It is possible to define a class within another class; such classes are known as nested classes. The scope of a nested class is bounded by the scope of its enclosing class. Thus, if class B is defined within class A, then B does not exist independently of A. A nested class has access to the members, including private members, of the class in which it is nested.

However, the enclosing class does not have access to the members of the nested class. A nested class that is declared directly within its enclosing class scope is a member of its enclosing class. It is also possible to declare a nested class that is local to a block. There are two types of nested classes: static and non-static.

A static nested class is one that has the static modifier applied. Because it is static, it must access the members of its enclosing class through an object. That is, it cannot refer to members of its enclosing class directly. Because of this restriction, static nested classes are seldom used. The most important type of nested class is the inner class.

An inner class is a non-static nested class. It has access to all of the variables and methods of its outer class and may refer to them directly in the same way that other non-static members of the outer class do. The following program illustrates how to define and use an inner class. The class named Outer has one instance variable named outer_x, one instance method named test( ), and

In the program, an inner class named Inner is defined within the scope of class Outer. Therefore, any code in class Inner can directly access the variable outer_x. An instance method named display( ) is defined inside Inner. This method displays outer_x on the standard output stream. The main( ) method of InnerClassDemo creates an instance of class Outer and invokes its test( ) method. That method creates an instance of class Inner and the
display( ) method is called.

Access Control

As you know, encapsulation links data with the code that manipulates it. However, encapsulation provides another important attribute: access control. Through encapsulation, you can control what parts of a program can access the members of a class. By controlling access, you can prevent misuse.

For example, by allowing access to data only through a well-defined set of methods, you can prevent the misuse of that data. Java’s access specifiers are public, private, and protected. Java also defines a default access level. protected applies only when inheritance is involved.
defines one inner class called Inner.