Difference between an interface and an abstract class?

We have seen in previous posts what is abstract class and interface. Here we will compare and see difference between these two.

Abstract class is a class which contain one or more abstract methods, which has to be implemented by sub classes. Interface is a Java Object containing method declaration and doesn’t contain implementation. The classes which have implementing the Interfaces must provide the method definition for all the method.

Abstract class is a Class prefix with a abstract keyword followed by Class definition. Interface is a Interface which starts with interface keyword.

Abstract class contains one or more abstract methods. where as Interface contains all abstract methods and final declarations

Abstract classes are useful in a situation that Some general methods should be implemented and specialization behavior should be implemented by child classes. Interfaces are useful in a situation that all properties should be implemented.


(1) Interfaces provide a form of multiple inheritance. A class can extend only one other class.
(2) Interfaces are limited to public methods and constants with no implementation. Abstract classes can have a partial implementation, protected parts, static methods, etc.
(3) A Class may implement several interfaces. But in case of abstract class, a class may extend only one abstract class.
(4) Interfaces are slow as it requires extra indirection to to find corresponding method in in the actual class. Abstract classes are fast.


(1) Neither Abstract classes or Interface can be instantiated.

How to define an Abstract class?
A class containing abstract method is called Abstract class. An Abstract class can’t be instantiated.
Example of Abstract class:

abstract class testAbstractClass
	protected String myString;
	public String getMyString()
		return myString;
	public abstract string anyAbstractFunction();

How to define an Interface?
Answer: In Java Interface defines the methods but does not implement them. Interface can include constants. A class that implements the interfaces is bound to implement all the methods defined in Interface.
Example of Interface:

public interface sampleInterface
	public void functionOne();
	public long CONSTANT_ONE = 1000;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Post Navigation