C# Interface Abstract

http://mycodelines.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/in-which-scenario-we-use-abstract-classes-and-interfaces/

 

In which scenario we use Abstract Classes and Interfaces

Posted by Lakshmi Sravanthi Chowdam on September 1, 2009

Interface:

–> If your child classes should all implement a certain group of methods/functionalities but each of the child classes is free to provide its own implementation then use interfaces.

For e.g. if you are implementing a class hierarchy for vehicles implement an interface called Vehicle which has properties like Colour MaxSpeed etc. and methods like Drive(). All child classes like Car Scooter AirPlane SolarCar etc. should derive from this base interface but provide a seperate implementation of the methods and properties exposed by Vehicle.

–> If you want your child classes to implement multiple unrelated functionalities in short multiple inheritance use interfaces.

For e.g. if you are implementing a class called SpaceShip that has to have functionalities from a Vehicle as well as that from a UFO then make both Vehicle and UFO as interfaces and then create a class SpaceShip that implements both Vehicle and UFO .

Abstract Classes

–> When you have a requirement where your base class should provide default implementation of certain methods whereas other methods should be open to being overridden by child classes use abstract classes.

For e.g. again take the example of the Vehicle class above. If we want all classes deriving from Vehicle to implement the Drive() method in a fixed way whereas the other methods can be overridden by child classes. In such a scenario we implement the Vehicle class as an abstract class with an implementation of Drive while leave the other methods / properties as abstract so they could be overridden by child classes.

–> The purpose of an abstract class is to provide a common definition of a base class that multiple derived classes can share.

For example a class library may define an abstract class that is used as a parameter to many of its functions and require programmers using that library to provide their own implementation of the class by creating a derived class.

Use an abstract class

  • When creating a class library which will be widely distributed or reused—especially to clients, use an abstract class in preference to an interface; because, it simplifies versioning. This is the practice used by the Microsoft team which developed the Base Class Library. ( COM was designed around interfaces.)
  • Use an abstract class to define a common base class for a family of types.
  • Use an abstract class to provide default behavior.
  • Subclass only a base class in a hierarchy to which the class logically belongs.

 

Use an interface

  • When creating a standalone project which can be changed at will, use an interface in preference to an abstract class; because, it offers more design flexibility.
  • Use interfaces to introduce polymorphic behavior without subclassing and to model multiple inheritance—allowing a specific type to support numerous behaviors.
  • Use an interface to design a polymorphic hierarchy for value types.
  • Use an interface when an immutable contract is really intended.
  • A well-designed interface defines a very specific range of functionality. Split up interfaces that contain unrelated functionality.

 ————-

 

 

http://www.dotnetperls.com/abstract

 

http://www.dotnetissues.com/2011/06/code-example-for-interface-and-abstract.html

 

 http://www.codeproject.com/KB/cs/jmabstractclasses.aspx

 

Introduction

Abstract classes are one of the essential behaviors provided by .NET. Commonly, you would like to make classes that only represent base classes, and don�t want anyone to create objects of these class types. You can make use of abstract classes to implement such functionality in C# using the modifier ‘abstract‘.

An abstract class means that, no object of this class can be instantiated, but can make derivations of this.

An example of an abstract class declaration is:

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abstract class absClass
{
}

An abstract class can contain either abstract methods or non abstract methods. Abstract members do not have any implementation in the abstract class, but the same has to be provided in its derived class.

An example of an abstract method:

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abstract class absClass
{
  public abstract void abstractMethod();
}

Also, note that an abstract class does not mean that it should contain abstract members. Even we can have an abstract class only with non abstract members. For example:

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abstract class absClass
{
    public void NonAbstractMethod()
    {
        Console.WriteLine("NonAbstract Method");
    }
}

A sample program that explains abstract classes:

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using System;

namespace abstractSample
{
      //Creating an Abstract Class
      abstract class absClass
      {
            //A Non abstract method
            public int AddTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2)
            {
                return Num1 + Num2;
            }

            //An abstract method, to be
            //overridden in derived class
            public abstract int MultiplyTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2);
      }

      //A Child Class of absClass
      class absDerived:absClass
      {
            [STAThread]
            static void Main(string[] args)
            {
               //You can create an
               //instance of the derived class

               absDerived calculate = new absDerived();
               int added = calculate.AddTwoNumbers(10,20);
               int multiplied = calculate.MultiplyTwoNumbers(10,20);
               Console.WriteLine("Added : {0}, 
                       Multiplied : {1}", added, multiplied);
            }

            //using override keyword,
            //implementing the abstract method
            //MultiplyTwoNumbers
            public override int MultiplyTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2)
            {
                return Num1 * Num2;
            }
      }
}

In the above sample, you can see that the abstract class absClass contains two methods AddTwoNumbers and MultiplyTwoNumbers. AddTwoNumbers is a non-abstract method which contains implementation and MultiplyTwoNumbers is an abstract method that does not contain implementation.

The class absDerived is derived from absClass and the MultiplyTwoNumbers is implemented on absDerived. Within the Main, an instance (calculate) of the absDerived is created, and calls AddTwoNumbers and MultiplyTwoNumbers. You can derive an abstract class from another abstract class. In that case, in the child class it is optional to make the implementation of the abstract methods of the parent class.

Example

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//Abstract Class1
abstract class absClass1
{
    public abstract int AddTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2);
    public abstract int MultiplyTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2);
}

//Abstract Class2
abstract class absClass2:absClass1
{
    //Implementing AddTwoNumbers
    public override int AddTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2)
    {
        return Num1+Num2;
    }
}

//Derived class from absClass2
class absDerived:absClass2
{
    //Implementing MultiplyTwoNumbers
    public override int MultiplyTwoNumbers(int Num1, int Num2)
    {
        return Num1*Num2;
    }
}

In the above example, absClass1 contains two abstract methods AddTwoNumbers and MultiplyTwoNumbers. The AddTwoNumbers is implemented in the derived class absClass2. The class absDerived is derived from absClass2 and the MultiplyTwoNumbers is implemented there.

Abstract properties

Following is an example of implementing abstract properties in a class.

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//Abstract Class with abstract properties
abstract class absClass
{
    protected int myNumber;
    public abstract int numbers
    {
        get;
        set;
    }
}

class absDerived:absClass
{
    //Implementing abstract properties
    public override int numbers
    {
        get
        {
            return myNumber;
        }
        set
        {
            myNumber = value;
        }
    }
}

In the above example, there is a protected member declared in the abstract class. The get/set properties for the member variable myNumber is defined in the derived class absDerived.

Important rules applied to abstract classes

An abstract class cannot be a sealed class. I.e. the following declaration is incorrect.

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//Incorrect
abstract sealed class absClass
{
}

Declaration of abstract methods are only allowed in abstract classes.

An abstract method cannot be private.

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//Incorrect
private abstract int MultiplyTwoNumbers();

The access modifier of the abstract method should be same in both the abstract class and its derived class. If you declare an abstract method as protected, it should be protected in its derived class. Otherwise, the compiler will raise an error.

An abstract method cannot have the modifier virtual. Because an abstract method is implicitly virtual.

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//Incorrect
public abstract virtual int MultiplyTwoNumbers();

An abstract member cannot be static.

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//Incorrect
publpublic abstract static int MultiplyTwoNumbers();

Abstract class vs. Interface

An abstract class can have abstract members as well non abstract members. But in an interface all the members are implicitly abstract and all the members of the interface must override to its derived class.

An example of interface:

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interface iSampleInterface
{
  //All methods are automaticall abstract
  int AddNumbers(int Num1, int Num2);
  int MultiplyNumbers(int Num1, int Num2);
}

Defining an abstract class with abstract members has the same effect to defining an interface.

The members of the interface are public with no implementation. Abstract classes can have protected parts, static methods, etc.

A class can inherit one or more interfaces, but only one abstract class.

Abstract classes can add more functionality without destroying the child classes that were using the old version. In an interface, creation of additional functions will have an effect on its child classes, due to the necessary implementation of interface methods to classes.

The selection of interface or abstract class depends on the need and design of your project. You can make an abstract class, interface or combination of both depending on your needs.

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