Software Development Kit (SDK)

What is an SDK?

A software development kit (SDK) is essentially a collection of tools and instructions that developers use to help build applications. This saves developers from having to code each area of a piece of software or app. It standardises development, which means apps can work more easily on different pieces of hardware, operating systems and other applications. SDKs will usually include all or most of the following: code libraries, APIs, documentation, a debugger, code samples and sometimes tutorials and other tools for support.

SDK and API: What’s the difference?

SDKs and APIs are similar, so it can sometimes be difficult to know when you should use one or the other. Another detail that can be confusing is that SDKs often contain one or more APIs and help implement them. However, an API won’t necessarily have an accompanying SDK.

An API is purpose-built to perform a specific function between applications, and an SDK is a platform that contains the tools to create the application. Essentially, an API facilitates and allows interaction between applications but not enough to create a whole new app. This means that if you are looking to add specific features to an existing application, an API would be best. Whereas if you are starting a new project altogether, an SDK will provide you with the tools you’ll need to get started.