One of the most crucial ideas in Object-Oriented Programming is polymorphism (OOPs). A language must support polymorphism in order to qualify as an OOP language. The definition of polymorphism is “an object with several forms.” The idea of polymorphism can support an object’s capacity to display a variety of behaviours. In other words, one may define polymorphism as an object’s capacity to be represented by more than one form.

You can use a real-world example to comprehend polymorphism. It is comparable to how a person interacts with various individuals. A guy can have many different relationships with different individuals, including those as a husband, parent, boss, worker, son, and brother. This man is a representation of the object, and his relationships show how it can take on many other forms and have entirely distinct properties.

Based on the distinctive qualities of each category, polymorphism in C++ may be roughly divided into two groups, which you will learn more about in this article. These groups include:

  • Polymorphism at compile time
  • Multimorphism at runtime.

You can divide polymorphism into two categories based on functionality:

Polymorphism at Compile Time

Compile-time polymorphism is the process of determining the relationship between the definitions of various functions and the function calls they get at compile time. Static or early binding polymorphism are other names for this kind of polymorphism. During the compilation process, all of the compile-time polymorphism’s methods are called or invoked.

Function and operator overloading are two ways to implement compile-time polymorphism. The practice of assigning the same name to many methods or functions, each with a unique set of parameters, signatures, and return types, is known as compile-time polymorphism. Due to the fact that all necessary methods are invoked at compile time, compile time polymorphism has a substantially faster execution rate.

Time-based Polymorphism

In runtime polymorphism, the compiler selects which function call should be connected to the object after resolving it at runtime. Dynamic or late binding polymorphism are other names for it. Through the use of virtual functions and function overriding, this kind of polymorphism is carried out. During runtime, every method of runtime polymorphism is called.

When two or more functions with the same name, arguments, and return type are paired with distinct classes of the same structure, this is known as method overriding. Given that all necessary methods are called at run time, this technique executes at a little slower rate than compile-time polymorphism. It is well known that runtime polymorphism works better for handling complex programs.

How to Compile Polymorphism in C++

There are many ways to compile polymorphism in C++ and one of the most popular is Function Overloading.

Function Overloading

In C++, function overloading is a crucial component of polymorphism. A function becomes overloaded when it is assigned many tasks with the same function name. Function overloading, in other terms, occurs when you construct two functions with the same name but different purposes. The return types for both functions should be the same, and their arguments should be strictly distinct from one another. It is completed at compile time. Both in the base class and in the derived class, function overloading is possible.

The scope is the same for all of the overloaded functions. It is possible in both the base class and the derived class, hence inheritance is not necessary in this case.

You have learnt all there is to know about polymorphism in C++ in this article. You now understand the significance of polymorphism and why C++ needs it. This article covered every aspect of polymorphism, including its applications, types, implementation methods, and other crucial ideas. 

You investigated the use of operator and function overloading to provide compile-time polymorphism. Additionally, you learned how to use virtual functions and method overriding to implement run-time polymorphism. Eduriefy provides bootcamp coding courses on the programming subjects with all the necessary features. 


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