Nested Class : What and Why?

When one class is defined inside another class, the classes are said to be Nested. Nested classes are divided into two categories: static and non static. Nested classes that are declared static are called static nested classes. Non-static nested classes are called inner classes.

Example of a Nested Class


    class OuterClass
    {
    ...
    class NestedClass
        {
            ...
        }
    }   
 

Why Use Nested Classes?

Nested Classes seem useful, due to following reasons:

It is a way of logically grouping classes that are only used in one place: If a class is useful to only one other class, then it is logical to embed it in that class and keep the two together. Nesting such "helper classes" makes their package more streamlined.

It increases encapsulation: Consider two top-level classes, A and B, where B needs access to members of A that would otherwise be declared private. By hiding class B within class A, A's members can be declared private and B can access them. In addition, B itself can be hidden from the outside world.

It can lead to more readable and maintainable code: Nesting small classes within top-level classes places the code closer to where it is used.

References : Oracle share on :        :  

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