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Component Interfaces

Prof. Cesare Pautasso

Software Component

Component Interface

Provided Interface

Required Interface

Information Hiding

Which part is easier to change?

Information Hiding

D. Parnas

Effective Encapsulation

G. Fairbanks and D. Parnas


What details are hidden behind this interface?

Describing Interfaces

Interface Description Languages

IDL Example: Java/RMI

import java.rmi.*; 
public interface Adder extends Remote
public int sum(int x, int y) throws RemoteException;

IDL Example: C/RPC

interface adder { 
  const long ARRAY_SIZE = 10; 
  typedef long array_long[ARRAY_SIZE]; 
  long sum([in] long a, [in] long b); 
  void array_sum([in] array_long a,
                 [in] array_long b, 
                 [out] array_long c);

Parameter direction: [in] Input, [out] Output,
[in, out] Input and Output

Working With IDL

Reusable Interfaces

Usability vs. Reusability

Ian Sommerville

Performance vs. Reusability

Ian Sommerville


What is an API?

Is it really API?

Rule of Threes (Will Tracz)


Many Applications

API Examples

API Design

Where to start?

Explicit Interfaces Principle

Bertrand Meyer

Small Interfaces Principle

Bertrand Meyer

Uniform Access Principle

Bertrand Meyer

Few Interfaces Principle

Bertrand Meyer


Do not Repeat Yourself

Clear Interfaces Principle

Bertrand Meyer


You ain't gonna need it

Design Advice

API Evolution

Only one chance... get the design right:

API Evolution

API Compatibility

1435mm Standard Gauge
1668mm Iberian Gauge
1524mm Russian Gauge
1000mm RhB (Swiss Alps)

Compatible Interfaces




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