Difference Wiki

Structure vs. Class: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on February 3, 2024
A structure is a user-defined data type grouping variables of different types, with default public access; a class is a blueprint for objects with private access by default and supports encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism.

Key Differences

A structure, commonly used in languages like C, is a user-defined data type that allows grouping variables of different types. Structures are primarily used to represent a record. In contrast, a class, a fundamental concept in object-oriented programming languages like C++ and Java, is also a user-defined data type but is used to encapsulate data and functions together, representing a real-world entity.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024
In structures, members are public by default, meaning they can be accessed directly using the dot operator. However, in classes, members are private by default, which restricts direct access and enforces encapsulation, a core principle of object-oriented programming. This difference in access specifiers underscores a fundamental distinction in how data is managed and accessed within structures versus classes.
Huma Saeed
Feb 03, 2024
Structures are typically used when you need a simple grouping of data without requiring the advanced features of object-oriented programming. Classes, however, provide additional features like inheritance and polymorphism, which allow for more complex and organized code, essential in large-scale software development.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024
Structures in C++ have the capability to contain functions and access specifiers similar to classes, they are still generally used for simpler data storage compared to classes. Classes, with their ability to support constructors and destructors, offer more control over how objects are initialized and destroyed, providing a more robust framework for managing resources.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024
The concept of inheritance, where a class can inherit properties and behaviors from another class, is not applicable in structures. Classes, on the other hand, use inheritance to create a hierarchy of classes that can share, override, or extend functionality, making it a powerful tool for reducing redundancy and enhancing code reusability.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Default Access Specifier

Members are public by default.
Members are private by default.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Primary Usage

Simple grouping of data.
Encapsulation of data and methods.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Support for OOP Features

Limited; no support for inheritance or polymorphism.
Supports encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Constructors/Destructors

Does not support constructors and destructors.
Supports constructors and destructors.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Typical Use in Programming

Used for data structures in procedural programming.
Used in object-oriented programming.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024
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Structure and Class Definitions

Structure

A structure is a collection of variables of different types under a single name.
The structure 'Person' contained name, age, and address.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 23, 2024

Class

Classes support the principles of object-oriented programming.
She created a class 'Animal' that other classes like 'Dog' could inherit from.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Structure

In structures, data members are public by default.
Within the structure, the member 'salary' was accessible directly.
Janet White
Jan 23, 2024

Class

Classes enable polymorphism, allowing methods to be overridden.
The method 'draw' was overridden in each subclass of the class 'Shape'.
Harlon Moss
Jan 23, 2024

Structure

Structures in C are primarily used for data storage.
The program defined a structure to hold the geometric coordinates.
Huma Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Class

A class is a blueprint for objects, encapsulating data and functions.
The class 'Car' defined properties like speed and methods like accelerate.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Structure

Structures are used to represent a record in programming.
He used a structure to store each employee's data efficiently.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Class

Members of a class are private by default, ensuring encapsulation.
In the class 'Account', the balance was kept private to protect the data.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Structure

Structures can contain both data and functions in C++.
He added a function to the structure to calculate the total cost.
Janet White
Jan 23, 2024

Class

Classes can have constructors and destructors for object management.
The class 'Database' used a constructor to establish a connection.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 23, 2024

Structure

(computing) Several pieces of data treated as a unit.
This structure contains both date and timezone information.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Structure

(logic) A set along with a collection of finitary functions and relations.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

FAQs

What is a structure in programming?

A structure is a user-defined data type for grouping different data types.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

What is the primary use of a structure?

Structures are used for simpler data storage and representing records.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

What is a class in programming?

A class is a blueprint for creating objects, encapsulating data and methods.
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

Can classes be inherited?

Yes, classes support inheritance in object-oriented programming.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

Do structures support inheritance?

No, structures do not support inheritance.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

Are class members public or private by default?

In classes, members are private by default.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Are structure members public or private by default?

In structures, members are public by default.
Huma Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Can structures contain functions?

Yes, structures in C++ can contain functions.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Do classes support constructors and destructors?

Yes, classes support constructors and destructors for object management.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

Can a structure inherit another structure?

No, structures do not support inheritance.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024

Can a class contain only methods?

Yes, a class can be defined with only methods.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Are classes more suitable for object-oriented programming?

Yes, classes are fundamental to object-oriented programming.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Is encapsulation a feature of structures?

No, encapsulation is a feature more associated with classes.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Do classes support polymorphism?

Yes, classes support polymorphism, allowing method overriding.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024

Can a class contain only private members?

Yes, a class can have all members as private.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Are structures less complex than classes?

Generally, structures are simpler and used for less complex data grouping.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024

Do structures support method overriding?

No, structures do not support method overriding.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024

Can structures be used in C++?

Yes, structures can be used in C++ with added functionality.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Can structures and classes be used together?

Yes, in languages like C++, structures and classes can be used together.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

Can a class implement an interface?

Yes, classes can implement interfaces in languages like Java.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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