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Interface Segregation Principle in SOLID

Interface Segregation Principle in SOLID


6 Articles


In this article, let's learn about Interface Segregation Principle in SOLID Principles in .NET.

Note: If you have not done so already, I recommend you read the article on Liskov Substitution Principle in SOLID.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. When to apply ISP?
  3. Demo
  4. Advantages
  5. Summary


The Interface Segregation Principle (ISP) is essential for creating software that is easy to maintain and scale. It ensures that clients are only exposed to the methods they require, and not to methods that are unnecessary. By doing so, it keeps interfaces lean and reduces the complexity of the codebase.

Without ISP, interfaces can become bloated, and it can be challenging to maintain them. If an interface has too many methods, it can become a barrier to change. Any modification to the interface requires clients to update their implementation, which can be a time-consuming and error-prone process.

The Interface Segregation Principle states that clients should not be forced to implement interfaces they don't use. Instead, interfaces should be designed to be specific to the needs of the clients that use them.

To put it simply, this principle suggests that you should break large interfaces into smaller, more specific ones that are easier to manage and maintain. Clients should only depend on the methods that they need, and not on the methods that are irrelevant to them.

When to apply ISP?

You should use the Interface Segregation Principle when you have a large interface with many methods, but some clients don't use all of them. You should break this interface into smaller, more specific ones that are easier to manage and maintain.

For instance, if you have an interface that has methods for both hot and cold beverages, but some clients only deal with cold beverages, you should separate the cold beverage methods into their own interface. Clients that only need to work with cold beverages can then implement this smaller, more specific interface, while clients that need to work with both hot and cold beverages can implement the larger interface.


Let's take an example of a Coffee Machine interface. Assume that there are two classes - ColdBrewCoffeeMaker and MokaEspressoMaker, which implement all the functionality defined in the ICoffeeMachine interface. This interface has four methods - AddCoffee, AddWater, GetColdCoffee, and GetExpressoCoffee.

Code Sample - ISP - Interface Segregation Principle - Before

The Interface Segragation Principle ensures that we can split the interface as we have not implemented method in both of the them. So we create two additional interfaces: IColdCoffeeMachine and IEspressoMachine. IColdCoffeeMachine extends ICoffeeMachine and adds the GetColdCoffee method, while IEspressoMachine extends ICoffeeMachine and adds the GetEspressoCoffee method.

Code Sample - ISP - Interface Segregation Principle - After

This allows us to use the ColdBrewCoffeeMaker with only the IColdCoffeeMachine interface, and the MokaEspressoMaker with only the IEspressoMachine interface. We can no longer use the ColdBrewCoffeeMaker as a general ICoffeeMachine, since it doesn't implement the GetEspressoCoffee method, and vice versa for the MokaEspressoMaker and GetColdCoffee.

Using the interface segregation principle in this way results in cleaner and more maintainable code. We no longer have to implement methods that are not relevant to a particular class, and we can prevent accidental misuse of our code by limiting the available methods to only those that are necessary.


The Interface Segregation Principle has several advantages, including:

  • Encourages Modularity and Extensibility: By segregating interfaces, each interface becomes smaller and focused on a specific functionality. This encourages modularization of code and makes it easy to extend the application by adding new functionality through new interfaces.
  • Improves Code Readability and Maintainability: Interfaces that are not cluttered with unnecessary methods are easier to read and maintain. This makes the code more understandable and less prone to errors, leading to better quality software.
  • Reduces coupling and Improves testability: By separating interfaces into smaller, more focused interfaces, we can reduce the coupling between classes. This makes the code more modular and easier to test. We can test each interface in isolation, which helps to identify any issues in the interface early in the development process.
  • Increases Code Reusability: Interfaces that are designed with the ISP in mind can be reused in multiple projects. This saves time and effort by reducing the need to write new code for each project.


The Interface Segregation Principle is an essential part of the SOLID principles in object-oriented design. It states that a client should not be forced to depend on methods it does not use. By separating interfaces into smaller, more focused interfaces, we can reduce coupling between classes, improve code readability and maintainability, and increase code reusability.

  • Solid
  • ISP
  • Interface Segregation