Software Development Kit (SDK) is a collection of development tools that help developers create applications for specific platforms. The kit usually includes a compiler, debugger, and APIs. It can also include tutorials, documentation, code samples, libraries, references, drivers, and other tools.
SDKs are usually platform-specific. For example, when building an iOS app, the developer would use the Apple iOS SDK. This allows them to use the tools of the platform itself. For example, to connect to the phone’s camera and to send push notifications. SDKs also make it easy to integrate other products into the application. For example, a PayPal SDK allows the use of PayPal checkout on e-commerce websites.
Using SDKs makes development faster since there is no need to write standard features from scratch. And it also makes the experience more familiar to users. Seeing recognisable icons and flows makes using an application more intuitive. Standardized features also increase customer’s trust in the company.
SDK is often confused with API. The first is the whole development kit which may include several APIs. API is an interface that allows communication between applications. When wanting to use only a few functions of an SDK, it might be simpler and lighter in weight to use specific APIs. But for large scale integrations, Software Development Kit is usually the easier choice.