This example discusses how to approach the design and implementation of a class. The objective of this class is to represent a familiar concept (a bank account). However, you can apply the same approach to most class designs.
To design a class that represents a bank account, first determine the elements of data and the operations that form your abstraction of a bank account. For example, a bank account has:
An account number
An account balance
A status (open, closed, etc.)
You must perform certain operations on a bank account:
Create an object for each bank account
Generate a statement
Save and load the
If the balance is too low and you attempt to withdraw money, the bank account broadcasts a notice. When this event occurs, the bank account broadcasts a notice to other entities that are designed to listen for these notices. In this example, a simplified version of an account manager program performs this task.
In this example, an account manager program determines the status of all bank accounts. This program monitors the account balance and assigns one of three values:
open — Account balance is
a positive value
overdrawn — Account balance
is overdrawn, but by $200 or less.
closed — Account balance
is overdrawn by more than $200.
These features define the requirements of the
Include only what functionality is required to meet your specific
objectives. Support special types of accounts by subclassing
adding more specific features to the subclasses. Extend the
required to support new account types.
Classes store data in properties, implement operations with
methods, and support notifications with events and listeners. Here
is how the
define these components.
The class defines these properties to store the account number, account balance, and the account status:
AccountNumber — A property
to store the number identifying the specific account. MATLAB® assigns
a value to this property when you create an instance of the class.
BankAccount class methods can set this property.
SetAccess attribute is
AccountBalance — A property
to store the current balance of the account. The class operation of
depositing and withdrawing money assigns values to this property.
BankAccount class methods can set this property.
SetAccess attribute is
AccountStatus — The
defines a default value for this property. The
methods change this value whenever the value of the
specifies that only the
have access to this property.
AccountListener — Storage
InsufficentFunds event listener. Saving
BankAccount object does not save this property
because you must recreate the listener when loading the object.
These methods implement the operations defined in the class formulation:
BankAccount — Accepts an
account number and an initial balance to create an object that represents
deposit — Updates the
when a deposit transaction occurs
withdraw — Updates the
when a withdrawal transaction occurs
getStatement — Displays
information about the account
loadobj — Recreates the
account manager listener when you load the object from a MAT-file.
The account manager program changes the status of bank accounts
that have negative balances. To implement this action, the
triggers an event when a withdrawal results in a negative balance.
Therefore, the triggering of the
occurs from within the
To define an event, specify a name within an
Trigger the event by a call to the
class method. Because
InsufficientsFunds is not
a predefined event, you can name it with any
and trigger it with any action.
It is important to ensure that there is only one set of data
associated with any object of a
You would not want independent copies of the object that could have,
for example, different values for the account balance. Therefore,
BankAccount class as a handle class.
All copies of a given handle object refer to the same data.
classdef BankAccount < handle
Handle class because there should be only one copy of
any instance of
properties (Access = ?AccountManager) AccountStatus = 'open' end
properties (SetAccess = private) AccountNumber AccountBalance end properties (Transient) AccountListener end
events InsufficientFunds end
Class defines event called
For information on events and listeners, see Events .
Block of ordinary methods. See Methods and Functions for syntax.
function BA = BankAccount(AccountNumber,InitialBalance) BA.AccountNumber = AccountNumber; BA.AccountBalance = InitialBalance; BA.AccountListener = AccountManager.addAccount(BA); end
Constructor initializes property values with input arguments.
function deposit(BA,amt) BA.AccountBalance = BA.AccountBalance + amt; if BA.AccountBalance > 0 BA.AccountStatus = 'open'; end end
function withdraw(BA,amt) if (strcmp(BA.AccountStatus,'closed')&& ... BA.AccountBalance < 0) disp(['Account ',num2str(BA.AccountNumber),... ' has been closed.']) return end newbal = BA.AccountBalance - amt; BA.AccountBalance = newbal; if newbal < 0 notify(BA,'InsufficientFunds') end end
For more information on listeners, see Events and Listeners Syntax.
function getStatement(BA) disp('-------------------------') disp(['Account: ',num2str(BA.AccountNumber)]) ab = sprintf('%0.2f',BA.AccountBalance); disp(['CurrentBalance: ',ab]) disp(['Account Status: ',BA.AccountStatus]) disp('-------------------------') end
Display selected information about the account.
end methods (Static)
End of ordinary methods block.
Beginning of static methods block. See Static Methods
function obj = loadobj(s) if isstruct(s) accNum = s.AccountNumber; initBal = s.AccountBalance; obj = BankAccount(accNum,initBal); else obj.AccountListener = AccountManager.addAccount(s); end end
For more information on saving and loading objects, see Save and Load Process for Objects
End of static methods block
The purpose of the
AccountManager class is
to provide services to accounts. For the
AccountManager class listens for withdrawals
that cause the balance to drop into the negative range. When the
InsufficientsFunds event, the
the account status.
AccountManager class stores no data so
it does not need properties. The
stores the handle of the listener object.
AccountManager performs two operations:
Assign a status to each account as a result of a withdrawal
Adds an account to the system by monitoring account balances.
AccountManager class implements two methods:
assignStatus — Method that
assigns a status to a
BankAccount object. Serves
as the listener callback.
addAccount — Method that
AccountManager class implements both
methods as static because there is no need for an
These methods operate on
AccountManager is not intended to be
instantiated. Separating the functionality of the
BankAccount class provides greater flexibility
and extensibility. For example, doing so enables you to:
to support other types of accounts while keeping the individual account
classes simple and specialized.
Change the criteria for the account status without
affecting the compatibility of saved and loaded
Account superclass that
factors out what is common to all accounts without requiring each
subclass to implement the account management functionality
This class defines the
There is no need to create an instance of this class so the methods defined are static. See Static Methods.
function assignStatus(BA) if BA.AccountBalance < 0 if BA.AccountBalance < -200 BA.AccountStatus = 'closed'; else BA.AccountStatus = 'overdrawn'; end end end
function lh = addAccount(BA) lh = addlistener(BA, 'InsufficientFunds', ... @(src, ~)AccountManager.assignStatus(src)); end
BankAccount class, while overly simple,
demonstrates how MATLAB classes behave. For example, create a
with an account number and an initial deposit of $500:
BA = BankAccount(1234567,500)
BA = BankAccount with properties: AccountNumber: 1234567 AccountBalance: 500 AccountListener: [1x1 event.listener]
getStatement method to check the
------------------------- Account: 1234567 CurrentBalance: 500.00 Account Status: open -------------------------
Make a withdrawal of $600, which results in a negative account balance:
------------------------- Account: 1234567 CurrentBalance: -100.00 Account Status: overdrawn -------------------------
The $600 withdrawal triggered the
The current criteria defined by the AccountManager class results in
a status of
Make another withdrawal of $200:
------------------------- Account: 1234567 CurrentBalance: -300.00 Account Status: closed -------------------------
AccountStatus has been set to
the listener and further attempts to make withdrawals are blocked
without triggering the event:
Account 1234567 has been closed.
AccountBalance is returned to a positive
value by a deposit, then the
AccountStatus is returned
to open and withdrawals are allowed again:
------------------------- Account: 1234567 CurrentBalance: 400.00 Account Status: open -------------------------