Object-Oriented Programming

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What Does Object-Oriented Programming Mean?

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a software programming model constructed around objects. This model compartmentalizes data into objects (data fields) and describes object contents and behavior through the declaration of classes (methods).

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OOP features include the following:

  • Encapsulation: This makes the program structure easier to manage because each object’s implementation and state are hidden behind well-defined boundaries.
  • Polymorphism: This means abstract entities are implemented in multiple ways.
  • Inheritance: This refers to the hierarchical arrangement of implementation fragments.

Object-oriented programming allows for simplified programming. Its benefits include reusability, refactoring, extensibility, maintenance and efficiency.

Techopedia Explains Object-Oriented Programming

OOP has been the programming model of choice for the last decade or more. OOP's modular design enables programmers to build software in manageable chunks rather than in large amounts of sequential code.

One of the great benefits of OOP is that of scalability, with objects and definitions having no finite limitation. Also, the separation of data from method prevents a common problem found in older linear software languages. If a bug appears in a linear code, it can be translated through a system and create masses of hard-to-trace errors. Conversely, an OOP program, with its separation of method and data, is not susceptible to such proliferated errors.

Popular OOP languages include Java, the C-family of languages,VB.NET and Python.

So-called "pure" OOP languages include Scala, Ruby, Eiffel, JADE, Smalltalk and Emerald.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

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.