What is an SDK? A look at software development kits

By Jonathan Crowl

For businesses looking to quickly and efficiently create mobile apps, it’s vital to have mobile app developers on board who are familiar with software development kits (SDKs).

So, what is an SDK, exactly? An SDK features a number of tools that facilitate the development of applications for a wide range of platforms, including mobile apps, desktop apps, video game consoles and other less common types of software. The tools in SDKs each address a specific aspect of development, such as editors, compilers, visual screen interfaces and even libraries of specific code languages that are needed to develop a certain app. In fact, many SDKs are offered for free to encourage developers to use a certain coding language.

How businesses benefit

The obvious benefits for a business pertain to the performance and potential of an app. According to Modedaweb, SDKs allow enterprise developers to create fast yet compact mobile apps. Through efficient development, data transfer can take place quickly, and the app can deliver high performance without taking up too much space or being too complicated in its design.

These kits are a great asset for enterprises that want to keep their operations lean. After all, a slimmed-down mobile app is even more valuable as part of a suite of enterprise app solutions. Plus, an SDK’s ability to build consistency into the developer’s process can be very valuable for a large enterprise, as a variety of development activities take place across personnel and even departments. The use of SDKs means that development processes, tools and strategies will be more aligned with one another. An SDK also ensures these separate apps and software can integrate well with one another.

What is an SDK? A clear mobile advantage

In some cases, an SDK can also provide great analytics insights that shed new light on the performance of your apps. For example, the SDK from Facebook can be installed in an app by adding just a few lines of code. This code enables the SDK to generate powerful analytics about the performance of your app and your success marketing it to your consumers, including how your active user rates change over time. This type of SDK is worth building into your apps, even if you’ve used other alternatives earlier in the development process.

However, SDKs are not to be confused with application program interfaces (APIs). Though some of their uses and features may bear similarities, the functionality of an SDK is far broader than an API when it comes to software development. APIs are essential for communicating between software and integrating apps with one another, but an SDK is able to improve a range of aspects of development, not just communication and integration. It can also improve coding, app design and analytics. Both features are necessary for building the best enterprise app possible.

An SDK can help you build virtually any type of software you might need. However, as mobile technology takes on a larger role in the enterprise, many brands are looking to these kits to support better mobile app development. Shop around to determine which SDKs offer the greatest upside to your business.

Written By

Jonathan Crowl


Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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