Container Classes
Table of Contents


A container class is a class designed to hold and organize multiple instances of another class.

Most well-defined containers will include functions that:

  • Create an empty container (via a constructor)
  • Insert a new object into the container
  • Remove an object from the container
  • Report the number of objects currently in the container
  • Empty the container of all objects
  • Provide access to the stored objects
  • Sort the elements (optional)

Two different varieties.

  • Value containers are compositions that store copies of the objects that they are holding (and thus are responsible for creating and destroying those copies).
  • Reference containers are aggregations that store pointers or references to other objects (and thus are not responsible for creation or destruction of those objects).
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