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Java OOP Cheatsheet

sivantha96 profile image Sivantha Paranavithana ・7 min read

I will be exploring Java OOP concepts with relevant real-life examples as well as the coding examples. So let us get started.

Here is the order that I am going to discuss each OOP concept.

1. Encapsulation
2. Inheritance
3. Polumorphism
2. Abstraction

Encapsulation

What is encapsulation?

Wrapping the fields (state) and methods (behaviors) together as a single unit in a way that sensitive data are hidden from the users.

What is an example of encapsulation in the real word?

With an ATM, we can perform operations like cash withdrawal, money transfer, balance checks. But only the account owner can perform those operations. So, all the operations are encapsulated inside an object for that particular account owner. And the only way to access data like the balance is by using the predefined operations such as balance checks.

How to achieve encapsulation in Java?

Using access modifiers like private and protected for class variables (fields) and providing getters and setters to access them if necessary.

public class Person {
    private String name; // using private access modifier

    // Getter
    public String getName() {
      return name;
    }

    // Setter
    public void setName(String newName) {
      this.name = newName;
    }
}
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Why use encapsulation?

  1. Data Hiding - Data inside an encapsulated class can only be accessible inside the class or through a getter or a setter method.
  2. Flexibility - We can make variables read-only or write-only by omitting the getter or setter of that variable
  3. Reusability
  4. Easy to perform unit testing

Inheritance

What is inheritance?

A mechanism where an object of the subclass (child class), acquires all the properties (fields) and behaviors (methods) of an object of the superclass (parent class)

How to achieve inheritance in Java?

By extending the child class to parent classes using extends or implements keywords.

// parent class
class Employee {
    float salary = 100; // property of the parent class
}

// child class
class Programmer extends Employee {
    float bonus = 30;
}

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Programmer myVariable = new Programmer()
        System.out.println("My salary is " + myVariable.salary );
        System.out.println("My bonus is " + myVariable.bonus );
    }
}
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The result will be

My salary is 100
My bonus is 30
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Here, myVariable object has access to the salary which belongs to the parent class even though myVariable is an object of the child class.

Why use inheritance

  • For code reusability
  • To take advantage of polymorphism

Polymorphism

What is polymorphism?

Perform a single action in different ways

What is an example of compile-polymorphism in the real word?

A man can be a father, a husband, and an employee according to the situation he is in.

How to achieve polymorphism in Java?

There are two types of polymorphism in java
1) Compile-time polymorphism (Static polymorphism)
2) Run-time polymorphism (Dynamic polymorphism)

What is Compile-time polymorphism

When method overloading is used, which method to call is resolved during the compile time by looking at the signature of the method invoke statement.

What is method overloading?

A feature that allows a class to have more than one method having the same name but with different signatures.

What is the signature of a method?

The signature of a method is determined by the number of arguments, types of each argument, and the order of the arguments. The return type of the method does not affect the signature.

// A class with multiple methods with the same name
public class Adder {
    // method 1
    public void add(int a, int b) {
        System.out.println(a + b);
    }

    // method 2
    public void add(int a, int b, int c) {
        System.out.println(a + b + c);
    }

    // method 3
    public void add(String a, String b) {
        System.out.println(a + " + " + b);
    }
}

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Adder adder = new Adder(); // create a Adder object
        adder.add(5, 4); // invoke method 1
        adder.add(5, 4, 3); // invoke method 2
        adder.add("5", "4"); // invoke method 3
    }
}
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The result will be

9
12
5 + 4
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What is Run-time polymorphism

When method overriding and upcasting is used, which class's method to call is resolved during the run-time.

What is method overriding?

Providing a specific implementation in the child class (subclass) of a method that already provided by one of its parent classes (super-classes). And also, the method in the subclass should have the same signature and the same return type for it to override the superclass method.

What is upcasting?

When the reference variable of the parent class is referring to an object of the child class, it is upcasting. In other words, casting an object of an individual type to one common type.

What is downcasting?

When the reference variable of the child class is referring to an object of the parent class, it is downcasting. In other words, casting an object of a common type to a narrower (special) type.

Real-life example of Upcasting & Downcasting

Assume there are classes named, Fruits and Apple. And the Apple class is the child class of the Fruits class.

If we cast an object of the Apple class to Fruits type, it is Upcasting. If we cast an object of the Fruits class to Apple type, it is Downcasting

Remarks

  • Upcasting can be done directly in Java. But Downcasting cannot. We have to do the casting explicitly.
  • But we have to be careful not to downcast incompatible types. Unless it will throw an error.
class Fruits {} // parent class
class Apple extends Fruits {} // child class

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Fruits upcastedVariable = new Apple() // upcasting (implicit casting)
        Apple downcastedVariable = (Apple) upcastedVariable // downcasting (explicit casting)
    }
}
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Here upcastedVariable can be downcasted into Apple because, even though upcastedVariable is Fruit type, it refers to an object of the Apple class.

class Fruits {} // parent class
class Apple extends Fruits {} // child class

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Fruits myVariable = new Fruits()
        Apple downcastedVariable = (Apple) myVariable // throws an error
    }
}
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But in the above example, myVariable is Fruit type as well as it refers to a Fruit object. Therefore when we downcast into the Apple type it will throw an error.

// parent class
class Bank {
    public float getInterestRate() {
        return 0
    }
}

// child class - 1
class AwesomeBank extends Bank {
    public float getInterestRate() { // superclass's method is overridden
        return 8.4;
    }
}

// child class - 2
class SuperBank extends Bank {
    public float getInterestRate() { // superclass's method is overridden
        return 9.6;
    }
}

// child class - 3
class GovernmentBank extends Bank {} // superclass's method is not overridden

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Bank b = new Bank()
        System.out.println(b.getInterestRate());
        b = new AwesomeBank() // upcasting
        System.out.println(b.getInterestRate());
        b = new SuperBank() // upcasting
        System.out.println(b.getInterestRate());
        b = new GovernmentBank() // upcasting
        System.out.println(b.getInterestRate());
    }
}
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The result will be

0
8.4
9.6
0
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Since in AwesomeBank class the getInterestRate() method is not overridden, the method in the parent class will be called in the run-time.

Abstraction

What is abstraction?

Hiding certain details and showing only the essential information to the user. In other words, identifying only the required characteristics of an object ignoring the irrelevant details.

What is an example of abstraction in the real word?

With an ATM, we can perform operations like cash withdrawal, money transfer, balance checks, etc. But we can't know the internal details about those operations, how they operate or likewise.

How to achieve abstraction in Java?

Using either an abstract class or an interface

Abstract class

What is an abstract class?

A class contains both abstract and regular methods.

What is an abstract method?

A method without a body (i.e. no implementation). The implementation is provided by the subclass that inherits the abstract class

// abstract class
abstract class Animal {
    public abstract void animalSound(); // abstract method
    public void sleep() {
        System.out.println("Zzzzzz!")
    }
}
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Remarks

  • abstract keyword is a non-access modifier, used for classes and methods.
  • You don't have to implement (override) all methods of an abstract class. But you must implement all the abstract methods in it.
  • You cannot create objects from an abstract class
  • To access an abstract class you have to inherit (extend) it from another class
  • Fields in an abstract class should not have to be public, static, and final
  • You can have public, private or protected methods
// abstract class
abstract class Animal {
    public abstract void animalSound(); // abstract method
    public void sleep() {
        System.out.println("Zzzzzz!")
    }
}

// subclass (inherits the abstract class)
class Pig extends Animal {
    public void AnimalSound() { // body of the abstract method is provided here
        System.out.println("Wee Wee!");
    }
}

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Pig myPig = new Pig(); // create a Pig object
        myPig.animalSound();
        myPig.sleep();
    }
}
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The results will be

Wee Wee!
Zzzzzz!
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Why use Abstract classes?

To have some methods to implement later. If you don't use an abstract class, you have to implement the AnimalSound() method in the Animal class even if you inherit it from another class.

Interface

What is an interface?

A completely abstract class. In other words, all the methods in an interface should not have a body.

// interface
interface Animal {
    public void animalSound(); // interface method
    public void sleep(); // interface method
}
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Remarks

  • You cannot create objects from an interface.
  • To access an interface you have to implement (kinda like inherit) it from another class.
  • You must override all the methods in an interface from a subclass.
  • All the fields in an interface are public, static, and final.
  • All the methods are public
// interface
interface Animal {
    public void animalSound(); // interface method
    public void sleep(); // interface method
}

// subclass (implemets the abstract class)
class Cat implements Animal {
    public void AnimalSound() { // body of the interface method is provided here
        System.out.println("Meow!");
    }
    public void sleep() { // body of the interface method is provided here
        System.out.println("Purrrrr!");
    }

}

// My main class
class MyMainClass {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Cat myCat = new Cat(); // create a Cat object
        myCat.animalSound();
        myCat.sleep();
    }
}
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The results will be

Meow!
Purrrrr!
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Why use Interfaces?

  • To specify the behavior of a particular data
  • To achieve multiple inheritance.

Java doesn't support multiple inheritances. ( You can only inherit from a single superclass.) However, it can be achieved using interfaces.

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