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What Is Object-Oriented Programming In C++

What Is Object Oriented Programming In C++

C and C++ are one of the most powerful programming languages that run by Microsoft build tools for Windows and for other operating systems like iOS, Android, among others. The main difference between C and C++ is that C++ is enhanced with Object-Oriented Programming features like Classes, Objects, Methods etc. It supports advanced programming features like polymorphism, encapsulation, and inheritance. The C++ programming language is known as hybrid language because C++ supports both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms together. In C++, properties (data) and methods (functions) are encapsulated together in the form of a Class or Object.

In this post we will explain Object-Oriented Programming,

What Is Object-Oriented Programming in C++?

Object-Oriented Programming is a way to integrate with objects which can contain data in the form of attributes or properties of objects, and code blocks in the form of methods and functions of objects. These attributes and methods belonging to the class are generally referred to as class members. Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) is a good way to work on data and work with functions in memory. Classes and Objects are the best way to work on properties and functions. Object-Oriented Programming has many advantages over procedural programming and it is the most characteristic feature of the C++ programming language.

Before learning about Classes and Objects it is important to learn about Object-Oriented Programming.

What are the benefits of Object-Oriented Programming?

  • Faster and easier to execute.
  • Provides a clear structure for the programs.
  • Helps to keep the C++ code DRY “Don’t Repeat Yourself”, and makes the code easier to maintain, modify and debug.
  • Makes it possible to create full reusable applications with less code and shorter development time.
  • Can make it easier to map real-world items into an abstract digital form the computer can work with.
  • Helps encapsulate (protect) behavior of sections of your code so that it helps reduce errors and make it clearer what a particular function does.

Procedural programming is about functions (procedures, sub-functions, algorithms) that perform operations on variables (properties). While OOP is about objects with a defined class that contain both properties and functions. OOP is a modern way to use both variables and functions safely.

What are Classes and Objects in Object-Oriented Programming in C++?

Classes are defined in C++ using keyword class followed by the name of the class. Classes are the blueprint for the objects, and they are user-defined data types that we can use in our program, and they work as an object constructor. 

Objects are an instantiation of a class. In C++ programming, most of the commands are associated with classes and objects, along with their attributes and methods. You can create different Objects from a single Class as shown below,

What Is Object-Oriented Programming In C++ - class diagram of object relationships

For example; a Human can be a class that has human properties (age, weight, gender, salary, id number) and has human methods: reading(), writing(), working(), while group terms such engineers, workers, managers, athletes are objects that hold many names (members of the group) and other human properties and methods.

Understanding Importance of Object-Oriented Programming in C++

Today, we have many variables, and functions running in our applications, and in our application user interface frameworks (buttons, labels, text boxes, drop down comboboxes). We also have many variables (integers, floating points, strings, Booleans) in tables with enormous size of databases. We have to integrate all of this in harmony. The best way is to categorize each of these in their logical meaning in our real life. So if we are developing a software for a real world, and if we want our apps to work in similar ways, we should define variables and functions accordingly.

For example, we can do an application for a zoo with a database, we may store each animal type with their name, age, weight, etc. In our real life, all animals in the zoo have names or ids, age, weights, etc. In this zoo, animals arrive from other zoos, there are births, deaths and sometimes they can be moved from one section to another section of the zoo.

In Object-Oriented Programming, for this zoo app example, we can define an Animal Class with a name, age, weight variables and these animals comes to zoo from somewhere so we should add them too zoo, births, they can be moved from one place to another place. As an Object of this Animal class, we can create Elephant, Tiger, Penguin … objects with this Animal class. So, each animal type will have same attributes as Animals. We can move their place; we can add them, or we can report them as dead. In a way, our objects work similar to real life.

Note that a class is a template for objects, a definition; an object is an instance of a class. They have the same attributes and methods. If an individual object is created, they inherit all the properties and methods from the class. Variables of objects can be set and methods of objects runs with their parameters and statements inside as in described in class..

Is there an Object-Oriented Programming in C++ example?

Here are some class and object definition examples in C++;

Simple example of an Animal class and objects for 3 kinds (elephant, penguin, tiger);

Here elephant, penguin and tiger are single class objects. For a zoo which has 5 elephants, 10 tigers and 100 penguins we can define objects for this class as below;

Here is a simple example of a Staff class and its 3 objects.

Here’s a simple example of a customer class and its objects for 1000 customers.

Here’s a simple example of a student class and its objects for 1000 customers.

Finally, here is an example of an Item class and its related objects for 1000 each item groups.

We will explain more details about classes and objects in future posts.

What Is Object-Oriented Programming in C++ – choosing an IDE and Compiler

In addition to OOP programming, IDE should also have OOP features. It’s UI and Framework should support OOP classes and objects. For example, in C++ Builder, these Objects are created by the called Components, which each are a Class of the framework (VCL or FMX). Each component is a Class (for example TButton – A Type for Button) and when you drag it to a Form design it creates a new object (for example Button1) on the form. This Object has same Methods and Properties of its Class. Both Methods and Properties can be edited in Editor or can be edited via Object Inspector of the RAD Studio IDE. Some of these methods are named as Events, and visually available variables are listed as Properties. Some of variables might be now shown in Object Inspector. These features make your coding and design easy and simple. This allows you gain more time during development and easy to understand when you back to your project UI framework or code lines.

These all above are features of RAD Studio / C++ Builder. The latest version of RAD Studio or C++ Builder 11.1 Patch 1 released in 2022 and it has many great features of OOPs with its amazing, styled components in VCL and FMX frameworks.

What Is Object-Oriented Programming In C++ - the RAD Studio IDE
What Is Object-Oriented Programming In C++ - the C++ Builder Logo

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs. There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups.

You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition here: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder/starter.

Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and other operating systems. He was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later, he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and Ph.D. degrees from the same department of the same university. Since 2012, he is the founder and CEO of Esenja LLC Company. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations. He has married, and he is a father of a son.

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