Demystifying Design Patterns: Adapter Design Pattern

  1. Demystifying Design Patterns: Singleton Design Pattern
  2. Demystifying Design Patterns: Factory Method Design Pattern
  3. Demystifying Design Patterns: Abstract Factory Design Pattern
  4. Demystifying Design Patterns: Builder Design Pattern
  5. Demystifying Design Patterns: Prototype Design Pattern
  6. Demystifying Design Patterns: Adapter Design Pattern
  7. Demystifying Design Patterns: Bridge Design Pattern
  8. Demystifying Design Patterns: Composite Design Pattern
  9. Demystifying Design Patterns: Decorator Design Pattern
  10. Demystifying Design Patterns: Proxy Design Pattern
  11. Demystifying Design Patterns: Observer Design Pattern
  12. Demystifying Design Patterns: Strategy Design Pattern
  13. Demystifying Design Patterns: Command Design Pattern
  14. Demystifying Design Patterns: State Design Pattern
  15. Demystifying Design Patterns: Chain of Responsibility Design Pattern
  16. Demystifying Design Patterns: Visitor Design Pattern
  17. Demystifying Design Patterns: Template Method Design Pattern


In the vast landscape of software design, the Adapter Design Pattern stands out as a versatile solution for making incompatible interfaces work together harmoniously. Think of it as the universal adapter that bridges the gap between two different connectors. In this sixth installment of our “Demystifying Design Patterns” series, we will delve deep into the Adapter Pattern. We will explore its nuances, types, real-world examples, and even compare it with the Bridge Pattern.

Adapting Interfaces with the Adapter Pattern

At its essence, the Adapter Pattern allows you to make one interface compatible with another. This proves invaluable when dealing with systems, classes, or libraries with interfaces that don’t naturally align with your requirements. The Adapter acts as an intermediary, facilitating seamless collaboration between these disparate interfaces.

Class vs. Object Adapter

There are two primary approaches to implementing the Adapter Pattern: Class Adapter and Object Adapter.

Class Adapter

In a Class Adapter, the adapter class extends the target class or implements the target interface. By doing so, it inherits the target’s interface and can also introduce additional methods or properties required for adaptation. This approach is effective when you have more control over the target class.

Object Adapter

Conversely, in an Object Adapter, the adapter class contains an instance of the target class or interface. It delegates calls to the target object, effectively acting as a wrapper. The Object Adapter is favored when you need to adapt multiple objects with different interfaces, as it offers greater flexibility.

Real-World Examples of Adapter Pattern

To gain a deeper understanding of the Adapter Pattern, let’s explore a couple of real-world scenarios where it can be applied effectively.

Example 1: Legacy Database Integration

Imagine you are tasked with modernizing an e-commerce platform that needs to integrate with a legacy database system. This legacy system has its own unique data format and API, making direct interaction challenging. By creating an adapter, you can bridge the gap between your modern system’s expectations and the legacy system’s idiosyncrasies. This adapter would facilitate data retrieval, updates, and seamless communication between the two systems.

Example 2: Multimedia Playback

Consider a multimedia player application capable of handling various audio and video formats. Each format comes with its own distinct interface for playback. Instead of writing custom code for each format, you can create adapters for each format type. These adapters would allow the player to treat all formats uniformly, providing a consistent and streamlined user experience.

Example 3: International Voltage Conversion

Imagine you’re designing a device that needs to work globally, where voltage standards vary from country to country. To accommodate these differences, you can create voltage adapters that adjust the voltage to the specific requirements of the region. This ensures the device remains functional and safe regardless of where it is used.

Adapter Pattern vs. Bridge Pattern

While the Adapter Pattern and the Bridge Pattern both deal with interfaces and abstraction, they serve distinct purposes:

– Adapter Pattern: Its primary focus is on making existing interfaces work together smoothly, emphasizing compatibility. It often involves wrapping an interface to make it compatible with another, making it an excellent choice for interface integration challenges.

– Bridge Pattern: In contrast, the Bridge Pattern is centered around separating an object’s abstraction from its implementation, allowing both to evolve independently. This pattern prioritizes flexibility and decoupling, making it ideal for scenarios where you anticipate changes in both abstraction and implementation.

Code Examples

Let’s dive into practical code examples to illustrate how the Adapter Pattern can be implemented in Java, C#, and Python.


Java Example

// Target interface
interface MediaPlayer {
    void play(String fileName);

// Adaptee (legacy code)
class LegacyPlayer {
    void playLegacy(String fileName) {
        System.out.println("Playing legacy file: " + fileName);

// Adapter
class MediaAdapter implements MediaPlayer {
    private LegacyPlayer legacyPlayer;

    MediaAdapter() {
        legacyPlayer = new LegacyPlayer();

    public void play(String fileName) {

C# Example

// Target interface
interface IMediaPlayer {
    void Play(string fileName);

// Adaptee (legacy code)
class LegacyPlayer {
    public void PlayLegacy(string fileName) {
        Console.WriteLine("Playing legacy file: " + fileName);

// Adapter
class MediaAdapter : IMediaPlayer {
    private LegacyPlayer legacyPlayer;

    public MediaAdapter() {
        legacyPlayer = new LegacyPlayer();

    public void Play(string fileName) {

Python Example

# Target interface
class MediaPlayer:
    def play(self, file_name):

# Adaptee (legacy code)
class LegacyPlayer:
    def play_legacy(self, file_name):
        print("Playing legacy file: " + file_name)

# Adapter
class MediaAdapter(MediaPlayer):
    def __init__(self):
        self.legacy_player = LegacyPlayer()

    def play(self, file_name):


The Adapter Design Pattern is a versatile tool for bridging the gap between incompatible interfaces, making them collaborate seamlessly. Whether you are dealing with legacy systems, third-party libraries, or diverse data formats, the Adapter Pattern simplifies the integration process. By comprehending its different implementations and real-world applications, you equip yourself with a valuable asset for tackling interface integration challenges. In the upcoming article of our series, we will explore the Singleton Design Pattern. Stay tuned for more insights and practical knowledge!