9.4.Interfaces and Multiple Inheritance
Interfaces have another very important role in the Java programming language. Interfaces are not part of the class hierarchy, although they work in combination with classes. The Java programming language does not permit multiple inheritance (inheritance is discussed later in this lesson), but interfaces provide an alternative.
In Java, a class can inherit from only one class but it can implement more than one interface. Therefore, objects can have multiple types: the type of their own class and the types of all the interfaces that they implement. This means that if a variable is declared to be the type of an interface, its value can reference any object that is instantiated from any class that implements the interface. This is discussed later in this lesson, in the section titled “Using an Interface as a Type.”