Software Development Kit (SDK)

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Last updated 28 Dec 09:14

TL;DR

Software development kit (SDK) sdk include the necessary tools to get the job done. But what you include in your kit toolbox varies from platform to platform.

What Is a Software Development Kit (SDK)?

A software development kit (SDK) is a set of tools that allow developers to write or use an existing framework to develop applications for a given platform. SDKs are often the backbone of many popular applications, games, and apps. What's in your SDK toolbox varies from platform to platform so it makes sense for you to know what SDK tools are available on your chosen software development kit before starting any SDK-related project.

SDK tools are not only limited to the frameworks but also include everything else within it. This could be anything from testing and debugging, all the way through to hardware access like controllers or sensors for your software development kit. Having SDK means you can go beyond just creating an app on a platform by giving developers SDK-level access which is essential if they want their application to function optimally with that particular system. The benefits of SDKs aren't without consequence however as some platforms choose not to offer SDK tools due to security concerns (Apple's iOS being one example).

SDK
Source: CleverTap: What is an SDK? Everything You Need to Know

Why You Might Want an SDK

SDK can be extremely valuable for companies as they offer a way to access and understand how the platform works. Often, SDKs include documentation that is far more extensive than what's available online which can be incredibly useful when it comes time to debug your application. Additionally, sdk give you access to lower-level APIs which might not be available through other means. This can allow developers who are working on porting an existing app or game over to your platforms to do so more easily.

SDKs also come with testing tools which make it possible for devs to find and fix errors in their code before shipping their product out. The best part about sdk? They're free! All of these benefits make sdk essential for anyone looking to get serious about SDK.

Problems SDK Helps to Solve

SDK can help to solve a number of common development problems. One such problem is that SDK offer access to lower-level APIs which might not be available through other means. This can allow developers who are working on porting an existing app or game over to your platforms to do so more easily.

Additionally, SDK includes testing tools that make it possible for devs to find and fix errors in their code before shipping their product out. Finally, SDK comes with extensive documentation that can be incredibly useful when it comes time to debug your application. By solving these common problems, SDK helps companies create better products faster and easier than ever before!

How to Implement SDK

Keep it Simple and Intuitive

Keep the codebase simple and straightforward will allow more users to adopt the SDK. Intuitive method signatures and abstractions help the users in utilizing the SDK effectively.

If a user is familiar with the language and the platform, they should be able to start using the SDK within a short period. Classes and methods accessible to the user should have intuitive parameters relevant to the function they want to perform.

The SDK should follow the standard design patterns for selected platforms and languages. Non-standard patterns and complex abstractions can make it confusing to the user, and they might end up not using the SDK.

Keep it Up-to-date

Use a consistent code style to avoid confusion for future developers and users. You should update your documentation and changelog after every change to the codebase. Use Semantic Versioning to maintain and track releases.

As you add features or remove them, consider cleaning your codebase. Remove deprecated code and address security vulnerabilities regularly. If the SDK has dependencies or prerequisites, update them as well.

Have Good Documentation

Proper documentation of the various parts of the SDK is essential for the users to use the SDK. The documentation should explain the usage of the included libraries, classes, and it could contain sample code to familiarize developers with the SDK. Document all edge cases, and there should be no scope of guesswork on the user's part.

When your SDK uses an API, document, and provide insight into how the API calls work and how your processes run. The documentation should keep all levels of the audience in mind and don't over-use technical jargon.

Make the SDK Accessible

Make your SDK available for users by using an accessible repository for supported languaged, have file storage, or distribution facility in place. The documentation should also be available. If the SDK is open-source, host the source code at places that encourage collaboration and community contribution.

Common Pitfalls of an SDK

There are a few common pitfalls to avoid when implementing SDK. One such pitfall is that SDK can be extremely valuable for companies as they offer a way to access and understand how the platform works but doesn't include documentation, testing tools, or lower-level APIs - limiting what devs can do with SDK. Additionally, SDK gives you access to lower-level APIs which might not be available through other means but without these other tools included it could be hard for developers working on your platform using SDK! Finally, SDK includes everything else within it from hardware access like controllers or sensors all through to testing and debugging - known as toolchains but only if the developer knows enough about them in order to them effectively.

  • Missing proper documentation makes tracing bugs and errors difficult for developers
  • Developers don't maintain SDK for each supported functionality or service
  • Desired programming languages are not supported in your SDK
  • Third-party libraries in SDKs can have different permissions
  • There can be licensing issues if the licensing terms for your application and the SDK differ.

Resources for SDK

Prokop Simek

Prokop Simek

CEO at DX Heroes | Developer Experience ⚙️ | Developer Portals & SDKs 💻