Autoboxing

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What Does Autoboxing Mean?

Autoboxing is a term for newer coding conventions, primarily in Java, that can help match the primitive types and wrapper classes of various kinds of variables. Autoboxing essentially allows for referencing the value of a primitive type through type conversion and passing it on to a more sophisticated reference.

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Techopedia Explains Autoboxing

One prime example of the way that autoboxing works is in using the integer in code. The primitive type reference "int" contrasts with the object-based reference "Integer." In older versions of Java, it was not possible to get a new value through referencing primitive types in certain ways, such as calculation of the sum of two of these variables. Autoboxing allows this kind of value identification by taking values from the primitive types, which are then "autoboxed" into a wrapper class. "Unboxing" refers to the reverse process.

Autoboxing is available on newer Java versions, and can save time and effort by making the conversion process automatic. Programmers can use it in various ways, with integers, floats and other simple data types, to provide more diverse results in code.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.