Interface vs Abstract Class in Java: What’s the Difference?

Interface vs Abstract Class in Java: What's the Difference?


What is Interface?

The interface is a blueprint that can be used to implement a class. The interface does not contain any concrete methods (methods that have code). All the methods of an interface are abstract methods.

An interface cannot be instantiated. However, classes that implement interfaces can be instantiated. Interfaces never contain instance variables but, they can contain public static final variables (i.e., constant class variables)

What Is Abstract Class?

A class which has the abstract keyword in its declaration is called abstract class. Abstract classes should have at least one abstract method. , i.e., methods without a body. It can have multiple concrete methods.

Abstract classes allow you to create blueprints for concrete classes. But the inheriting class should implement the abstract method.

Abstract classes cannot be instantiated.

Important Reasons For Using Interfaces

  • Interfaces are used to achieve abstraction.
  • Designed to support dynamic method resolution at run time
  • It helps you to achieve loose coupling.
  • Allows you to separate the definition of a method from the inheritance hierarchy
  • Abstract classes offer default functionality for the subclasses.
  • Provides a template for future specific classes
  • Helps you to define a common interface for its subclasses
  • Abstract class allows code reusability.

Interface Vs. Abstract Class

An abstract class permits you to make functionality that subclasses can implement or override whereas an interface only permits you to state functionality but not to implement it. A class can extend only one abstract class while a class can implement multiple interfaces.