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Definition

instantiation

Contributor(s): John MacLeod

In programming, instantiation is the creation of a real instance or particular realization of an abstraction or template such as a class of objects or a computer process. To instantiate is to create such an instance by, for example, defining one particular variation of object within a class, giving it a name, and locating it in some physical place.

1) In object-oriented programming, some writers say that you instantiate a class to create an object, a concrete instance of the class. The object is an executable file that you can run in a computer.

2) In the object-oriented programming language, Java, the object that you instantiate from a class is, confusingly enough, called a class instead of an object. In other words, using Java, you instantiate a class to create a specific class that is also an executable file you can run in a computer.

3) In approaches to data modeling and programming prior to object-oriented programming, one usage of instantiate was to make a real (data-filled) object from an abstract object as you would do by creating an entry in a database table (which, when empty, can be thought of as a kind of class template for the objects to be filled in).

This was last updated in September 2005

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You said, "In the object-oriented programming language, Java, the object that you instantiate from a class is, confusingly enough, called a class instead of an object." This is complete nonsense. An object instantiated from a class is not called a class, it is an object of that class. The class is simply a blueprint for an object (which is a consequence of the fact that ALL Java classes are in fact sub-classes of java.lang.Object, and inherit its characteristics).

You guys need to hire better writers.
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Thanks for clearing that up. I was laboring under the same idea,that objects are instantiated from classes in Java. It wouldn't be object-oriented if that weren't true would it?
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You are welcome. Yes, objects are instantiated from classes. I have two degrees in computer science and Java is my favorite language, so I should be able to get something as basic as that right. So should these guys, honestly.

This seems to be one of those bulk writing sites where they hire anyone just to drive in traffic. A lot of what they say is totally wrong. I would steer clear of it in the future. Good luck!
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Hey Kallaste, do you mind giving me your email address? I want to ask ajva related questions. Thanks
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Everyone here has completely over complicated a very simple concept. I actually know what I'm talking about from experience and not just from reading textbooks. Instantiate or the instantiation of something is just a fancy way of saying the word create. It's literary that simple, instantiation = create or to create. 

Oh yea, I forgot to mention, instantiation is used in every programming language that a variable is created, not just object oriented languages. Idk why that part was mentioned in the answer. 

It amazes me how these people complicate something so simple. The people who come on this site looking to understand things, do not want to get on here and read over complicated answers to something they are clearly not that familiar with, so stop writing like that.
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Thanks Jeffiskala!!! I was wondering the same thing. This is done too much in the IT world at large.  It's like they perpetually want to INSTANTIATE VALUE for themselves by INSTANTIATING new terms for classes, functions, procedures, and concepts that already exist!
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Well said!!
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 jeffsikala, well said!!
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thanks
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