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Object-oriented Development

The Step-by-Step Method helps you create the "right" systems by uncovering their true needs, but it doesn't ensure that the resulting systems are reliable and maintainable. "Structured programming" is a discipline that helps you avoid convoluted logic in your programs, but that doesn't scale up to large systems. What is needed is a way to treat software as "components," just the way engineers think of silicon chips as black boxes whose insides can be largely ignored.

Object-oriented design hides inside modules the details of how a function is implemented and what data it needs. The programmer need only know the external interfaces to the module: the definition of what it does. The implementation of the module can change at any time as long as the external interfaces remain the same. Object-oriented tools like C++ and Java make this easier by providing programming constructs to explicitly define interfaces and hide data (attributes) and functions (methods). The good news is that object-oriented designs can be implemented in almost any programming language or system.

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