Glossary

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Software Development Kit (SDK)

What is Software Development Kit (SDK) ?

A bundle of software development tools and devices placed in one installable package. It is also possible to separate these tools into three groups. SDKs for programming, operating system environments (iOS, Android, etc.), and application maintenance SDKs. SDKs allow creating mobile applications. It consists of a series of tools offered by (typically) the maker of a hardware platform, an OS, or a programming language.

SDK supports software developers in developing apps for that particular platform, system, or programming language. Think of it as a kit or a plastic tool bag packed with components of a dresser you purchased to construct yourself - for the development of an app only. The blocks or development tools you need to accomplish the work are available, and what is included in the kit differs from producer to manufacturer.

A simple SDK is often supported by a compiler, debugger, application programming, and (APIs) interface. Still, it can also include documentation libraries, editors, execution/development environments, test/analysis tools, drivers, and network protocols. A decent SDK will give any components that a developer may deem required to create new applications for that particular product and ecosystem. Certain SDKs will also contain an example or basic testing project for developers to start as soon as possible. Some SDKs may have rules or contracts to be recognized and filed before they are used, especially for new alpha or beta products - or for algorithm software that is not publicly available (not open source).

An SDK can also be subject to a license agreement so that the developed software is not released under an incompatible license. These considerations must be taken into account by a developer when picking an SDK to start working with. For example, the creation of open-source software is incompatible with the SDK with a proprietary license. There are reservations about collaborating on projects having proprietary code elements under a Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

There are various advantages of providing your application with SDK download. These include quick integration which will help to shorten the sales cycle, efficient development enhances faster deployment, great product with SDK helps to increase the reach, and brand control helps mitigate risks. Finally, allowing other businesses to use your technology through your mobile SDK will open up options for your brand to reach a broader audience than you can achieve alone. And all that is needed is a working SDK tool that can be implemented and integrated with other apps.

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