Procedural Programming, its languages and procedure

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Languages and Procedure Of Procedural Programming

What is Procedural Programming?

Procedural programming is one of the most basic yet extremely popular linear top-down approaches and a programming paradigm. In this approach, the written code directly instructs the responsible device as how to complete a certain task efficiently and effectively by adhering to the logical steps. Procedural programming primarily carves out the procedures from a program which comprise of instructions for the computer namely methods or routines. It is also termed as imperative programming, as it is a derivative of Structured programming which primarily focuses on quality and clarity of the program. This induces a great sense of code reusability, thus reducing the size of code by a relative margin.

Article Summary

Procedural programming is basically known as a first programming paradigm that involves writing down different instructions in order to tell the computer what steps should be taken to complete the task in a successful manner. Different features of procedural programming include pre-defined functions, local variable, global variable, parameter passing. The main focus of this article is on defining procedural programming and object-oriented programming. Along with this, the difference between procedural programming and object-oriented programming is also elaborated in this article in a clear manner.

In procedural programming, one must write down instructions which provides logical step-by-step execution of the tasks in order to successfully finish them. It treats data and procedure as two different entities; however, for this, the procedure is more important i.e. linear top-down approach rather than the data itself. It is an event-driven paradigm, as procedures are executed only when a certain event such as mouse click, attaching/removing device, key press and several other occurs. The events cannot be predicted prior, so the procedure used to execute tasks is defined dynamically, in order to handle the events.


What is object-oriented programming?

The programming done using the objects is called object-oriented programming. Unlike procedural programming, it is much closer to real-world entities, as it implements concepts such as encapsulation, polymorphism, abstraction, inheritance, and several others in its programs. Some common advantages of object oriented programming include modularity for easy troubleshooting, re-usability of code via inheritance, appropriate flexibility through polymorphism and effective problem solving. Object is the building block of a program in this paradigm. It is an instance of a class which is the collection of a data member and member function also termed as procedures, and its job is to provide memory to them. Object is of utmost importance because it is responsible for one of the major features of Object-oriented programming i.e. encapsulation. Therefore, in the majority of the cases it is only possible to access a field via its method. However, unlike procedural programming, data is given greater importance as compared to that of procedures. Using object-oriented programming, a modular approach can easily be followed for development of the project as different sets of entities are encapsulated in distinct classes or methods. Also, it binds the data member along with the member functions which operate on the data.

Moving further, there is just not one single object which is the main point worth considering, rather several other concepts of this programming paradigm are:

  • Objects
  • Class
  • Methods
  • Inheritance
  • Encapsulation
  • Abstraction
  • Inheritance
  • Polymorphism

Languages used in Procedural programming and Object-oriented programming

Procedural Programming Language

Languages that follow procedural programming paradigm are known as Procedural languages. These are some common programming languages which primarily utilize variables, functions, and the conditional statements. There are certain IDEs which can be used for such languages namely Microsoft Visual Studio, Adobe Dreamweaver, Eclipse etc. Using these IDEs, one can easily write the code as well as run, test and fix the bugs in the code. Languages used in Procedural programming are:

  • C
  • Pascal

Object-oriented Programming Language

As suggested by the name, Object-oriented programming language is the one that follows an object-oriented paradigm. These languages primarily utilize the concept of classes, methods, attributes, and objects. Following these approaches allow the developers to develop a modular application which is extremely reliable and maintainable. Hence, each module works independent of each other without depending on another module for any sought of output to take it as input. Other major concepts that these languages must follow are encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism. Due to the implementation of these features, the output application is far much secure and manageable. The languages that implement the concept of object-oriented paradigm are

  • C++
  • C#
  • Python
  • Java
  • Simula
  • Smalltalk

Comparison of Advantages and Disadvantages of Procedural Programming and Object-oriented programming


Procedural ProgrammingObject-oriented programming
The primary advantage of this is that it enables to easily track the flow of a program because of the linear paradigmModular approach is used for the development of an application, which allows each entity to act as an individual entity. Thus, not depending on any other module for input. This makes the application altogether much more manageable, maintainable, and easily repairable.
It enables to reuse the code at several places in the code without actually writing it all over again.As in case of object-oriented programming, objects are formed which can later be reused in other programs. Thus, it eliminates a user from writing the same piece of code all over again, which saves time and effort. Reusability is attained with the help of creating packages, as whole functionality of an application can directly be imported into another program by importing the package
Framework support is much scarceThere is a huge support of frameworks for development of enterprise applications.
Support for APIs is much scarceThere is huge support for APIs from across the world and several cloud platforms as well.
Procedural programming receives great support from several general-purpose languages.Object-oriented programming has a huge community which provides support to it and is backed up by an IT giant.
The code written under this approach is relatively easier and simplerBecause of the modular approach, the objects containing data are separated from each other. Thus, it makes tracing and fixing the problem a much easier task. Also, when one module is under maintenance, the rest of the system functions appropriately.
The code offers portability; thus, platform independent applications can easily be developed in this and run on various platforms.Portability is also one of the primary features of these languages, as they are platform independent. Majority of these languages run over a virtual machine, which makes it easier to run them on any underlying platform by just installing the compatible virtual machine.
It is impossible to develop a modular application as these do not support the concept of classes. All the code is written in a single syntax. Maximum sought of encapsulation and abstraction available in such languages is the functions, generally known as procedures.As the application has been developed using a modular approach, it enables the developer to make modifications in the code easily, because changes in one part of the code i.e. class, does not affect the functionality of the whole system.
Several sought of algorithms can easily be implemented in this easilyAlgorithm implementation is much more simplified, as there are several packages and libraries integrated in it.
Memory management is extremely efficient as it utilizes distinct memory portions for each component.Majorly, it utilizes two types of memory pool, namely stack and heap. Stack is the relatively smaller storage which only stores the references to the objects whereas, the heap is relatively larger memory which is used to store the actual objects.
A lot of study material is available over the internet which makes it easier to get started with procedural programming, even for a beginner.Same is the case with Object-oriented programming as well. Because the object-oriented languages are backed by huge community support which allow beginners to easily clear out the doubts.
The procedural languages are used for smaller application development as not much support is present over the internet.These applications can be used for either small, medium and large-scale application development due to a wide array of features.


Procedural ProgrammingObject-oriented programming
The security of the program as a whole is not reassuring, thus data is vulnerable as it is exposed, because there are no such concepts of abstraction and encapsulation in this language.Because of the approach being so flexible and with the added benefit of modularity, OOP projects often seem to be much easier than they actually are. Hence, in the sight of completing project early, it might end up looking like a cloned project, thus inducing a sense of duplicity
It is difficult to establish relation of the data with real-world problems, because the procedural languages do not utilize classes or objects that relate to the real world entities.An OOP program can be too huge to handle, as when it runs out of control, huge chunks of unnecessary code is created which makes manageability a different task and also does not remain cost efficient as well.
If the code provides a solution to the real-world problem, it becomes too complex and have relatively greater number of linesAs OOP programs can be too large, it can be an issue with efficiency. However, the major issue with this is that it Meta utilizes more CPU power. Whereas, the counterparts use less CPU power in comparison to this. Hence, in case of the scenario with technical imitations, it can pose serious issues.
Procedural programming makes it difficult to write a code in itself, because emphasis is not laid on the data, rather the emphasis is laid on the procedure. Hence, an appropriate procedure must be followed which will serve the purpose for obtaining accurate output.Writing code is much simpler in object-oriented programming, but size of the code is a problem which majority of the developers face.
The code can be used in the program itself, however the code cannot be used in another application, for which it must be written all over again.The code can be used in other programs as well, or in other applications. However, management of the code is a complex task which one must accomplish in order to implement them in harmony with each other.
Operations on data have higher priority than the data itselfOperations are not given much priority, rather data is considered as the priority. Thus, data is treated to attain the desired output regardless of the procedure.
Efficient enterprise applications cannot be developed using Procedural programming languages, as the languages are not much vast and does not offer much scalability either.Enterprise applications can be developed as standalone in these languages without any support of a framework. However, in order to develop an effective, functional and efficient enterprise application, an effective and wide array of frameworks are available which can be utilized for the purpose.

Procedural programming vs Object-oriented programming

Procedural ProgrammingObject-oriented programming
It is a sought-after programming language which follows a step-by step approach for breaking down the tasks. Every step is carried out in a systematic manner which enables the system to understand the operation to be carried out.The code is broken down using a relatively larger entity called object. From an object, one can determine the behaviour of an existing class along with the type of class.
In order to add a new set of code or data, the whole program must be revised, which is time consuming and is not very efficient.A new set of data can easily be added and there is no need to revise the data as it follows a modular approach. Thus, only the required portion of the program needs to be studied. It is much more efficient and effective than that of the procedural programming.
It lays emphasis on calling the procedures which are basically functions, routines or subroutines comprising computational steps.It lays emphasis on objects which contain data and code using data members and member functions.
It does not relate to real-world entities, thus certain types of applications especially enterprise applications cannot be produced using this language.It does relate to and interact with the real-world entities, thus developing almost any sought of application is possible especially enterprise applications. This phenomenon is achieved with the usage of objects.
It follows linear Top-Down approachInstead, it follows the Bottom-Up approach
It adheres to the sequence of the activities i.e. follow the logical computational stepsSeveral functions can work simultaneously in order to attain the output
It does not support encapsulation, abstraction, polymorphism, etc.It does support encapsulation, abstraction, polymorphism, etc.
There are no access modifiers such as public, private or protected in procedural programming languageThere are three type of access modifiers namely public, private, and protected
As it does not hide any data, thus it is less secureIt utilizes the concept of encapsulation and abstraction; thus, the data is more secure
Following procedure and function is more important than data itselfData is more important than any function or procedure
Adding any new method or data member is not easy at allAdding any new method or data member is not far easier than procedural programming
Data overloading cannot be done in object-oriented programming languagesData overloading can easily be done in object-oriented programming languages
A program can easily be divided into certain relatively smaller parts which are generally termed as functions, but in procedural programming, these are known as procedures.Here, in object-oriented programming, the program is divided into the smaller, yet relatively bigger parts named as objects. Objects comprise both data members (attributes) and member functions (methods).
As it does not imply any sought of features such as encapsulation, and abstraction thus there is no security of the data itself.It encapsulates the data well and provides a high level of abstraction i.e. it hides the data better than in procedural programming language. Thus, the data is much secure in case of object-oriented programming languages.
Modifying the existing code is not easy at all.The existing code can easily be modified because of the modular approach in the code.
With the lack of code standardization, it is not easier to understand the code by others.With the Standardization of code, it can easily be understood by everyone, as it majorly follows cameCase notations. Hence, it is easy to understand the code by the person who is familiar with the language, even though he has never seen the same program.
Languages used for procedural programming are BASIC, Pascal, COBOL, ALGOL, FORTRAN, and the most popular C.Languages used for Object-Oriented Programming are Java, Python, C#, C++, and others.

Key Differences between both Procedural programming and Object-oriented programming

Key differences between both are

  • They both differ in the approach being used. As Procedural programming languages use linear top-down approach, whereas object-oriented programming languages use bottom-up approach.

  • Data overloading is not possible in procedural programming language, whereas object-oriented programming languages support data overloading.

  • Methods are implemented step by step, whereas multiple methods are implemented in a single instance.

  • In procedural programming, the program is broken down into functions, whereas in object-oriented programming, program is broken down into an object.

  • The procedural programming does not hide the data; thus, the data is not secure. Whereas, in case of object-oriented programming language, the data can be hidden, which makes it secure.

  • Understanding the code in procedural programming is not easier, as the developer needs to read the whole code firstly. Whereas, in object-oriented programming the code can easily be understood.

  • Procedural code is written in the form of functions, on the other hand for object-oriented paradigm, the code can be written in the form of modules, which make it more manageable.

  • The procedural code is difficult to modify as compared to that of object-oriented code.

  • Procedural programming languages do not possess any access modifiers, whereas object-oriented programming does have access modifiers which give much required flexibility to the programmer.

What is functional programming?

A programming paradigm based on Lambda Calculus tries to bind everything in the form of mathematical functions. Unlike common programming style, the primary focus of this programming approach is on “what to solve” rather than “how to solve”. It is a declarative programming style which prefers to utilize expressions over statements. It basically highlights the functional factors that are must for development and deployment of the program. It is also termed as a declarative programming model where functions and variables are the primary aspect of the code. There are certain advanced features of the functional programming paradigm such as it provides the functionality of lazy evaluation to the developer along with enhanced efficiency. Further, the major aspects of this language are nested functions, parallel-programming, and bug-free code. It allows the developer to invoke a function at any given time, further enhancing its appeal is the fact that the code written using this paradigm can also be re-used, which certainly reduces the size of the code. It is generally categorized into two major portions namely pure functional languages and impure functional languages. The former only supports the functional programming paradigm. Whereas, the latter supports functional programming paradigm as well as imperative style programming.

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Functional programming languages

There are several functional programming languages which work on functional paradigm. Certain extremely popular languages are based on functional programming languages namely Erlang, Lisp, Wolfram, SML, SQL, XSLT, Scala, Clojure, Haskell, R, F# and several other significant languages. These languages are majorly used in the scenarios of data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. R is the most popular language in this domain as it provides wide functionality to the data scientists. Also, these languages can be turned into interactive environments which establishes a much better understanding of the code with the developer. These languages are bifurcated into two types:

  • Pure Function

    In this form of functional programming, all the inputs are declared only as input which are all visible and not hidden. Whereas, the outputs are also clearly termed as output. These functions are based on their parameters, which must be returned. However, if the parameters are not returned, the method does not execute efficiently.

  • Impure Function

    Unlike pure functions, impure functions have hidden inputs and outputs. Also, unlike pure functions, these cannot be used in isolation because of their persisting dependencies.

Functional programming vs Object-oriented programming

Functional ProgrammingObject-Oriented Programming
Functional programming clearly follows declarative programming paradigm as it utilizes expressions over statements.Object-oriented programming utilizes imperative programming models.
Functional programming utilizes immutable dataObject-oriented programming utilizes mutable data
It is highly suitable for the implementation of parallel programming aspects; thus, it is universally used for the purposeIt is not suitable for the implementation of parallel programming aspects and thus not used for the purpose
Order of execution for the statement is not important at all, as it majorly comprises mathematical expressions.Order of execution is extremely important, as the program follows a structured approach and call to all the methods is made via main function only, which the compiler calls upon execution.
It has greater sense of performance in case of large volumes of data, as the procedures are predefined.However, the object-oriented programming paradigm does not prove to be much beneficial with the large volumes of data
Data and the associated behavior of the data are considered as two distinct entities which must be treated individually as well and must be kept separate.Data and its associated behavior are considered as a single entity by object-oriented programming as it brings them in a single location.
This programming paradigm utilizes stateless programming modelThis programming paradigm utilizes stateful programming models.
The primary focus of this programming paradigm is “What you are doing”Rather, the primary focus of object-oriented paradigm is “How you are doing”
Functional programming does provide support for the parallel programmingObject-oriented paradigm does not support the concept of parallel programming
The primary manipulator is the functionThe primary manipulator is the object
The primary aspects of functional programming paradigm are the variables and functionsWhereas, the primary aspects of the object-oriented programming paradigm are object and methods.
In this programming paradigm, the developers do not need to deal with objectsIn the object-oriented programming paradigm, the developers need to deal with the objects, which sometimes void the concept of encapsulation as the size of the program increases.
It is not widely adopted by the programmersIt is majorly used by the programmers for a wide array of applications because one can easily find study material regarding the object-oriented programming languages.
It is primarily used where the data is fixed but multiple operations need to be utilized.Whereas, it is used in the place where there are relatively fewer operations to deal with
The functions if not appropriately optimized or utilized does not pose no side effects on the processor, as order of execution is of no significance.Whereas, in case of object-oriented programming, if the functions are not appropriately optimized can pose serious side effects, as the program might not run, the program might crash, it might throw an exception or any other such issue. This is because the order of execution is extremely important.
The concept of recursion is used to iterate the collection data i.e. the function keeps calling itself again and again until the base condition is satisfied.The concept of loops is utilized to iterate the collection of data. These are termed as control structures in the programming language as they control the flow of the iterations.
Function calls and recursion is used to control the flow of the programSeveral condition statements and loops are used to control the flow.


This article is framed for the procedural programming, object-oriented programming, and functional programming paradigm. Each of these are distinct programming paradigms are significant and serve their own purpose for different purposes of programming requirements. Procedural programming is a linear approach which analyzes the code from top to bottom and provides step by step instructions to the computer system regarding the function or operation to be performed. It is used by the languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN, C and several others.

Whereas, an object-oriented approach wraps the functionality of the code in the form of an object and it is passed where it is required to be used. Although, object-oriented paradigm reads the code from bottom to up and is used by languages such as C#, java, and several others. The functional programming paradigm leverages the power of functions which encapsulate the variables for distinct functionality. The languages that implement the functional programming paradigm are R, Haskell, Scala, and many others.

The object-oriented programming language is the most widely used by the programmers due to its modular approach and the ease it offers in developing an enterprise solution. Whereas, functional programming languages find their implementation in the likes of machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science and in several other domains.

Article By:

Charles Brian

Having earned a degree in IT Security Management from the Northwestern University, Charles Brian is a techno- geek. Along with working for the top management firm, he loves to share his expertise with the students by offering online management assignme

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What is procedural programming with example?

Procedural programming includes the step by step instruction to the computer to perform a task. This was mostly a part of the early programming. Fortran, COBOL and C are a few examples of the same.

What is difference between OOP and procedural programming?

Procedural programming follows a top-down approach whereas, in OOP, the program is sub-divided into small divisions called objects. Further, OOP comes with a data hiding feature which is not present in procedural programming, which is why the first is considered to be more secure.

What are examples of procedural languages?

Procedural programming as a language was used in earlier times. Few of the underlining examples of the same include PASCAL, FORTRAN, COBOL and ALGOL.

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