Introduction to Software Development Kit

A Software Development Kit or SDK is typically a set of software development tools that allows the creation of applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar development platform. To enrich applications with advanced functionalities, advertisements, push notifications, and more, most app developers implement specific software development kits. Some SDKs are critical for developing a platform-specific app. For example, the development of an Android app on Java platform requires a Java Development Kit, for iOS apps the iOS SDK, and for Universal Windows Platform the .NET Framework SDK. There are also SDKs that are installed in apps to provide analytics and data about application activity; prominent creators of these types of SDKs include Google, InMobi, and Facebook.

Software development is the process of  conceiving , specifying, designing,  programming,  documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications, frameworks, or other software components. Software development is a process of writing and maintaining the source code, but in a broader sense, it includes all that is involved between the conception of the desired software through to the final manifestation of the software, sometimes in a planned and structured process. Therefore, software development may include research, new development, prototyping, modification, reuse, re-engineering, maintenance, or any other activities that result in software products.

Application software (app for short) is software designed to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user. Examples of an application include a word processor, a spreadsheet, an accounting application, a web browser, an email client, a media player, a file viewer, an aeronautical flight simulator, a console game or a photo editor. The collective noun application software refers to all applications collectively. This contrasts with system software, which is mainly involved with running the computer.

An SDK can take the form of a simple implementation of one or more application programming interfaces (APIs) in the form of on-device libraries to interface to a particular programming language, or it may be as complex as hardware-specific tools that can communicate with a particular embedded system. Common tools include debugging facilities and other utilities, often presented in an integrated development environment (IDE). SDKs may also include sample code and technical notes or other supporting documentation such as tutorials to help clarify points made by the primary reference material.

In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of subroutine definitions, communication protocols, and tools for building software. In general terms, it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication among various components. A good API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the programmer.

An API may be for a web-based system, operating system, database system, computer hardware, or software library.

An API specification can take many forms, but often includes specifications for routines, data structures, object classes, variables, or remote calls. POSIX, Windows API and ASPI are examples of different forms of APIs. Documentation for the API usually is provided to facilitate usage and implementation.

SDKs often include licenses that make them unsuitable for building software intended to be developed under an incompatible license. For example, a proprietary SDK is generally incompatible with free software development, while a GPL-licensed SDK could be incompatible with proprietary software development, all particularly for legal reasons. However, SDKs built under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) are typically safe for proprietary development.

The average Android mobile app implements 15.6 separate SDKs, with gaming apps implementing on average 17.5 different SDKs. The most popular SDK categories for Android mobile apps are analytics and advertising.

SDKs can be unsafe (because they are implemented within apps, but yet run separate code). Malicious SDKs (with honest intentions or not) can violate users’ data privacy, damage app performance, or even cause apps to be banned from Google Play or the App Store. New technologies allow app developers to control and monitor client SDKs in real time.

Providers of SDKs for specific systems or subsystems sometimes substitute a more specific term instead of software. For instance, both Microsoft and Citrix provide a driver development kit (DDK) for developing device drivers.

The above is a brief about Software Development Kit. Watch this space for updates on the latest trends in Technology.

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