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What Is A Class Template In C++?

C++ language is a very powerful programming language and is suitable for almost any software development task. One of the great features of modern C++ is templates. A template is a simple and a very powerful statement in C++ which defines the operations of a class or function and lets the user apply the same template on different types in those operations. In this post we will explain class templates in C++ which can be used by a professional C++ Compiler and IDE with C++ examples from this article .

What is a template in C++?

A template is a very powerful statement in C++ which simply defines the operations of a class, a function, an alias or a variable and lets the user apply the same template on different data types in those template operations. Templates are similar to macros in C++ except the compiler checks the types used before the template is expanded.

How does a template in C++ work?

Here is a function template that adds two a and b parameters in T type,

for example, if a and b are int variables, this template can be used as below

and in the next lines same template can be used for the x and y float variables as below too,

Templates can be parameterized by one or more template parameters. These parameters can be type template parameters, non-type template parameters, and template template parameters – templates as parameters are allowed, in templates!

What is a class template in C++?

A class template (also called a generic class or class generator) lets you define a pattern for class definitions. Consider the following example of a vector class, a one-dimensional array. Whether you have a vector of integers or any other type, the basic operations performed on the type are the same – insert, delete, index, and so on. With the element type treated as a type parameter to the class, the system will generate type-safe class definitions on the fly.

Here is the syntax for a class template,

As with function templates, an explicit template class specialization can be provided to override the automatic definition for a given type:

The symbol Vector must always be accompanied by a data type in angle brackets. It cannot appear alone, except in some cases in the original template definition.

How to declare a class template in C++?

When you create a class template you should start with template keyword then the parameters inside < >, for example

How to create objects from a class template in C++?

If you declared a class template, you could create objects from this template. You just need to type the class name with a data type and then the object name.

Here is the syntax to create a class template:

here is an example to create objects:

Is there a full example of a class template in C++?

Here is a full class template example

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 35+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He graduated and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University. He is the founder and CEO of ESENJA LLC Company. His interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.
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