valdrus (valdrus) wrote in java_faq,

difference between an Abstract class and Interface in Java

Question: What is the difference between an Abstract class and Interface in Java ? or can you explain when you use Abstract classes ?

Answer: Abstract classes let you define some behaviors; they force your subclasses to provide others. These abstract classes will provide the basic funcationality of your applicatoin, child class which inherited this class will provide the funtionality of the abstract methods in abstract class. When base class calls this method, Java calls the method defined by the child class.

An Interface can only declare constants and instance methods, but cannot implement default behavior.
Interfaces provide a form of multiple inheritance. A class can extend only one other class.
Interfaces are limited to public methods and constants with no implementation. Abstract classes can have a partial implementation, protected parts, static methods, etc.
A Class may implement several interfaces. But in case of abstract class, a class may extend only one abstract class.
Interfaces are slow as it requires extra indirection to find corresponding method in the actual class. Abstract classes are fast.
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