Classes and objects in c++


  • A class is a template that defines the form of an object.
  • A class specifies both code and data.
  • C++ uses a class specification to construct objects.
  • Objects are instances of a class.
  • Thus, a class is essentially a set of plans that specify how to build an object.
  • A class can contain private as well as public members. By default, all items defined in a class are private.
  • When you define a class, you declare the data that it contains and the code that operates on that data.
  • While very simple classes might contain only code or only data, most real-world classes contain both.
  • Data is contained in instance variables defined by the class, and code is contained in functions. The code and data that constitute a class are called members of the class.


      private data and functions
      public data and functions
     } object-list;

Defining the Class

    class smallobj //define a class
       int somedata; //class data
       void setdata(int d) //member function to set data
          somedata = d;
       void showdata() //member function to display data
          cout << “
    Data is “ << somedata;


  • An Object is a bit of self-contained Code and Data.
  • A key aspect of the Object approach is to break the problem into smaller understandable parts (divide and conquer).
  • Objects have boundaries that allow us to ignore un-needed detail.
  • We have been using objects all along: String Objects, Integer Objects, Dictionary Objects, List Objects.


    // A program that uses the Vehicle class.
    using namespace std;
    // Declare the Vehicle class.
    class Vehicle
       int passengers; // number of passengers
       int fuelcap; // fuel capacity in gallons
       int mpg; // fuel consumption in miles per gallon
    int main()
      Vehicle minivan; // create a Vehicle object
      int range;
      // Assign values to fields in minivan.
      minivan.passengers = 7;
      minivan.fuelcap = 16;
      minivan.mpg = 21;
      // Compute the range assuming a full tank of gas.
      range = minivan.fuelcap * minivan.mpg;
      cout << "Minivan can carry " << minivan.passengers << " with a range of " << range << "";
      return 0;


    Minivan can carry 7 with a range of 336