The scope of data structure is a far-fetched one! Among all the significant data concepts, abstract data types are considered quite valuable. 

A budding programmer, an aspiring tech candidate or a pro data scientist, everyone should know about this crucial concept. 

Data type is a type of data that you can use in different computer programs. Though, data abstraction is a data type technique that uses interface separation and its implementation. 

This technique plays a crucial role in C++. In C++, classes offer a high level of data abstraction. 

Though, this is not it! The concept is much wider than it seems! 

Take cues from this guide to know in detail about the abstract data types in C++

Let’s get started! 


What is an abstract data type?

Abstract data type is defined as the abstraction of a data structure which offers the interface for the adherence of data structure. These are also defined as the data entities by storing and doing all the operations in detail. 

Since C++ classes use the concept of data abstraction, these are also known as the abstract data types. Member functions or data members are expressed in the form of code while classifying the data. However, while using an object, class members and build data types are used.  

Abstract data types mainly consists of three parts:

  • Data which is used to describe data structure in abstract data types
  • Operations that describes all the valid operations need to be performed
  • Errors that explains how the errors are dealt in C++

Abstract Data Types in C++

In C++, abstract data types play a crucial role. Here you need to basically consider two concepts; imperative or operational and functional or axiomatic. 

Imperative Style 

A developer generally uses this approach to writers specifying the computer steps in order to achieve the goal. This is also known by the name of arithmetic programming. Though, a functional approach includes problems inside the set of functions. 

Functional Style

Functionality in programming binds everything in the style of pure maths. This is declarative programming whose focus is mainly on what to solve  instead of how to solve it. 


Other Abstract data types in C++

Built upon the core principles of C and C++, Object oriented programming helps in the creation of objects. These are independent small units which have their own name or logic. 

The concept of Abstract data types in C++ is wide and includes the following:

Classes and objects

A class is defined as a user specific data type which can further expand to the concept of structure. Though, it not only contains data but also includes functions. Functions within each class are also referred to as the methods. 

A class typically contains three components including; identity which is the name of your class, attributes which are the data members and the methods which are also known as the functions. A class also defines the blueprint of how to make an object to declare all kinds of attributes. 


The concept of combining all the attributes and methods together into a single object is defined as encapsulation.  Access or visibility of the members defines what needs to be presented externally and what needs to be hidden. As an object is responsible for data, the public methods can also be used to manipulate any type of data. 

Access to the object’s attributes can only be controlled by that project itself and no other attributes can be changed by the object. As long as the interface will stay the same, internal object methods can also be changed or improved. 


Messages are also defined as the communication mechanism between two or more objects. It mainly comprises three components; the object that needs to be addressed, methods need to be performed and any parameter required for that particular method. 

For example; 

objectS.set [ Hello, World];


Abstraction is defined as the concept whose main focus is on the key elements of all the objects rather than putting focus on the unimportant elements. 

Take an example of a bike which is made up of so many objects. Though, the essential ones are;wheel, frames or engines. This is known as abstraction of main elements from the object. We can also refine any instance of the object as per the specifications required. 

In the same way, we can apply this concept in the programming to create the generic data types and calling the methods to define the specific objects in the data type. 

Access Specifiers 

Access Specifiers is defined as the visibility level of the class members of the objects. To define the class level, generally three keywords are used:

  • Public: Public members are accessible at any given point of the object. They are the only way through which the attributes of projects can be changed
  • Private: They can access only from other members belonging to the same class
  • Protected: They are accessible from other members in a same class and the members from the other derived classes

Getters and setters 

Getters and setters are the other names of accessors or mutators. They offer various methods to set the value of a class or to get the value of any given object. Since we want all our data types to be private without any interference, we need to specify the objects that need to be controlled on how data will be accessed. 

Here, the general approach would be to prefix the name of the method by setting or getting it as per the required functionality based on how you want it to be. 

C++ string concatenation

Another essential C++ concept that should be aware of is C++ string concatenationConcatenation of strings is generally the operation to join the characters in a string. 

In C++ you can use operators or objects to join the characters using modules or classes. With the + operator, you can join two strings together. 


Wrapping Up 

Abstraction data types in C++ is a crucial concept that every programmer should know. We hope that this guide has given you a better idea on different abstraction types. 

Happy programming!