An instance is an occurrence of an event, situation or thing. The term is often used in technology to describe a currently running object, program or server. The act of running a software entity such as an object is often referred to as instantiation. The following are common examples.
JavaObject oriented programming languages are based on classes that are templates for creating objects. If you have a BookStore class, you might create several instances of BookStore objects. This act of creating BookStore objects is known as instantiation.
SoftwareIf you run a web browser on your desktop twice, you have two instances running. Some software prevents users from running multiple instances in the same environment.
ServersServer software such as databases, application servers and web servers often allow for running multiple copies of the server known as instances.
HardwareServers on a cloud computing platform may be referred to as instances.
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