RAII and smart pointers in C++

RAII in C++

RAII (Resource Acquisition Is Initialization) is C++ technique which control the life cycle of resource. It is a class variant and is tied to object life time.

It encapsulates several resources into class where resource allocation is done by constructor during object creation and resource deallocation is done by destructor during object destruction.

Resource is guaranteed to be held till the object is alive.


void file_write {
   Static mutex m; //mutex to protect file access
   lock_guard<mutex> lock(m); //lock mutex before accessing file
   ofstream file("a.txt");
   if (!file.is_open()) //if file is not open
   throw runtime_error("unable to open file");
   // write text to file
   file << text << stdendl;

Smart Pointers in C++ & minus;

Smart pointer is an abstract data type by using which we can make a normal pointer in such way that it can be used as memory management like file handling, network sockets etc., also it can do many things like automatic destruction, reference counting etc.

Smart pointer in C++, can be implemented as template class, which is overloaded with * and -> operator. auto_ptr, shared_ptr, unique_ptr and weak_ptr are the forms of smart pointer can be implemented by C++ libraries.


 Live Demo

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
// A generic smart pointer class
template <class T>
class Smartpointer {
   T *p; // Actual pointer
      // Constructor
      Smartpointer(T *ptr = NULL) {
         p = ptr;
   // Destructor
   ~Smartpointer() {
   // Overloading de-referencing operator
   T & operator * () {
      return *p;
   // Over loading arrow operator so that members of T can be accessed
   // like a pointer
   T * operator -> () {
      return p;
int main() {
   Smartpointer<int> p(new int());
   *p = 26;
   cout << "Value is: "<<*p;
   return 0;


Value is: 26

Updated on: 30-Jul-2019

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