Generic Functional Interfaces in Java

Learn to create generic functional interfaces with and without type restrictions in Java 8 and later. Note that functional interfaces permit exactly one abstract method. These interfaces are also called Single Abstract Method interfaces (SAM Interfaces).

1. Without Type Restrictions

1.1. Interface Definition

A functional interface can be defined that is generic for type X and has a functional method that accepts two arguments of type X and returns a value of type X.

@FunctionalInterface
public interface ArgumentsProcessor<X>
{
    X process(X arg1, X arg2);
}

This interface can be used for any type i.e. ArgumentsProcessor<Integer>, ArgumentsProcessor<String> or ArgumentsProcessor<Employee>.

1.2. Example

Java example to use generic functional interface with type Integer.

ArgumentsProcessor<Integer> multiplyProcessor = new ArgumentsProcessor<Integer>() {
    @Override
    public Integer process(Integer arg1, Integer arg2)
    {
        return arg1 * arg2;
    }
};

System.out.println(multiplyProcessor.process(2,3));  	//6

Java example to use generic functional interface with type String.

ArgumentsProcessor<String> appendProcessor = new ArgumentsProcessor<String>() {
    @Override
    public String process(String str1, String str2)
    {
        return str1  + " " + str2;
    }
};

System.out.println(appendProcessor.process("Hello", "World !!"));	//Hello World !!

2. With Type Restrictions

2.1. Interface Definition

A functional interface can be defined that is restricted to certain types using extends keyword i.e. X extends Number.

@FunctionalInterface
public interface ArgumentsProcesso<X extends Number>
{
    X process(X arg1, X arg2);
}

This interface can be used for any type i.e. ArgumentsProcessor<Integer>, ArgumentsProcessor<Double> but not for ArgumentsProcessor<String> or ArgumentsProcessor<Employee>.

In the above example, the permitted type must extend the Number class.

2.2. Example

Java example to use generic functional interface with type Integer.

ArgumentsProcessor<Double> doubleMultiplier = new ArgumentsProcessor<Double>() {
	@Override
	public Double process(Double arg1, Double arg2)
	{
	    return arg1 * arg2;
	} 
};

System.out.println(doubleMultiplier.process(4d, 6d));	//24.0

3. Specialized Functional Interfaces

Specialization is accomplished by extending or implementing the generic functional interface of one type. The resulting interface or class is not generic for that type.

@FunctionalInterface
public interface ArgumentsProcessor<Integer>
{
    Integer process(Integer arg1, Integer arg2);
}
ArgumentsProcessor<Integer> intMultiplier = (i1, i2) -> i1 * i2;

System.out.println(intMultiplier.process(4, 5));	//20

Drop me your questions related to functional interfaces with generics.

Happy Learning !!

Sourcecode on Github

Was this post helpful?

Join 7000+ Awesome Developers

Get the latest updates from industry, awesome resources, blog updates and much more.

* We do not spam !!

2 thoughts on “Generic Functional Interfaces in Java”

Leave a Comment

HowToDoInJava

A blog about Java and related technologies, the best practices, algorithms, and interview questions.