Instantiation

Instantiation is a computer programming term, used by developers, that is usually related to Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). At its core, instantiation is the process of creating an Instance of an Object. Objects are structures created by Classes, which are essentially blueprints – or templates – that describe a set of features that will belong to Objects created from them. These “features” include Properties – also known as variables – and Methods.

Properties can be viewed as data that describes the Objects that can be created from the Class. For example, you may have a Class that represents a certain type of car. The properties, in this instance, could include the color, the style, how many doors the car has, and so forth.

Methods, meanwhile, are essentially functions that define the types of behaviors the Objects can take. In our car example, we could say that a car could: go forward, in reverse, stop, turn, speed up, and slow down.

Creating a new instance of a class (i.e.; an Object) is known as instantiation.

Instantiation is also a term used to describe the process of creating virtual servers. When virtual servers are created, certain properties or specs are defined, such as how much RAM, disk space, and which operating system the server will run. Once this setup is configured, multiple servers are able to be “virtualized” on one computer. This, too, is known as instantiation. Each virtual server, in this scenario, would be called an instance.

 

Related Reading:

Creating an Object: Oracle’s Java Tutorials

James Payne
James Payne is the editor for developer.com, HTMLGoodies.com, devx.com, CodeGuru.com, jGuru.com, DBAsupport.com, SysOpt.com, and VBForums.com. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of the Developer Shed communities – a network consisting of 14 websites and forums dedicated to programming, web design, hardware, software, web hosting technology, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). He has also published three books on Python: "Python for Teenagers", "Beginning Python: Using Python 2.6 and 3.1", and "Python for the Absolute Beginner".

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