keyword), usually called this or self, that allows a method body to invoke another method body of the same object. This variable is late-bound; it allows a method defined in one class to invoke another method that is defined later, in some subclass thereof.
Additional concepts used in object-oriented programming include:

  • Classes of objects
  • Instances of classes
  • Methods which act on the attached objects.
  • Message passing
  • Abstraction


Decoupling refers to careful controls that separate code modules from particular use cases, which increases code re-usability. A common use of decoupling in OOP is to polymorphically decouple the encapsulation (see Bridge pattern and Adapter pattern) - for example, using a method interface which an encapsulated object must satisfy, as opposed to using the object's class.

Object-orientation and databases

Both object-oriented programming and relational database management systems (RDBMSs) are extremely common in software today. Since relational databases don't store objects directly (though some RDBMSs have object-oriented features to approximate this), there is a general need to bridge the two worlds. The problem of bridging object-oriented programming accesses and data patterns with relational databases is known as Object-Relational impedance mismatch. There are a number of approaches to cope with this problem, but no general solution without downsides.One of the most common approaches is object-relational mapping, as found in libraries like Java Data Objects and Ruby on Rails' ActiveRecord.
There are also object databases that can be used to replace RDBMSs, but these have not been as technically and commercially successful as RDBMSs.

Notational representation between objects

The relationships between classes are building blocks of object oriented programming and very basic stuff. They are:

1. Association

Association is a relationship between two objects. In other words, association defines the multiplicity between objects. You may be aware of one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, many-to-many all these words define an association between objects. Aggregation is a special form of association. Composition is a special form of aggregation.
Example: A Student and a Faculty are having an association.

2. Aggregation

Aggregation is a special case of association. A directional association between objects. When an object ‘has-a’ another object, then you have got an aggregation between them. Direction between them specified which object contains the other object. Aggregation is also called a “Has-a” relationship.

3. Composition

Composition is a special case of aggregation. In a more specific manner, a restricted aggregation is called composition. When an object contains the other object, if the contained object cannot exist without the existence of container object, then it is called composition.
Example: A class contains students. A student cannot exist without a class. There exists composition between class and students.

Difference between aggregation and composition

Composition is more restrictive. When there is a composition between two objects, the composed object cannot exist without the other object. This restriction is not there in aggregation. Though one object can contain the other object, there is no condition that the composed object must exist. The existence of the composed object is entirely optional. In both aggregation and composition, direction is must. The direction specifies, which object contains the other object.
Example: A Library contains students and books. Relationship between library and student is aggregation. Relationship between library and book is composition. A student can exist without a library and therefore it is aggregation. A book cannot exist without a library and therefore its a composition. For easy understanding I am picking this example. Don’t go deeper into example and justify relationships!

4. Abstraction

Abstraction is specifying the framework and hiding the implementation level information. Concreteness will be built on top of the abstraction. It gives you a blueprint to follow to while implementing the details. Abstraction reduces the complexity by hiding low level details.
Example: A wire frame model of a car.

5. Generalization

Generalization uses a “is-a” relationship from a specialization to the generalization class. Common structure and behavior are used from the specialization to the generalized class. At a very broader level you can understand this as inheritance. Why I take the term inheritance is, you can relate this term very well. Generalization is also called a “Is-a” relationship.
Example: Consider there exists a class named Person. A student is a person. A faculty is a person. Therefore here the relationship between student and person, similarly faculty and person is generalization.

6. Realization

Realization is a relationship between the blueprint class and the object containing its respective implementation level details. This object is said to realize the blueprint class. In other words, you can understand this as the relationship between the interface and the implementing class.
Example: A particular model of a mobile ‘Samsung Galaxy’ that implements the blueprint of a mobile realizes the abstraction.

7. Dependency

Change in structure or behavior of a class affects the other related class, then there is a dependency between those two classes. It need not be the same vice-versa. When one class contains the other class it this happens.
Example: Relationship between shape and circle is dependency.

1 comment:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)