Do you know the difference between API and SDK? Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK) are often confused terms. Not just the non-technical guys but there are also many developers who do not understand the difference between API and SDK.
Among the most frequent questions are: Do APIs and SDKs work together? One excludes the other? What is the function of each? My goal with this post is to answer these questions.
What is an API?
APIs play an important role in the software development process (as SDKs). As the name suggests, API works as an interface between different applications or platforms and helps different software programs to interact with each other. An API typically consists of specifications that may be used to interface between different software programs that run on a single application or hardware.
What is an SDK?
SDK, also known among the IT professionals as “Software Development Kit” is a set of development tools and prewritten codes that can be used by developers to create applications. SDKs generally help to reduce the amount of time and effort which is very useful for developers to write their own code.
Do APIs and SDKs can Work Together?
Basically, an API provides an interface for users to access the features and characteristics of the underlying platform. An SDK can provide a set of tools, classes (for example, additional code that simplifies access to an API), specific linguistic links and sample code to help users to develop and use the API. In general, you can have a single API exposing a set of features and have multiple SDKs to access the API. So the answer is yes, APIs and SDKs can work together!
What are the Main Differences Between API and SDK?
In order to clarify the concepts and demonstrate the difference between API and SDK, see below a simple example:-
An SDK usually comprises tools along with APIs. In some cases, the SDK may include special hardware development. For example, consider video game consoles. Some examples of tools bundled with SDKs generally include compilers, media creation tools (e.g, codecs, video representatives, or 3D modeling software, in the case of game development applications), and debuggers.
Moreover, APIs are sets of functions that expose the functionality of the software which the programmer is creating. A developer will write code that interacts with APIs, but it will also use the SDK to complete the production and deploy it on the platform of your choice (e.g Google App Engine, Java VM or PlayStation 3).
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