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S.O.L.I.D: Open/Closed Principle

linuxnerd profile image Abhishek Prakash Updated on ・3 min read

S.O.L.I.D Principle (2 Part Series)

1) S.O.L.I.D: Single Responsibility Principle 2) S.O.L.I.D: Open/Closed Principle

What is S.O.L.I.D by the way?

As per Wiki:

In object-oriented computer programming, SOLID is a mnemonic acronym for five design principles intended to make software designs more understandable, flexible and maintainable.

SOLID is an acronym for 5 important design principles when doing OOP. It was first introduced by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob), in his 2000 paper Design Principles and Design Patterns.

SOLID stands for -

In this article, I will be covering O - Open/Closed Principle.
Note - The examples will be in Java, but applies to any OOP language.

O - Open/Closed Principle (OCP)

The Open/Closed Principle (OCP) is the SOLID principle which states

Software entities (classes, modules, functions, etc.) should be open for extension but closed for modification.

In simple words, we should strive to write code that can be extended without the need for modification, when a change request is made by the customer or a product owner.

Anti OCP usage

We will first look at an example that breaks the OCP principle.

// GeneralInvestment.java
public class GeneralInvestment {
  public Double initialAmount;
  public int year;
  public Double tax;

  public GeneralInvestment(Double initialAmount, int year, Double tax) {
    this.initialAmount = initialAmount;
    this.year = year;
    this.tax = tax;
  }
}

//InvestmentManager.java
public final class InvestmentManager {
  public Double calculateReturn(GeneralInvestment investment) {
    return investment.initialAmount + (investment.year * investment.initialAmount * investment.tax);
  }
}

So, we have a GeneralInvestment class and an InvestmentManager class. The sole purpose of InvestmentManager is to calculate return of type GeneralInvestment.

Going further we have a feature request to calculate return on AdvancedInvestment. Let's add some code to accomplish that.

//AdvancedInvestment.java
public class AdvancedInvestment extends GeneralInvestment {
  public Double incremental;
  public int period;

  public AdvancedInvestment(Double initialAmount, int year, Double tax, Double incremental, int period) {
    super(initialAmount, year, tax);
    this.incremental = incremental;
    this.period = period;
  }
}

Now, we have AdvancedInvestment in place. Let's update our InvestmentManager class to handle new case.

public final class InvestmentManager {
  public Double calculatereturn(GeneralInvestment investment) {
    if (investment instanceof AdvancedInvestment) {
      AdvancedInvestment advancedInvestment = (AdvancedInvestment) investment;
      return advancedInvestment.initialAmount
          + (advancedInvestment.year * advancedInvestment.initialAmount * advancedInvestment.tax)
          + (advancedInvestment.period * advancedInvestment.incremental * advancedInvestment.tax);
    } else {
      return investment.initialAmount + (investment.year * investment.initialAmount * investment.tax);
    }
  }
}

This works!
But, it violates the OCP since InvestmentManager class is

  • Closed for extension
  • Open for modification

OCP in action

Let's try and implement the above-mentioned scenario without breaking OCP.

Step 1: Create an interface

// Investment.java
interface Investment {
  public Double calculateReturn();
}

Step 2: Update GeneralInvestment and AdvancedInvestment classes by implementing Investment interface

//GeneralInvestment.java
public class GeneralInvestment implements Investment {
  public Double initialAmount;
  public int year;
  public Double tax;

  public GeneralInvestment(Double initialAmount, int year, Double tax) {
    this.initialAmount = initialAmount;
    this.year = year;
    this.tax = tax;
  }

  public Double calculateReturn() {
    return initialAmount + (year * initialAmount * tax);
  }
}

//AdvancedInvestment.java
public class AdvancedInvestment implements Investment {
  public Double incremental;
  public int period;
  public GeneralInvestment investment;

  public AdvancedInvestment(Double initialAmount, int year, Double tax, Double incremental, int period) {
    this.incremental = incremental;
    this.period = period;
    this.investment = new GeneralInvestment(initialAmount, year, tax);
  }

  public Double calculateReturn() {
    return investment.initialAmount + (investment.year * investment.initialAmount * investment.tax)
        + (period * incremental * investment.tax);
  }
}

Step 3: FInally update the InvestmentManager class

//InvestmentManager.java
public final class InvestmentManager {
  public Double calculateReturn(Investment investment) {
    return investment.calculateReturn();
  }
}

Here is the UML diagram to reduce verbosity:
UML diagram for ocp principle

Here we go! Going further if we have a new requirement to add different types of Investment we can create a new class, implement the Investment interface and we are done. No need to modify any existing code.

TL;DR

Always keep in mind to make your code open for extension and closed for modification. This will make the maintenance of code so easy.

The example in this post has used a compositional design pattern (Strategy Pattern) to achieve OCP, but it can also be achieved through the use of inheritance.

Peace!
If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to comment below.

S.O.L.I.D Principle (2 Part Series)

1) S.O.L.I.D: Single Responsibility Principle 2) S.O.L.I.D: Open/Closed Principle

Posted on Mar 13 by:

linuxnerd profile

Abhishek Prakash

@linuxnerd

I'm passionate about "all things web" and have architected websites & web apps using cutting-edge tech stacks. Experienced in working with popular frameworks, enhance them.

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