composition and aggregation example with UML class diagram

asked11 years ago
last updated11 years ago
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i can't seem to understand completely the difference between aggregation and composition in a code.

Client <.>---->BankAccount

(this is supposed to be Client - BankAccount composition class diagram).

So in this example, Client has a bank account, so this means, when a client object dies, his bank account object dies too. Does this mean, that we have to have a BankAccount object within Client class ?

Class Client
{

    BankAccount acc = new BankAccount();

    public void addMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {         
        acc.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        return acc.CheckAccountBalance();
    }

}

So, is this composition in code ? What would aggregation look like in this example? Sorry for the newbie question, please correct me if the code was wrong. Thanks in advance.

12 Answers

Up Vote9Down Vote

Yes, What you do is call composition, if you want to do aggregation you to it like this:

Class Client
{

    BankAccount acc;

    public Client(BankAccount p_acc)
    {
      acc=p_acc;
    }

    public void addMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {         
        acc.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        return acc.CheckAccountBalance();
    }

}

:

If inheritance gives us 'is-a' and composition gives us 'part-of', we could argue that aggregation gives us a 'has-a' relationship. Within aggregation, the lifetime of the part is not managed by the whole. To make this clearer, we need an example. For the past 12+ months I have been involved with the implementation of a CRM system, so I am going to use part of this as an example.

The CRM system has a database of customers and a separate database that holds all addresses within a geographic area. Aggregation would make sense in this situation, as a Customer 'has-a' Address. It wouldn't make sense to say that an Address is 'part-of' the Customer, because it isn't. Consider it this way, if the customer ceases to exist, does the address? I would argue that it does not cease to exist. Aggregation is shown on a UML diagram as an unfilled diamond.

As I said at the beginning of the answer, this is my take on composition and aggregation. Making the decision on whether to use composition or aggregation should not be a tricky. When object modelling, it should be a matter of saying is this 'part-of' or does it 'have-a'?

Up Vote9Down Vote
Grade: A

Re: Difference between Aggregation and Composition

Hi there, and no worries about the newbie question, it's a common one. Let's delve into the difference between aggregation and composition in this specific example:

Composition:

In your example, Client has a composition relationship with BankAccount. This means that the Client object owns the BankAccount object, and the BankAccount object is unusable without the Client object. When the Client object dies, the BankAccount object also dies.

Aggregation:

Now, let's imagine a different scenario:

Class Client
{
    BankAccount acc;

    public void addMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {
        if (acc == null)
        {
            acc = new BankAccount();
        }
        acc.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        if (acc != null)
        {
            return acc.CheckAccountBalance();
        }
        else
        {
            return 0;
        }
    }

}

In this example, Client has an aggregation relationship with BankAccount. Here, the Client object does not own the BankAccount object, it just has a reference to it. Even if the Client object dies, the BankAccount object can still exist independently.

Key differences:

  • Ownership: In composition, the owner object takes responsibility for the lifetime of the contained object. In aggregation, there is no ownership, and the contained object can exist independently.
  • Lifespan: If the owner object dies, the contained object dies in composition. In aggregation, the contained object survives even if the owner object dies.
  • Encapsulation: Composition tends to hide the implementation details of the contained object more, as it's tightly coupled with the owner object. Aggregation allows for more modularity and reusability of the contained object.

So, in your specific example:

The code you provided exhibits composition because the Client object owns the BankAccount object and dies when the Client object dies. If you were to modify the code to allow the BankAccount object to exist separately from the Client object, it would be an aggregation relationship.

Please note: This explanation is simplified and might not cover all nuances of aggregation and composition. If you have further questions or want to delve deeper into these concepts, feel free to ask!

Up Vote9Down Vote
Grade: A

You're on the right track! Let's clarify the concepts of aggregation and composition first, and then we can apply them to your code example.

Composition is a strong type of aggregation, representing a "part-of" relationship in which the lifecycle of the part is dependent on the lifecycle of the whole. In your UML class diagram, when a Client object dies, the associated BankAccount object should also die, which is a composition relationship.

In the code you provided, you did create a composition relationship between Client and BankAccount, as the BankAccount object cannot exist without the Client object.

For aggregation, it represents a "has-a" relationship where the lifecycle of the part is not dependent on the lifecycle of the whole. For instance, a Car can have multiple Tires, but if a Tire gets damaged or removed, the Car object can still continue to exist.

Now, let's apply these concepts to the code example:

Class Client
{
    // Composition: Client has a BankAccount
    // BankAccount acc; can be implemented as follows
    private BankAccount _acc;

    public Client()
    {
        _acc = new BankAccount();
    }

    public void AddMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {
        _acc.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        return _acc.CheckAccountBalance();
    }
}

Aggregation would look like this (using the Car and Tire example):

Class Car
{
    // Aggregation: Car has Tires
    private List<Tire> _tires;

    public Car()
    {
        _tires = new List<Tire>();
    }

    public void AddTire(Tire tire)
    {
        _tires.Add(tire);
    }
}

In this example, even if a Tire gets removed from the _tires list, the Car object can still exist.

Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

The composition in this case represents "ownership". The Client 'owns' the BankAccount object and if it gets destroyed (or goes out of scope), so does the associated bank account object. In other words, there’s no separate object that can live on its own – the whole structure depends on another part of it being around.

Aggregation is more about 'having', with a difference in ownership. It means one class owns objects from others (though they are not dependent upon the life cycle). In this case, the BankAccount might outlive the Client if there’s no reference to the former when creating an instance of the latter. The BankAccount can live on its own even without a Client object, making it part of the ‘has-a’ relationship.

Here's how you could represent aggregation:

class Client{  
    public string name { get; set;}  
     // Client 'has' account but not 'owns'. If client is destroyed, bank account still exists  
     public BankAccount account {get;set;}  // reference to another class  
}

The above code snippet depicts a has-a relationship where the Client 'has' a BankAccount but does not own it. The client.account = new BankAccount() would be an example of how to aggregate (linking) two instances together in memory at runtime.

Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

Composition and Aggregation are two types of relationships that can exist between classes in object-oriented programming. They are both used to represent a "has-a" relationship, but they differ in the strength of the relationship.

Composition is a strong relationship in which the child object cannot exist without the parent object. In other words, the child object is a part of the parent object and cannot be separated from it. For example, a car has a steering wheel, and the steering wheel cannot exist without the car.

Aggregation is a weaker relationship in which the child object can exist independently of the parent object. In other words, the child object is not a part of the parent object, but it is associated with it. For example, a student has a backpack, and the backpack can exist independently of the student.

In your example, the relationship between Client and BankAccount is aggregation. The client has a bank account, but the bank account can exist independently of the client. If the client dies, the bank account does not necessarily die.

Here is an example of how you could represent aggregation in code:

class Client
{
    private BankAccount _bankAccount;

    public Client(BankAccount bankAccount)
    {
        _bankAccount = bankAccount;
    }

    public void AddMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {
        _bankAccount.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        return _bankAccount.CheckAccountBalance();
    }
}

In this example, the Client class has a private field that stores a reference to the BankAccount object. The Client class can use this reference to access the BankAccount object's methods and properties. However, the BankAccount object can still exist independently of the Client object.

Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

Yes, What you do is call composition, if you want to do aggregation you to it like this:

Class Client
{

    BankAccount acc;

    public Client(BankAccount p_acc)
    {
      acc=p_acc;
    }

    public void addMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {         
        acc.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        return acc.CheckAccountBalance();
    }

}

:

If inheritance gives us 'is-a' and composition gives us 'part-of', we could argue that aggregation gives us a 'has-a' relationship. Within aggregation, the lifetime of the part is not managed by the whole. To make this clearer, we need an example. For the past 12+ months I have been involved with the implementation of a CRM system, so I am going to use part of this as an example.

The CRM system has a database of customers and a separate database that holds all addresses within a geographic area. Aggregation would make sense in this situation, as a Customer 'has-a' Address. It wouldn't make sense to say that an Address is 'part-of' the Customer, because it isn't. Consider it this way, if the customer ceases to exist, does the address? I would argue that it does not cease to exist. Aggregation is shown on a UML diagram as an unfilled diamond.

As I said at the beginning of the answer, this is my take on composition and aggregation. Making the decision on whether to use composition or aggregation should not be a tricky. When object modelling, it should be a matter of saying is this 'part-of' or does it 'have-a'?

Up Vote7Down Vote
Grade: B

Aggregation

In the example you gave, the Client class has a reference to an instance of the BankAccount class. This means that the Client object can access the functionalities of the BankAccount object.

Aggregation is a special type of relationship between two classes where one class (the client) has a direct reference to an object of another class (the bank account). This means that the client object can modify the state of the bank account object, and the changes will be reflected in the bank account object as well.

Composition

In this example, the Client class is a whole object that contains an instance of the BankAccount class. This means that the Client object owns the BankAccount object and is responsible for managing it.

Composition allows a single class to have multiple objects associated with it. This means that the Client object can access the functionality of the BankAccount object directly without needing to go through the Client object itself.

Difference between Aggregation and Composition

  • Aggregation is a loose coupling relationship, where one class has a reference to another class, but the changes are not directly propagated to the other class.
  • Composition is a tight coupling relationship, where one class owns an instance of another class and has full control over it.

Conclusion

In the example you gave, the Client class has a reference to an BankAccount object, indicating an aggregation relationship. This means that the Client object owns the bank account object and is responsible for managing it.

Up Vote7Down Vote
Grade: B

In your example, you have a composition relationship between the Client and BankAccount classes. This means that each Client instance will have one or more associated BankAccount instances, and a Client object's lifetime is tied to its BankAccount object(s). This is different from aggregation where an object belongs to another object but can exist independently.

Your UML diagram is incorrect for composition as you have drawn it as an association with an arrowhead at the client end, indicating aggregation instead of composition. For a correct composition relationship in UML class diagram, use a solid line with a filled diamond (--#) at the owning side (Client in this case) and a hollow triangular arrowhead at the owned side (BankAccount).

Regarding your code example, you are indeed implementing a composition relationship where a Client instance has a BankAccount instance as a member variable. This is also evident by the way methods addMoneyToBankAccount and CheckBalance interact with the acc object inside the Client class.

For an aggregation relationship, the owning object would not maintain the existence of the related object(s), i.e., it only refers to them without managing their lifetimes. A good example for aggregation in your context might be a Company class that has multiple employees:

Class Company
{
    List<Employee> employees = new List<Employee>(); // List of Employee objects
}

In this case, the lifetimes of the Employees are not managed by the Company class. When a company object dies, its employees continue to exist and can belong to other companies if needed.

Up Vote7Down Vote
Grade: B

In the context of UML class diagrams, aggregation is a relationship between two classes in which one class depends on another class but the other class does not depend on the first class.

In the example you provided, the client-bank account relationship is an example of aggregation because there is no direct dependency between the client and the bank account objects. The client object has access to a bank account object, but the reverse is not true: a client can have multiple bank accounts, but it does not depend on the BankAccount object for its functionality.

In code, this would look like something like this:

class Client {

    private List<BankAccount> bankAccounts;

    public void AddBankAccount(BankAccount newBankAccount) {
        bankAccounts.Add(newBankAccount);
    }

    public BankAccount GetFirstBankAccount() {
        return bankAccounts[0];
    }

} 

class BankAccount {
  private decimal balance;

  //... other methods
}

In this example, the AddBankAccount method adds a new bank account to an array of bank accounts for the client object. The GetFirstBankAccount method returns the first bank account in the list (i.e., the one that is added by the AddBankAccount method). There are no direct dependencies between the Client and BankAccount objects, so this is an example of aggregation.

As for your original question - whether you need to have a BankAccount object within the Client class? In this case, yes - it would be necessary to create a new client object with each bank account you want to manage, as opposed to having just one shared BankAccount object that can handle multiple clients' accounts. This is why the code example provided includes two instances of BankAccount: one for the first bank account and one for subsequent additions.

I hope that clears up any confusion! Let me know if you have any further questions or if there's anything else I can help with.

Up Vote6Down Vote
Grade: B

The UML composition relationship is used to represent a special case of object composition, where one class object's existence is dependent on the existence of another class object. When a client object dies, its bank account object also dies because it has a composition relationship with the client.

Aggregation in the code can be shown like this:

Class BankAccount {

    private Client client;

    public void AddMoney(decimal amount) {
        // ...
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance() {
        // ...
    }

}

In the example code you provided, the bank account is not created within a client object and exists independently. In addition to representing composition, the UML composition relationship can also represent an association between two classes, as the BankAccount class can also exist without any Client class objects. It indicates that each bank account belongs to at least one client and allows you to track and manage all clients' bank accounts easily.

Overall, it seems like your understanding is correct; the Client has a composition relationship with BankAccounts, which means when a client object dies, its bank account objects die as well. Also, the UML composition diagram represents the aggregation in code by showing the relationship between classes with an arrow going from one class to another.

Feel free to ask if you have further questions; I'm happy to help!

Up Vote6Down Vote
Grade: B
class Client
{
    private BankAccount account;

    public Client(BankAccount account)
    {
        this.account = account;
    }

    public void AddMoneyToBankAccount(decimal amount)
    {
        account.AddMoney(amount);
    }

    public decimal CheckBalance()
    {
        return account.CheckAccountBalance();
    }
}
Up Vote3Down Vote
Grade: C

In this example, you have two objects, Client and BankAccount. The relationship between these objects is composition, where one object contains another object as part of itself. Now let's see how aggregation would look in this example. Aggregation refers to the process of combining multiple pieces of information into a more manageable form. In this example, aggregation could refer to the process of combining Client and BankAccount objects into a single, more manageable form.