SDK stands for Software Development Kit and is a programming package that allows developers to create apps using the provided tools for specific platforms.

An SDK will typically include some or all of these main features:

  1. Integrated Development Environment (IDE): An IDE is code editor that offers assistance to the developer.
  2. Software Libraries/Frameworks: These expose functionality and features so that developers might more easily tap into the power of the platform.
  3. Supporting Tools: Tools are used for measuring performance and finding bugs. Other tools are used to upload finished products to the relevant app store.
  4. Documentation: Instructions and guidance on how all of the above should be used.

By way of example, say you wanted to get started building iPhone apps, you would use the iOS SDK which, in Apple’s words, “… provides the resources you need to develop native iOS apps." The SDK includes the UI, location settings and media frameworks that make is easier for developers to tap into those respective features on devices. It also includes tools to help construct and test the app, as well as providing documentation for both the frameworks and tools.

‘In Plain English’ is a series that, in 200 words or less, describes technical “jargon” in a non-technical way. The descriptions aim to provide ‘just enough’ detail to allow non-technical stakeholders to understand and contribute to, high-level technical discussions.

Lachlan Kirkwood
App Development, SDK
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