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4 Min. Read

SDK Vs API: What’s the Difference?

SDK Vs API: What's the Difference?

Technological advancements and innovations are constantly changing the way you work. There are tons of software development tools and resources that can help you get ahead as a small business owner. Plus, there are always new and evolving trends to stay on top of.

Software development is a major part of some of these technological advancements and innovations. And even if you’re not a software developer you may have heard the terms SDK and API before. But what are they exactly and are there any differences worth knowing about? The software development process includes the creation of apps and it improves the user experience.

Here’s everything you need to know about SDK and API.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is SDK?

What Is API?

What are the Differences Between SDK and API?

Key Takeaways

What Is SDK?

SDK stands for Software Development Kit. It’s a software application with a set of tools and programs to help create applications for specific types of platforms. Some of the most common operating systems are iOS, Windows and Android.

An SDK usually comprises everything that you would need to create a module within a specific app. And it would include everything from tools, libraries, sample code and documentation. They usually have an integrated development environment (IDE) within their architecture. This acts as the central interface.

Software development kits help add functionality to apps so you can build standard components easier and faster. SDKs are a great way to implement simple functions and software components, such as logging in and mobile payments.

That said, SDKs can also get used for much more sophisticated app features such as adding virtual reality or augmented reality.

What Is API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Using a Javascript API will allow your app to interact with external services using only basic commands. Essentially, the interface is where all the components of an app are going to interact together.

API lets developers add specific features and speed up the entire development process. You can almost think of APIs as a menu in a restaurant. It’s going to break down the list of options that you can order and a description for each. Once you decide and order an item from the menu, the restaurant is going to make that dish and serve it to you.

You might not have any idea at all how the chef prepares or makes the dish. But the only thing that matters is that you received what you ordered and it tastes great.

What are the Differences Between SDK and API?

It can be confusing for marketers or developers to understand the similarities and differences between SDKs and APIs.

  • SDKs get used by developers when building an application
  • APIs get used for communicating with external apps and platforms

It’s worth noting that you don’t have to choose between SDKs or APIs, as there might be instances where you decide to build your own API or use one that’s provided. And the same can be said for SDKs.

For example, you need to decide on the features that you want within your app or website when it comes to web development. Once you have decided, you can then choose whether or not you’re going to use an SDK that already includes the Javascript APIs that go with the tools you need.

Here are a few tips to follow when you’re looking into creating software or a new application.

  • Most often, SDKs are going to contain APIs, but APIs are not going to contain SDKs
  • SDKs help developers create new apps and they act as the foundation for your software
  • APIs help you to enable different functions within SDK parameters

Key Takeaways

Implementing a new app or type of software to get your business ahead is exciting. But there can be a lot to know about web development if you aren’t already familiar with how it works. SDKs and APIs are commonly used within web development to build apps and make them functional.

But, even though SDKs and APIs can often get used together, there are some major differences worth knowing about.

Simply put, developers use SDKs to build the actual application or software. Then, APIs get used to help build the functionality within the app to communicate with other apps and platforms. Basically, the app is built using the software development kit. Then, it’s programmed using the application programming interface.

As well, you don’t have to choose between an SDK or API. There could be instances where you want to build your own API or use one that’s provided already.

Did you enjoy reading this guide? Head over to our resource hub for more content!


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