Difference between Class and Structure

In object-oriented programming, a class and a structure are both used to define the blueprint for an object, but they have some key differences in terms of their usage and behavior.

Class over Structure

  • A class is a blueprint for an object that defines the properties and methods of the object.
  • Classes are used to define the characteristics and behaviors of an object, and they are the building blocks of object-oriented programming.
  • Classes are reference types, which means that when an object is created from a class, the memory for the object is allocated on the heap and a reference to the object is stored in a variable. This means that when two variables refer to the same object, changes made to the object through one variable will be reflected through the other variable as well.
  • Classes have inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation.
  • Classes also have constructors and destructors.

Structure over Class

  • A structure is a value type that defines the properties and methods of an object. Structures are similar to classes, but they have some key differences in terms of their usage and behavior.
  • Structures are used to define a lightweight object that contains a small amount of data.
  • Structures are value types, which means that when an object is created from a structure, the memory for the object is allocated on the stack, and the entire object is stored in the variable. This means that when two variables refer to the same object, they contain completely separate copies of the data.
  • Structures don’t have inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation.
  • Structure also don’t have constructors and destructors.

Conclusion

A class and a structure are both used to define the blueprint for an object in object-oriented programming, but they have some key differences in terms of their usage and behavior.

A class is a reference type that defines the characteristics and behaviors of an object, while a structure is a value type that defines the properties and methods of an object.

Classes have inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation and have constructors and destructors, while structures don’t have it.

The decision of using class or structure depends on the requirement of the project, for example, if we need to use the object’s memory on heap or stack, if we need to use inheritance or not.

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