04
Jul 08

Method overriding and overloading in Java

I know this may be trivial for many people but then it can be pretty confusing for new bees (pssst.. in the beginning me too used to be confused between overloading and overriding)

OVERRIDING – when you extend a class and write a method in the derived class which is exactly similar to the one present in the base class, it is termed as overriding.

Example:

public class BaseClass{

public void methodToOverride()

{

//Some code here

}

}

public class DerivedClass extends BaseClass{

public void methodToOverride()

{

//Some new code here

}

}

As you can see, in the class DerivedClass, we have overridden the method present in the BaseClass with a completely new piece of code in the DerivedClass.

What that effectively means is that if you create an object of DerivedClass and call the methodToOverride() method, the code in the derivedClass will be executed. If you hadn’t overridden the method in the DerivedClass then the method in the BaseClass would have been called.

OVERLOADING -  when you have more than one method with the same name but different arguments, the methods are said to be overloaded.

Example:

public class OverLoadingExample{

public void add(int i, int j)

{

int k = i + j;

}

public void add(String s, String t)

{

int k = Integer.parseInt(s) + Integer.parseInt(t);

}

}

As you can see in the example above, we have the same method add() taking two parameters but with different data types. Due to overloading we can now call the add method by either passing it a String or int :)