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What is encapsulation in Java?

Encapsulation is a programming concept that a language should support in order to separate an object's state from its behavior.

What is encapsulation in Java?

Java encapsulation is a programming concept that a language should support in order to object's state from its behavior. This is typically facilitated by means of hiding an object's data representing its state from modification by external components. Java offers four different "scope" realms--public, protected, private, and package--that can be used to selectively hide data constructs. The following example illustrates these:

package com.jeffhanson.test; // The public scope identifier makes this class available // to all external components public class MyClass { // The following field does not have a scope identifier // so it is "package" scope by default. This means that // only objects in the same package can access it. int aPackageScopedInt; // The following field has a "private" scope identifier. // This means that it can only be accessed by this class. int aPrivateScopedInt; // The following method has a "protected" scope identifier. // This means that it can only be accessed by this class, // classes that extend this class, and other classes in // the same package. protected int aProtectedMethod() { return 0; } }

This was first published in April 2003

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