The Adapter Pattern is responsible for adaptation of two incompatible interfaces. It is a structural pattern that is responsible to join functionalities of independent or incompatible interfaces without modifing their implementation.

Interfaces may be incompatible but the inner functionality should suit the need. It allows otherwise incompatible objects to work together by converting the interface of each struct into an interface expected by the clients.


  • Impedance match an old component to a new system
  • Wrap the interface of a object into another interface clients expect.
  • Adapter lets objects work together, that could not otherwise because of incompatible interfaces.

Design Pattern Diagram

The structs/objects that are participating in adapter pattern are illustrated in the following diagram:

Adapter Class Diagram
  • Target is the domain-specific interface that Client wants to use.
  • Adapter adapts the interface Adaptee to the Target interface. It implements the Target interface in terms of the Adaptee.
  • Adaptee defines an existing interface that needs adapting.
  • Client collaborates with objects conforming to the Target interface.

The Target interface enables objects of adaptee types to be interchangeable with any other objects that might implement the same interface. However, the adaptees might not conform to the Target. The interface alone is not a sufficiently powerful mechanism. We need the Adapter pattern. An Adaptee offers similar functionality to the client, but under a different name and with possibly different parameters. The Adaptee is completely independent of the other classes and is oblivious to any naming conventions or signatures that they have.


Lets explore how we should use the Adapter Design Pattern to adopt two incompatible payment systems and make them available for our customers. Assume that we are building system that should support PayPal and Bank payments. In addition, we are consuming two external libraries that handles each of this payment methods.

package paypal

import (

var mailRegexp = regexp.MustCompile(`^[a-z0-9._%+\-]+@[a-z0-9.\-]+\.[a-z]{2,4}$`)

// Money of PayPal transactions
type Money struct {
	// Amount
	Amount float64
	// Currency for that amount
	Currency string

// Payment in PayPal
type Payment struct {
	// APIKey is the PayPal API key
	APIKey string

// Send money
func (*Payment) Send(senderEmail, recipientEmail string, money *Money) error {
	if !mailRegexp.MatchString(senderEmail) {
		return errors.New("Invalid sender email address")

	if !mailRegexp.MatchString(recipientEmail) {
		return errors.New("Invalid recipient email address")

	if money == nil {
		return errors.New("The money must be provided")

	if money.Amount <= 0 {
		return errors.New("The amount cannot be negative")

	if money.Currency == "" {
		return errors.New("The currency must be provided")

	fmt.Printf("Send %f %s from %s to %s", money.Amount, money.Currency, senderEmail, recipientEmail)
	return nil
package bank

import (

// AccountType determines the type of bank account
type AccountType uint8

const (
	// AccountTypeCurrent is a current bank account
	AccountTypeCurrent AccountType = iota
	// AccountTypeSaving is a saving bank account

// Account is a bank account
type Account struct {
	// Owner is the bank account owner
	Owner string
	// Email of the owner
	Email string
	// Balance is the bank account balance
	Balance float64
	// Currency of the account
	Currency string

// Transaction is the bank transaction
type Transaction struct {
	FromAccount *Account
	ToAccount   *Account
	Amount      float64
	Date        time.Time
	Reason      string

// Gateway for the Bank
type Gateway struct {
	// Token Key
	Token string
	// Accounts
	Accounts []*Account

// FindAccountByEmail finds a bank account
func (g *Gateway) FindAccountByEmail(email string) (*Account, error) {
	for _, account := range g.Accounts {
		if account.Email == email {
			return account, nil
	return nil, errors.New("Account Not Found")

// ProcessTransaction processes a bank transaction
func (g *Gateway) ProcessTransaction(t *Transaction) error {
	if t.FromAccount == nil {
		return errors.New("FromAccount is missing")
	if t.ToAccount == nil {
		return errors.New("ToAccount is missing")

	if t.Reason == "" {
		return errors.New("Reason is not provided")

	if t.Amount <= 0 {
		return errors.New("Invalid amount")

	if t.Amount > t.FromAccount.Balance {
		return errors.New("Insufficient funds")

	fmt.Printf("Transfered %f %s from %s to %s at %v", t.Amount,
		t.FromAccount.Currency, t.FromAccount.Owner, t.ToAccount.Owner, t.Date)

	t.FromAccount.Balance -= t.Amount
	return nil

We are developing a shopping card that should work with different payment methods:

// Checkouter checkouts order
type Payment interface {
	// Pay from email to email this amount
	Pay(fromEmail, toEmail string, amount float64) error

// Item in the shopping card
type Item struct {
	// Name of the item
	Name string
	// Price of the item
	Price float64

// ShoppingCard in online store
type ShoppingCard struct {
	// Items im the ShoppingCard
	Items []*Item
	// PaymentMethod selected
	PaymentMethod Payment
	// ShopEmailAddress address of the shop
	ShopEmailAddress string

// Checkout checkouts a shopping card
func (c *ShoppingCard) Checkout(payeeEmail string) error {
	var total float64

	for _, item := range c.Items {
		total += item.Price

	return c.PaymentMethod.Pay(payeeEmail, c.ShopEmailAddress, total)

As you might see, the Bank API and PayPal API cannot be used as different payment options in the ShoppingCard object due to their different signatures.

In order to adopt them we should implement an adapters that obey the Payment interface.

The BankAdapter adapts the bank package API by wrapping bank.Gateway struct:

// BankAdapter adapts bank API
type BankAdapter struct {
	// Gateway of the bank
	Gateway *bank.Gateway

// Pay from email to email this amount
func (b *BankAdapter) Pay(fromEmail, toEmail string, amount float64) error {
	fromAccount, err := b.Gateway.FindAccountByEmail(fromEmail)
	if err != nil {
		return err

	toAccount, err := b.Gateway.FindAccountByEmail(toEmail)
	if err != nil {
		return err

	t := &bank.Transaction{
		FromAccount: fromAccount,
		ToAccount:   toAccount,
		Amount:      amount,
		Date:        time.Now(),
		Reason:      "Payment to Online Store",

	return b.Gateway.ProcessTransaction(t)

PayPal API is adopted by PayPalAdapter struct:

// PayPalAdapter adapts PayPal API
type PayPalAdapter struct {
	Payment *paypal.Payment

// Pay from email to email this amount
func (p *PayPalAdapter) Pay(fromEmail, toEmail string, amount float64) error {
	return p.Payment.Send(fromEmail, toEmail, &paypal.Money{Amount: amount, Currency: "USD"})


The Adapter Pattern is used wherever there is code to be wrapped up and redirected to a different implementation.

But How Much the Adapter Should Do?

If the Target and Adaptee has similarities then the adapter has just to delegate the requests from the Target to the Adaptee. If Target and Adaptee are not similar, then the adapter might have to convert the data structures between those and to implement the operations required by the Target but not implemented by the Adaptee.