Abstraction vs Encapsulation: Difference Between Abstraction and Encapsulation

Every programmer thrives to develop a neat and clean code, and he must use a proper weapon from armour or OOP concepts. Using proper OOP concepts will reduce the complexity and the entity of the objects are dissociated with other parts of the code. Also, it improves readability and can be easily modified if required.

Also, the OOP concept like inheritance provides the extensibility of code. These concepts are helpful for defining abstract classes, updating previously implemented codes, implementing an application for real-life scenarios.

Abstraction, encapsulation is the fundamental concepts in object-oriented programming. And every programmer implements these concepts for a clean and reusable code. But there are a considerable number of differences between these two concepts, let’s understand them in this article.

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In this article, I have described the differences between abstraction vs encapsulation, their definition, advantages and related parameters. 


Abstraction is a process of hiding unnecessary data and showing only relevant data. Out of an ocean of data, we are only maintaining the transparency of some data to the user. This important concept in object-oriented programming will reduce the complexity of the code and increases the readability.

For example, let’s say we were assigned a task to create an online course enrollment portal, and the data fields available to us are {name, age, current occupation, college name, course name, payment method, sibling’s name, marital status, vehicle number}.

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After having a look at the data fields available, we’ll come to understand that some of the fields are not necessary for the course enrollment portal, fields like {sibling’s name, marital status, vehicle number} are not required for course enrollment.

So, we need to be specific and choose only the relevant data. Now the necessary fields are {name, age, current occupation, college name, course name, payment method}, this makes an example of abstraction in OOP because we’ve escorted selected information from whole data.

Now, this new data can also be used for some other applications like course status tracker, course completion record, etc. We can use the same data without any changes.

Many people get often confused about abstraction and abstract class, So are they both related?

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An abstract class is different from abstraction, abstract classes/methods are created with an intention to implement them in child class or subclass. Whereas abstraction is simply hiding the data, and showing only the relevant data by using access specifiers like public, protected, private.

Before moving to the difference between Encapsulation and Abstraction, you must be clear with the concept of these two terms. Hierarchical classification allows you to deal with a complex abstraction. Moreover, it helps you to disintegrate a complex system into certain manageable pieces and design layered semantics. Hence, abstraction focuses on generalizing elements critical for designing a system. In other words, it chooses the important elements only.

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Encapsulation is binding the data members with member variables. This will avoid the direct access of variables, because direct access of variables may violate privacy, and hiding of the implementation will not be possible.

Encapsulation minimizes your code’s part revealed to the user. The user can be anyone who uses your published code or perhaps your code’s remaining part.

Encapsulation works like a protective wrapper that conceals the code and data within the class. That data and code will be accessed outside the method/member function and the class that is not the members of that class.

We may have gone through some classic methods in class like set and get, where the set method is used to update or allocate a value to a variable and the get method is used to read or retrieve the value of a variable. Here we can directly access the variables using the object of that class, but if we want to make a variable private then we should use these settings and get methods.

The concept is simple, we’ll make the set and get methods public and the variables are private. So the variables can be accessed only through the public methods outside the class since private objects are not accessible outside class but accessible inside class. This concept of binding or bundling variables with methods is called encapsulation.

Let us have a look at a simple java program to understand this better.

class CourseRegistration{
    private String student_name;
    private String course_name;
    public String getName(){  
        return student_name;
    public void setName(String name){  
    public String getCourse(){
        return course_name;
    public void setCourse(String course){
public class upGrad
    public static void main(String[] args){
        CourseRegistration c=new CourseRegistration();
        c.setCourse("Data Science");

In the above code, we’ve created a class CourseRegistration, where the member variables student name, and course name are private, but we are accessing it in another class using the set name and get name functions. In the main class, we’ve created an object of CourseRegistration type. We are initializing and accessing the member variables using the set and get functions.

Now that we’ve seen the definition and example of abstraction let’s discuss the advantages and differences between abstraction and encapsulation.

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Abstraction vs Encapsulation: Table of Comparison 

In my years of experience in software development, I’ve navigated through countless scenarios where understanding the distinction between abstraction and encapsulation was crucial. Here, I present a table that encapsulates the essence of Abstraction vs Encapsulation, derived from real-world applications and case studies: 

Criteria  Abstraction  Encapsulation 
Primary Goal  To hide the complex reality while exposing only the necessary parts.  To bundle data and methods that operate on the data, ensuring that data structures and operators are used as intended. 
Focus  Reducing complexity by hiding details and exposing only the essential features.  Protecting an object’s state by hiding its attributes and behaviors from outside manipulation. 
Implementation  Implemented using abstract classes and interfaces.  Implemented through access modifiers like private, protected, and public. 
Real-World Example  In a car, the abstraction is the steering wheel and pedals; you don’t need to know how the engine works.  The car’s engine encapsulates its internal workings; you interact with it through the car’s controls without accessing the engine directly. 
Use Case  Simplifying complex systems by modeling classes based on real-world entities.  Safeguarding data integrity and hiding the complexities of the system’s internal workings. 

Advantages of Abstraction

In the context of abstraction vs Encapsulation, it’s crucial to understand that while both concepts aim to enhance software design, abstraction specifically allows for a clearer separation of concerns, enabling developers to distinguish between the external interface and the internal implementation details. Here, I have listed the advantages of abstraction.

  • Privacy of data is maintained since only relevant data is visible to the user.
  • Reduces the complexity of code and increases readability.
  • The class which implements the abstraction can be used as a parent class by inheriting them, hence improving reusability, and reducing duplication.
  • Abstraction makes applications extendable and simplifies refactoring.
  • When developing with the abstraction’s superior level, you communicate more on the behavior and less on the implementation.
  • It enables effective simulation of a real-world event. It helps you to invent solutions to real-world problems.
  • It simplifies maintaining and modifying the existing code because new objects can be developed with minor differences from the existing ones.
  • It offers a decent framework for code libraries wherein the programmer can easily tailor the provided software components. It is principally useful for developing GUI.
  • When you modify your code implemented with an abstraction, the abstraction’s users need not modify their code. The users need to change their code only when the abstraction changes.
  • When writing code that uses abstraction, it can be reused against any new code that executes that abstraction. So, with less coding, it helps you do more.
  • Abstraction uses extension points to let the choice be reflected in a different portion of which original code runs. This choice could be done in any part of your program, in another program, or at runtime.

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Advantages of Encapsulation

Encapsulation enhances code security and data integrity, setting a clear boundary between abstraction vs encapsulation by allowing the hiding of internal states and functionality. This principle not only simplifies the interface presented to other objects but also distinguishes itself from abstraction by focusing on the implementation details that are concealed from the user. Here I have listed the top advantages of encapsulation:

  • It helps in binding the data members with member functions.
  • Improves efficiency and user friendly for error analysis.
  • Provides flexibility to the programmer in controlling the accessibility and transparency of the data.
  • Your code’s user doesn’t rely on your program’s part that is expected to change. When you modify your program, the users need not modify their code.
  • You can efficiently control how your code and state modify across your program’s lifetime. Encapsulation makes sure there will be fewer unforeseen problems to fix.

Difference Between Abstraction and Encapsulation


  • Abstraction is hiding the details and implementation of the code.
  • Encapsulation is hiding the data and controlling the visibility of the code.


  • Abstraction is a design level process.
  • Encapsulation is an implementation level process.

Pivotal Ability

  • Abstraction is concerned about what a class instance can do, instead of the implementation of the class.
  • Encapsulation helps in data binding and control over maintaining the transparency of the data.

Use Case

  • Abstraction is a design level process and it is used to reduce the complexity at the designing stage of a project.
  • Encapsulation is an implementation level process, and it is used to provide privacy and maintain control over the transparency of data at the implementation stage of a project.

How to Implement

  • Abstraction can be achieved using class and interfaces in java.
  • Encapsulation is also implemented using classes and the control over data privacy is obtained by specifying access specifiers like protected, public, private.


The prominent difference between Encapsulation and Abstraction lies in the focus. Abstraction mainly focuses on what must be done, whereas encapsulation mainly focuses on how it must be done. Understanding this difference between Abstraction and Encapsulation in Python helps you to design solutions faster.


You can better understand Encapsulation vs Abstraction with an example. Abstraction is used in mobile phones’ GUI. When you click on the icons, abstraction allows them to perform specific functions. Let’s look at the encapsulation example to clarify the Encapsulation vs Abstraction. After the icon is clicked, the encapsulation works in the backend to guide the user on the next steps.

Data representation:

One significant difference between Abstraction and Encapsulation in Java is how they represent data. Abstraction represents only useful data, whereas encapsulation wraps data and codes for necessary information. Moreover, it helps developers to easily organize the whole code.


Abstraction provides you with a more abstract overview and thus hides the complexity. Encapsulation hides the internal working, which helps you to change it later.

Program partition:

Another key difference between Abstraction and Encapsulation in Java is the way programs are partitioned. Abstraction can partition the program into several distinct fragments whereas Encapsulation can be easily adapted to the new requirements.


Abstraction solves problems at the design level whereas Encapsulation does at the implementation level.

How Abstraction and Encapsulation can solve real-world problems?

The differences between Abstraction vs Encapsulation in java are not just limited to the above points. You also need to understand how they solve real-world problems to accurately comprehend the difference between Abstraction and Encapsulation in Python.

A real-world example of Abstraction:

Firstly, we take an example of a banking application to understand Encapsulation vs Abstraction. Suppose you want to develop a banking application and are asked to gather all the details of your customer. You may gather some details that are irrelevant when developing a banking application. Hence, you have to choose only valuable information like name, address, tax info, etc. The process of fetching, removing, and selecting the customer information from a pool of data is called Abstraction.

The information, once extracted, can be utilized for various applications. For example, you can use the same data for job portal applications, hospital applications, a Government database, etc. with slight or no amendment. Therefore, it works as your Master Data.

A real-world example of Encapsulation:

Let’s take an example of mobile devices to clarify the Abstraction vs Encapsulation in Java. Using smartphones, you can perform tasks like capturing photos, recording audio/video, listening to music, accessing the web, etc. These features are common in all smartphones. You don’t have to understand the internal working of these features. For example, you don’t need to know how your camera recognizes a human face in an image or how it calculates gamma correction. You simply need to learn the software interface. So, it is a real-world example of encapsulation.

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We’ve gone through the importance of OOP concepts, understood the definition of abstraction and encapsulation. Walked through the examples of abstraction, and encapsulation. We also had a look over the advantages of using OOP concepts like abstraction and encapsulation. And finally, we’ve gone through the difference between abstraction and encapsulation.

Now that you are aware of the definition and implementation of abstraction, encapsulation, try implementing them in your code and try reducing the complexity of the code which you are going to write from now on!

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What is abstraction in object-oriented programming?

Abstraction in object-oriented programming is a technique to represent the high-level information about a problem by building an object. Abstraction is implemented with the help of the interface and the implementation of the interface is done using the actual code. Abstraction is implemented where the concrete details are hidden from the consuming modules by providing it with a different interface. Abstraction is implemented to hide the implementation details of the low-level details. It is also used to hide the complex details and provide the simpler interface to the user.

How do classes and objects work in programming?

Classes and objects are the two main concepts employed in all object-oriented programming languages. Every class contains a set of variables and methods that it can use and manipulate. In an object-oriented programming language, all the objects in a program have a specific type and the variables and methods of an object can only be manipulated by methods of the same type. In most object-oriented languages, the class is used to create an object and vice versa. An object-oriented program is made up of objects, procedures, and data types. Everything in an object-oriented program, including data and code, is an object.

What are the differences between encapsulation and abstraction?

Abstraction is a method of removing the unnecessary details in the code and focusing on the relevant parts. For example, instead of writing a function that multiplies two numbers, we can write a function “multiply” and use it to multiply any number with any number. Abstraction is a way of representing some specific data. Encapsulation is a way of hiding the complexity of something and exposing only the parts you wish to expose. For example, if you have a class that has one or more private fields that you use to store the data, then you are in encapsulation. The class contains the data and has methods that expose the public data.

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