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What is the Open/Closed Design Principle in Software Engineering?

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Importance of Open/Closed Principle

The Open/Closed principle is one of the five design principles for object-oriented software development. Those five principles are known as solid principles as well. Besides Open/Closed, there are Single Responsibility, Liskov Substitution, Interface Segregation, and Dependency Inversion principles.

The open/closed principle is considered the most important principle in object-oriented design. Most companies and software development teams use this principle to design and write code. One of the biggest benefits here is that you can implement new functionalities with minimum changes to your code.

Advantages of Object-Oriented Programming

As you already know the open/closed principle is crucial for object-oriented software development, which can also have a great impact on your digital evolution. There are several reasons why companies get interested in this topic. First of all, you have a better understanding of your problems. In object-oriented programming (OOP) you create classes that help you to navigate yourself easily through the whole system.

Besides having generic classes, you can create subclasses as well. For example, the generic class could be a car for you, while subclasses would be race cars and limousines. Also, functions have the ability to adapt based on different classes. Your advantage here is great flexibility. Also, you’ll manage to solve all of your issues more easily.

While using the Open/Closed Design Principle you will have access to numerous functionalities, you will understand every single aspect of your development process, and you’ll be able to manage various tasks more quickly to move forward to your next goals.

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Open for Extension and Closed for Modification

“Open for Extension” and “Closed for Modification” describes the codes that are part of the open/closed principle. Almost every company has techniques, and equipment that they’d like to use for their innovative approaches, some of them just want to increase their performance levels. Avoiding changes is impossible. With this principle, you just have to choose which changes are you going to support.

You can create a list of potential changes as well and determine what you can do by analyzing the code or looking at previous changes to the code. You have to look through everything carefully but adding this principle to your work when necessary, will make everything more understandable for you.

Plugin Architecture as a Practical Example for OCP

Plugin architecture can reduce complexity by providing a modular architecture for modern systems.  It can reduce development expenses as well. It gives you security, simplifies the development process for you, etc.

Any of your systems would have plugins and all of them will definitely have their own responsibilities, their own functions which they do very well. For example, while working, you can add or remove plugins with different functions without changing the existing code. It’s a very basic example but makes the main point clear.

You can control the implementation or removal of plugins and determine these aspects based on what you’ll need for yourself, but you won’t need to change much. Same here, you can make certain changes, like for example change classes, without modifying codes and get the desired results.

Real-Life Example of Open/Closed Principle

An electric adapter would be a simple, great example of the open/closed principle. An adapter is always closed to modification, which means that it simply cannot be changed. But it always provides you with a method of extension. All you have to do is plug in an extension board and extend an electric adapter fitted into a wall.

This example can clarify the idea of the open/closed principle for you and why it’s so intensively used in software engineering. It’s one of the main principles that can actually help you create innovations for your company and help you manage more technological aspects better.

How You Can Use Open/Closed Principles for Your Development?

Nowadays, companies invest a lot in software and completely depend on their functions to adapt to changing business requirements. This way they ensure that they’ll be able to fix defects and discover more systems that will improve their environment.

Following this principle will make changing different aspects of the company easier, and the problem-solving process will be quicker as well. You will have a better understanding of important aspects that could improve your organization and will know more about all the advantages that software engineering could reward you with.

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