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Get Class Modifiers and Interfaces through Reflection

1. About this Java Reflection Example

In this example, we will retrieve the access modifiers of a Type through Java Reflection. Then, we will also retrieve base class of a type followed by all the interfaces implemented by it. Now, we will look at the depiction below:

Java Type Modifiers
Java Type Modifiers

Here, the type we will use is Products class. This class has two modifiers set to it. They are public and final. Public states the class can be instantiated anywhere with no restriction and final states that Products class allows no further inheritance. We derived the Products class from Organization class and we retrieve that information also through java reflection. Finally, we will retrieve all the interface implemented in the Products class. In our case, the implemented interfaces are IOrg and IProduct.

2. IOrg and IProduct Interfaces

First, let us define the interfaces for this example. Note, all the code that we will write here do nothing as it is just for exploring java reflection. The IOrg is defined in the and IProduct is in the Below is the interface code:

3. Class Modifiers of Organization and Products Class

We define Organization class in the file This Organization class acts as the base class for the Products and we will define it next. Code for the Organization class is below:

The Products class has Organization as a base class. It also implements two interfaces which we defined in the earlier section. We will use Java Reflection on the Products class and will retrieve below details:

  • Type Modifiers such as public and final
  • Base class and in our case, it is Organization
  • All the interfaces it implements.

We define the Products class in a file called and code is given below:

The complete Type relationship is shown below:

Type Relationship
Type Relationship

4. Get Class Modifiers Using getModifiers()

We use the getModifier function of the Java Reflection Class to get all the modifier of a class object. It returns a number and we need to do bit-wise operation to test against a specific modifier. In our case, we will test object of the product class is public or not. Similarly, we will do a test and take a judgment of if the class is inheritable. Recall, the class marked with Final modifier is not inheritable.

First, we create the instance of a Products class and store that in a reference called, prod. Below is the code for it:

We use the prod reference to get the Java Reflection Class for Products by calling the getClass method on it. Once we have the Class, we call getModifiers method to get all the Modifier bits packed in a single integer variable. In our example, we are storing it in the variable called Modifiers and later we will do our bit-wise test on this variable. The code for this is below:

The Modifier class of the Java Reflection package declares all the Modifier Constants. For example, if we want to check whether a class instance is public, we need to perform Bit-wise AND on the number returned by the getModifiers call with the constant PUBLIC. If the integer has public bit set in it; we get a value which is greater than zero. This kind of test will tell us a class has a modifier or not.

In the below code snippet, we check the Products class is public and also Final. Note that while performing a Wit-wise AND, we are making use of the constants like Modifier.FINAL to check the class is Final or not. In the same way, we make use of Modifier.PUBLIC to decide a class public or private or protected.

5. Getting Base Class Modifiers Using getSuperclass

We can get a base class of a class by calling the <strong>getSuperclass</strong> method on the Reflection Class instance. In the below code we use prodClass Class instance and get its base class by calling the getSuperclass. Once we have the base Class, we are using the same modifier test which we used in the previous section. The code is below:

6. Get all Implemented Interfaces & Its Type Modifiers

One can call the getInterfaces method on the run-time class using Java Reflection. It returns the array of interfaces implemented by the run-time Class object. For example, the Products class implements two interfaces and when we call this method on it, we get these two interfaces packed in an array.

Before we proceed further, we will have a look at the code given below. In the below code we get the Interface array of the Products class. After that we iterate through it to list all the modifiers. Note, this time we are not checking for a specific Modifier like we did earlier and despite that, we are getting the modifiers as usual by calling getModifiers. And then we give that to Modifier.toString method to list all its modifiers. Below is the code snippet:

The complete code example from is below:


Output of the Example Code
Output of the Example Code

Categories: Java

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