A software development kit (SDK), also known as the devkit, is a combination of software development tools used in developing applications for various uses and platforms. SDKs can significantly reduce the costs of application development. Some of the platforms include hardware platform, software framework, software package and operating systems amongst others.
App developers use specific SDKs to add advanced functionalities, push notifications and advertisements to the applications. App developers looking to develop apps for the Android or iOS platforms should know that SDKs used in those processes are very critical. For example, the software development kit for the android app should have Java.
SDKs used for iOS app development require Swift programming language and for Microsoft Windows should have the .NET Framework SDK with .NET. Some apps have SDKs installed in them for analytics purposes and taking data about their performance. Examples of these apps include Facebook, InMobi and Google Apps.
This can be as simple as implementing one or more APIs in the form of interface or libraries to a specific programming language. Also, it can be done by integrating hardware which can be used to communicate with a particular inserted system. Debugging facilities and other utilities are amongst the tools frequently presented as combined IDE.
Supporting technical notes and sample codes are also included in the SDKs. Also, other supporting documentation which assists in clarifying points made by primary reference materials can be found in the SDKs.
There are licenses which govern the SDKs. Some of these licenses limit the use of SDKs in developing software which is supposed to be developed under incompatible software.
For example, free software development can be inconsistent with a proprietary SDK and proprietary software development can be incompatible with GPL-licensed SDK. Proprietary software developments usually require LGPL SDKs, which are usually compatible with them.
According to software developing companies’ reports, an average app has 17 SDKs, and this number continues to grow as technology advances. Analytics and advertisements are some of the commonly used SDKs.
Sometimes, the software development kits can be insecure if implemented in applications when running on independent codes. User’s privacy can be violated by malicious SDKs.
Although these SDKs might not have been intended to be malicious can affect an app’s performance or even make apps to be banned from Google Play or iTunes. Growth in technology has enabled app developers to monitor and control SDKs in real time.
The target system developer normally recommends the desired SDK to the software developer. Also, SDKs can be downloaded directly over SDKs marketplaces or through the internet. Many software development kits can be accessed for free.
This is to encourage software developers to use the programming language. SDKs can be used as marketing tools at other times. Apps can also be monetized by free offered SDKs. The SDKs rely on the user data collected from the app, which can be of great help to big industry players.
The SDK used in QuickTime Framework which used to develop classic Mac OS can include the add-on software itself. It can be used for development purposes if not for redistribution together with the developed software.
It is possible to develop applications that do not require add-on installations which assist in the startup on a system configuration. The apps can use a Gestalt-style run-time environment, which determines if the add-on is present, and the situations where the app can fail to start. In other words, you can develop a single binary which does not require the presence of an add-on to run.
A more specific term can be substituted by SDKs providers for particular systems or subsystems. The substitutions can be done instead of software. For example, driver development kits (DDK) are provided by both Microsoft and Apple for developing specific device drivers.