- The act of enclosing in a capsule; the growth of a membrane around (any part) so as to enclose it in a capsule.
- (computing, programming, in object-oriented programming) Grouping together an object's "˜state' (its data) and the operations that may alter or interrogate it (its methods).
encapsulation - Computer Definition
Uses layered protocols in which a layer adds header information to the payload or protocol data unit from the layer above.
In the example shown in Figure 5-1, and using Internet terminology, an application header is added to a message on the application layer (for example, an email). This message is passed to the TCP/UDP layer, where it gets a TCP or UDP header (TCP in the case of an email). On the IP layer, it receives the necessary information to find its destination, and, most important, the IP Address of the destination. On the link layer, a header is prepended that contains the physical addresses for a Local Area Network, mainly, the Ethernet addresses of the sender and the receiver, and a trailer that contains error-checking information. The physical layer represents the actual signal on the media.
See Also: Electronic Mail or Email; Ethernet; Internet; Internet Protocol (IP); IP Address; Local Area Network (LAN); Message; TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol; User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
(1) In object technology, the creation of self-contained modules that contain both the data and the processing. See object-oriented programming.
(2) The transmission of one network protocol within another. As data moves down the protocol stack from the application layer to the data link layer, each protocol encapsulates the higher level by adding its own header to the block of data passed to it. See tunneling and wrapper.