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   ► KBProgrammingDelphi for W...OOP   Print This     
  From the January 2016 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Delphi OOP:
Delphi Inheritance (=class(ParentClass))
Posted 14 years ago on 11/2/2008 and updated 1/28/2009
Delphi Code Snippet:
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 Tags: Delphi , Inheritance


General Info: Inheritance

The concept of a class makes it possible to define subclasses that share some or all of the main class characteristics. This is called inheritance. Inheritance also allows you to reuse code more efficiently. In a class tree, inheritance is used to design classes vertically. (You can use Interfaces to design classes horizontally within a class tree.) With inheritance, you are defining an "is-a" relationship (i.e. a chow is-a dog). Analysts using UML call this generalization where you generalize specific classes into general parent classes.

Delphi Inheritance

In Delphi, you use the class keyword followed by the parent class in parens. If you leave out the parent class, your class inherits from TObject.

Syntax Example:

In the following example, a terminator T-600 is-an android. 

TAndroid = class
T-600 = class(TAndroid)

Now let's dive in...

Inheritance versus Interfaces

With inheritance, you design classes that have methods and attributes and then extend those methods and attributes in descendant classes adding functionality as the class hierarchy gets deeper and deeper. In a real sense, you design vertically top to bottom. Interfaces allow you to design horizontally througout your class tree. Interfaces define abstract methods and/or attributes in a psuedo abstract class that if used on a class must be implemented by the class.

Complete Example

More complete example...

//Declare class in Interface section.
TPerson = class(TObject)
  FName: String;
  FAge: Integer;
  constructor Create;
//Implement class in Implementation section.
constructor TPerson.Create;
  inherited;  //Call the parent Create method
  // Now set a default fruit name
  FName := 'unknown';
  FAge := 0;
//Use class.
  Lisa: TPerson;
  Lisa := TPerson.Create;
  ShowMessage(Lisa.FName + ' is ' + IntToStr(Lisa.FAge));
  //Use class.
  Lisa.FName := 'Lisa';
  Lisa.FAge := 34;
  ShowMessage(Lisa.FName + ' is ' + IntToStr(Lisa.FAge));

Step by Step Example

The following is a step-by-step tutorial on creating your first Delphi class and does include an inheritance example. From this simple tutorial, you can then experiment with the various class inheritance features.


More Info

Definition:  Inheritance


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Code Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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Linked Certification Question(s)

The following are practice certification questions with answers highlighted. These questions were prepared by Mike Prestwood and are intended to stress an important aspect of this KB post. All our practice questions are intended to prepare you generally for passing any certification test as well as prepare you for professional work.


1 Intermediate Level Question

Question #1: True or False?

A single class can inherit from a parent class and implement one "or more" interfaces.

  • True
  • False

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