Difference Between Function Oriented and Object Oriented Design

February 8,2021 - 7 min read
  Difference between function oriented and object oriented design

The two most popular programming paradigms in software development are object oriented programming and function oriented programming. Developers and designers across the industry use these paradigms to program and design software.

As technocrats or students in the tech industry, you probably had heard of these terms before, but chances are that you don’t understand these programming paradigms in detail. In today’s blog, we are going to discuss what exactly are they and what is the difference between function oriented and object oriented design? We would begin by first understanding object oriented and functional programming and then proceed to understand their differences. Let’s get started!

Understanding Object Oriented Programming

The programming paradigm of object oriented programming uses objects to represent things in your programme e.g., data structures or they can sometimes also be real world things. These objects have attributes that hold data which can be manipulated through methods or functions that are given to the object.

For instance, there is an object called "Person" which represents different attributes of a person like weight, height, skin colour, hair colour among others. Other than attributes, an object also has functions, for example, an object ‘Person’ can have functions like eat, sleep, walk etc. These functions make use of the data that the object stores as attributes.

Object oriented design is a style of programming that helps programmers to model real world scenarios and hence, with object oriented programming, there is a good transition from real life requirements to the actual code. Some examples of programming languages that are used in object oriented programming are C++, Java, Python, C#, Objective-C among others.

Now that we understood object oriented programming, in brief, it’s time we proceed with functional programming.

Understanding Function Oriented Programming

Functional programming refers to a program where the output of a function should always be the same provided that the function has the same exact input. In functional programming, the output of a function purely relies on arguments of the function.

In functional programming, if you call a function, for example, if the function is Sum () which calculates the sum of any two variables as inputs and returns that sum. Hence, in this example, if there is the same input of the two variables then the output will always be the same. Hence, in function oriented programming, the functions of a program are extremely predictable.

In this programming paradigm, there are small functions that do only their part and hence the code in function oriented programming is very modular and clean code. One point to add is that it is very easy to implement unit testing in programmes written in functional oriented programming.

Some examples of programming languages that are used in function oriented programming Lisp, Clojure, F# among others.

Now that we understood object oriented programming and function oriented programming in brief, it’s time we understand the disadvantages associated with each of these programming paradigms. The problems associated with each of these programming paradigms would help us better understand the difference between object oriented and function oriented.

Disadvantages of Each Programming Paradigm

We have discussed both the object oriented and function oriented, now it’s time to understand the problems associated with each of these programming paradigms. Let’s begin with discussing the disadvantages of object oriented programming.

The first problem with object oriented programming is that some of the functions depend on their class and hence it is hard to use or reuse those functions with another class. Object oriented programming. Object oriented programming is also known to be less efficient but more complex for the programmers to deal with.

On the other hand, there are a couple of disadvantages associated with function oriented programming too. First of all, function oriented programming is not a common method because and hence programmers have to take a different mindset to approach the code or a problem from a functional perspective. It is easy for programmers to think in terms of object oriented programming compared to function oriented programming. Object oriented programming is all about simulating real life objects in coding, on the other hand, data manipulation is the most important when it comes to functional programming. Hence, it is difficult to convert a real- world scenario to only data. The difficulty level of function oriented programming ensures that there are few programmers who use this style of programming. This also means that there are fewer developers contributing to the community and hence less information and content available about function oriented programming.

We hope that you are now clear with the concept of object oriented programming as well as function oriented programming as we have discussed their meaning along with the advantages and disadvantages of each programming paradigms.

It is time we understand the difference between object oriented and function oriented programming.

Discussing the Difference

In both programming paradigms, the final goal is to create programs that are easily understood, contributes in easy and fast development and are free of bugs. While the aim of object oriented and function oriented is same, they adopt different methods for storing and manipulating the data. We already discussed that, in object oriented programming, data is stored in the attributes of objects and its manipulation is done through the functions of the object. On the other hand, functional programming is all about data transformation by creating new versions of that data and manipulating it.

In this segment, we are going to focus on other technical details and differences between function oriented design and object oriented design.

The first difference that we would discuss is the fundamental concept of each programming paradigm. In function oriented design, the function of the program is the most important. On the other hand, object oriented program, the focus is on data and its manipulation rather than functions. Objects in object oriented programming are independent entities that hold all state and representation and is subject to quick change.

Another difference between programming paradigms is that function oriented programming adopts iterative procedural decomposition which is a top-down strategy. A function oriented program is treated as a hierarchy of increasing levels of details where first the high level description of the program is understood and then in each step, a part of our high level description is refined. It basically means that the program is elaborated, beginning from a highly conceptual model and then proceeding to lower level details. This process is repeated until the statement level of the particular programming language is achieved.

On the other hand, Object-oriented programming is more associated with real world “things” which are translated to objects in object oriented programming. Every object has characteristics in terms of their attributes and behaviour. These objects might be distributed and hence they either execute sequentially or in parallel.

In this blog, we have discussed in detail the concept of object oriented and function oriented programming along with the broad differences that exist between each of the programming paradigms. In the next segment, we talk about some minor differences between object oriented and function oriented programming.

The first topic to discuss is abstraction, in functional oriented programming, the abstraction are real world functions whereas, in object oriented programming, the data abstraction is real world entities.

Also, in function oriented programming, functions are grouped together by which a higher level function is obtained, whereas, in object oriented, functions are grouped together on the basis of their data and the classes are associated with their methods.

In function oriented programming, the State information is represented in a centralized shared memory and in object oriented programming, the state information is implemented or distributed among objects.

We already discussed that the approach of both the programming paradigms are different. The function oriented programming uses the top down approach whereas the object oriented uses the bottom up approach to solve problems. Another point to notice is that in function oriented, the program notices by beginning by considering the use case diagrams and scenarios and object oriented begins by identifying objects and classes. Decomposition is also different in both the paradigms, in function oriented programming, the decomposition is function/procedure level whereas in object oriented programming, it is in class level.

Along with all the other differences, one difference between both the programming styles is their usage. Function oriented programming is popular in computation sensitive application whereas object based programming is used in evolving system which mimics a business or business case.

With this we come to an end of our discussion on the difference between function oriented and object oriented, I hope you now have a clearer picture of what the difference that exists between both the programming paradigms. They are both used individually but can also be used in combination. The programming concepts are also sometimes mixed to some degree to adapt to the needs of the software. The final decision should rest with the programmer and the project after taking into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of using both the function oriented and object oriented programming paradigm.

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