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Abstraction and encapsulation


Definition: encapsulation is one of the basic principles of object-oriented programming (OOP) that describes the bundling of data in a class and its related functions.

Purpose: It protects an object’s internal state by allowing only access to its method implementations. Therefore, it is only possible for a method that belongs to a class to change the state of an object.

Access Control: Typically, encapsulation has something to do with visibility control over elements (attributes and methods) by means of access modifies like public, private, and protected among others within a given class.


Definition: Data abstraction is a process that simplifies intricate systems by defining classes according to their important properties and behaviors, while disregarding irrelevant details.

Essential Features: It is about focusing on the necessary components of a class without considering irrelevant information. This is made possible through abstract classes and interfaces in OOP.

Hierarchy: Data abstraction allows creation of class hierarchies where each level of abstraction represents a more generalized and abstract concept.

Example: In a real-world scenario, if we have a “Vehicle” class, we abstract the essential features shared by all vehicles (e.g., speed, capacity), without getting into specifics like whether it’s a car, truck, or bicycle.

Relationship between Encapsulation and Data Abstraction:

Connection: Object-oriented programming (OOP) tightly relates the concepts of encapsulation and data abstraction.

Implementation: To achieve data abstraction, encapsulation is involved. This is through encompassing data and methods into a class limiting access to them hence enabling creation of abstract data types.

Modularity: It is therefore necessary to consider modularity when developing software applications. These should be done by creating classes that represent generic entities while keeping their features hidden.

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