What is Abstraction in C++? With Real Life Example and Its Implementation

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) is the most popular paradigm of programming and is the standard way to code for programmers. OOP works on the concept of classes and objects. It structures a software program into simple, reusable pieces of code called classes for creating individual objects. C++ is an object-oriented programming language, and abstraction in C++ is one of the most important C++ features and the highlight of this article.

Object-oriented programming is meant to enhance the flexibility of the program. In this article, you will learn about how data abstraction is carried out in the C++ program along with the benefits of doing it. 

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Data Abstraction in C++ 

Abstraction is derived from two Latin words, ‘abs’, which means ‘away from’ and ‘traction’ meaning ‘to draw’, refers to representing required essential features without including the whole details.

C++ classes perform abstraction with the list of abstract attributes such as functions. They put all the essential properties of an object to be created. The attributes are called data members, and the functions that operate on them are called member functions. C++ classes using the data abstraction concept are termed abstract data types.



While using a class, data members and member functions are represented in the code. But, the built-in data types and the members in the class get ignored while using an object which is known as data abstraction. 

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Program to Demonstrate Abstraction in C++



class sum


// data abstraction

private: int x,y,z;


void add()



cout<<“Enter two numbers: “;



cout<<“Sum of numbers: “<<z;



void main()


sum s;





Enter two numbers:



Sum of numbers: 45

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Real-Life Examples Demonstrating Abstraction

The abstraction is a feature of Object-Oriented Programming, where only relevant details are shown to the user and irrelevant details are hidden.

You can understand Abstraction in C++ with these examples,

When an email is sent, you just click send and you get the sent receipt. What is abstracted here is the data transferred to the recipient.

The important features of a phone are the memory card, SIM, battery life, design, and processor. While operating the phone you do not get into the operational details of the phone such as CPU memory allocation for the various media that are invisible to you. You can use only certain commands and buttons on your phone without knowing what is happening inside your phone.

A man driving a car knows that pressing the accelerators will increase the speed of the car but he does not know-how, which is nothing but abstraction.

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Implementation of Data Abstraction in C++

C++ is an object-oriented programming approach. The data abstraction in C++ is implemented in two ways:

  1. Using classes and objects
  2. Using header files



1. Using Classes and Objects

We can choose to abstract a specific data member or member function to be accessible outside the class or not using public, private, or protected access specifiers with the help of classes.

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2. Using Header Files

Header files include inbuilt library functions linked to that header file. For the header file #include<string.h>, programmers can access the functions strcpy() and strlen() and many more.


Let us have a look at a simple C++ program to understand abstraction using classes, objects, and header files:

#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

class Abstraction


// Private

int num1, num2;


// To access private members

void input(int n1, int n2)


num1 = n1;

num2 = n2;


void sum()


cout<<” Sum is:” << num1+num2 << endl;



int main()


cout<<“Data Abstraction in C++“<<endl;

Abstraction a;

a.input(11, 18);


return 0;



Data Abstraction in C++

Sum is:29

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Benefits of Abstraction in C++

There is no denying the fact that abstraction in C++ is a beneficial programming concept. Let us explicitly discuss some of the benefits it offers:

It enhances code reusability and class partitioning by avoiding any redundancy.

It augments code readability by eliminating the complex working of the code making it comprehensible.

The internals of the class get protected from accidental user-level errors

Abstraction in C++ is a practice to write high-level code.

It avoids code duplication and the programmer does not have to go over common tasks every time for similar operations

It can alter internal class implementation independently without affecting the user.

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Data abstraction in C++ is a method to provide data security from unauthorized methods. In this article, we tried to explain one of the most significant C++ concepts used widely along with its implementation and real-life examples for better clarity. It wouldn’t be difficult for a beginner with little or no knowledge to have a hang of the concepts with some practice.

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We hope you will have an excellent learning opportunity in executing these C++ projects. If you are interested to learn more and need mentorship from industry experts, check out upGrad & IIIT Banglore’s Executive PG in  Full-Stack Software Development.

What is abstraction in C++?

Abstraction is the process of hiding the details relevant to a specific purpose. This is the central idea of object-oriented programming. It allows programmers to write code that is more generic than the actual problem being solved. This helps in reducing the size of the code and simplifying the code. Abstraction also allows you to modify the code in the future, without having to change the code to fit the new needs.

What are the important pillars of object-oriented programming?

Abstraction: We can think of abstraction as the process of using various layers of separation between the details of a complex operation and the code that performs this operation. Polymorphism: This basically means that the same operation can be represented differently in different contexts. Inheritance: Inheritance is all about code reuse. Interfaces: Interfaces are high level descriptions of classes. They are basically a contract specifying the methods that a class must have. Composition: Composition is all about combining objects in order to achieve more complex functionality.

How to achieve abstraction in C++?

An abstraction is an implementation of a concept. It’s what you do when you use a bunch of classes and functions to separate an idea from the code that implements it. In C++, an abstraction is a class, a template, or a function. In C++, abstraction is achieved in many ways, for example, C++ provides multiple ways to achieve data abstraction, means to hide implementation details and let client code work with high level interfaces.

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