Question:

What is the difference between an Interface and an Abstract class ?

Answer:

Java provides and supports the creation both of abstract classes and interfaces. Both implementations share some common characteristics, but they differ in the following features:

  • All methods in an interface are implicitly abstract. On the other hand, an abstract class may contain both abstract and non-abstract methods.
  • A class may implement a number of Interfaces, but can extend only one abstract class.
  • In order for a class to implement an interface, it must implement all its declared methods. However, a class may not implement all declared methods of an abstract class. Though, in this case, the sub-class must also be declared as abstract.
  • Abstract classes can implement interfaces without even providing the implementation of interface methods.
  • Variables declared in a Java interface is by default final. An abstract class may contain non-final variables.
  • Members of a Java interface are public by default. A member of an abstract class can either be private, protected or public.
  • An interface is absolutely abstract and cannot be instantiated. An abstract class also cannot be instantiated, but can be invoked if it contains a main method.

Also check out the Abstract class and Interface differences for JDK 8.


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