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Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): A Complete Guide

Last updated: Jan 15, 2024

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): A Complete Guide
Cover image: Illustration of OOP (Object-Oriented Programming).

What Is OOP?

OOP stands for Object-Oriented Programming. This term refers to a programming method that is entirely focused on objects, which consist of data and behavior that can be classified into classes.

One of the advantages of OOP is its composition of components such as classes and objects that interact to create a program.

This Object-Oriented Programming also has the ability to break down complex problems into smaller and manageable parts to improve work efficiency and maximize the final quality of the program.

With OOP, development teams or programmers can enhance work efficiency and maximize the final quality of the developed project.

Additionally, this programming method also become one of the most widely used principles in conjunction with popular programming languages such as Java, Javascript, C++, C#, and Python.

Common Terms in Object-Oriented Programming 

In addition to understanding what is OOP, you also need to know the common terms used in the implementation of Object-Oriented Programming.

Here are some common terms within the methodology along with their explanations:

1. Method

A function or behavior possessed by an object/class. It describe actions or operations that can be performed by the object (e.g. calculations, changing attribute values, or executing actions).

2. Attribute

Data or information possessed by an object/class that characterizes or represents the features of the object. OOP examples: if you have a class "Car," its attributes may include color, speed, and engine capacity.

3. Class

A blueprint or template that defines the structure and behavior of an object. It contains attributes and methods that will be possessed by the object and is often used as a guide for creating objects. 

OOP Examples: If you have a class "Cat," the class would define attributes such as fur color and behavior.

4. Object

An object is a concrete instance of a class. An object has a state (condition) and behavior defined by its class.

OOP Examples: If "Cat" is a class, then it also has properties, such as being "shy" or having a color of "orange." The characteristics and color of the cat are objects of that class.

4 Basic OOP Principles

Object-oriented programming is a paradigm that defines a program as a collection of objects capable of interacting with each other.

Within OOP, you can conclude that an object is an instance of a class. Overall, this concept helps you organize code in a more structured and modular way. The OOP principles are:

1. Encapsulation 

Encapsulation is a principle that involves "encapsulating" data/methods into a single unit and hiding the details and internal implementations of other objects. 

It has a highly beneficial feature known as an information-hiding mechanism. This concept allows the development team to expose only the important and relevant functions of an object while keeping its internal implementation details protected. 

By using encapsulation, you can control access to the attributes and methods of a class, preventing unwanted modifications and ensuring data integrity.

2. Inheritance

Inheritance is the concept in which a class can inherit the characteristics and behavior of another class. 

The inheriting class is called a subclass, while the class providing the inheritance is called the superclass or base class. 

By using inheritance, developers can use or even extend existing code without having to rewrite its framework. Therefore, the principle of inheritance can enhance reusability and enable a more structured class hierarchy.

3. Polymorphism

Polymorphism refers to the ability of an object to have many forms, actions, or behaviors. There are two types of polymorphism in OOP:

  • Static polymorphism (method overloading): Allows you to implement different method implementations in the same class by distinguishing their parameters.
  • Dynamic polymorphism (method overriding): Occurs when the same method is inherited by a subclass and can be changed according to the needs of that class.

4. Abstraction atau Abstract Class

Abstraction in object-oriented programming is a concept that allows programmers to focus only on essential features and ignore other distractions. 

In OOP, abstraction can be achieved through the use of abstract classes or interfaces. Abstract classes can serve as the basic framework for their subclasses, while interfaces will specify the methods that must be implemented by those classes. 

Overall, the principle of abstraction can help create simpler models and facilitate system development by focusing attention on key aspects.

The Function of Object Oriented Programming

When it comes to software development, object oriented programming (OOP) surely plays a crucial role. 

The primary function of OOP is to provide a programming paradigm that enables programmers to design and organize code in a more structured, modular, and understandable way.

Other functions of OOP include:

  • Enhancing programming flexibility by using the same methods or functions in different ways.
  • Improving code security and understanding by restricting access to attributes.
  • Facilitating modeling and system development based on solutions that fit real-world situations.
  • Reducing duplicate work and speeding up the development process by reusing previously created components.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of OOP

The object oriented programming method comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages. If you intend to use OOP, consider the following as points of consideration.

Advantages

Being one of the most popular programming methods, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) undoubtedly offers many advantageous features, such as: 

  • Reusable: Once a class is successfully built, you can reuse it in the development of other projects (with minor updates or changes).
  • Modularity: It divides code into small modules or classes, improving understanding and focused work.
  • Parallel Development: Time-saving as each programmer can build classes individually, which are later combined into one.
  • Simplified Coding Process: The process of accessing data becomes easier as the coding base is centralized, making it easy to manage.
  • Improved Security: It helps ensure security throughout the programming process due to its strong authentication system.
  • Object-Based: It creates a programming model that mirrors the real world through concepts and entities in the form of objects, making system development more intuitive.

Disadvantages

Despite offering many advantages, you also need to be aware of and consider some disadvantages of OOP, such as:

  • Difficulty in DebuggingDebugging can become more complicated because each class and object is interrelated, meaning errors in one part of the program can affect other parts.
  • Overhead: OOP can incur overhead (additional costs) as it requires more memory and computing resources.
  • Complexity: Implementing OOP typically consumes more CPU power, which can be burdensome if used on older computer devices.
  • Advanced Data Management: While OOP offers high-level abstraction, managing advanced data such as databases and complex I/O operations may require additional handling.
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