One of the primary roles of software is to manage and manipulate data in a specific manner. A Data structure is a particular way to organize and manage data. Most programming languages provide standard Data structures implemented as Classes, and you can define and create your own Data structures when needed. Here are some examples of Data Structures:
An abstract data type defines certain operations that a data type can do, without specifying how the data structure works internally. This is similar to an Interface in Java, which defines certain methods, but not their implementations. Here are some examples of abstract data types:
The Importance of Data Structures
Understanding data structures is fundamental to creating well-designed software. You need to know which data structures to use to accomplish a given task, and it is often important to know which data structures will be most efficient for a given scenario. When the standard data structures provided by your language don't fulfill your requirements, you may need to create your own.