Do you want to know more about SDK? You are in the right place. The following paragraphs give a detailed explanation of SDKs and their benefits in app development. You will learn about use cases and a simple guide to help you get started with SDKs.
A Quick Overview of SDKs
The term SDK stands for Software Development Kit that contains tools and utilities for developing software. In essence, SDKs are widely used as a building block for app development.
A typical SDK consists of an installation package that can contain all or a combination of the following:
- APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
- Runtime Development Environment
- Network Protocols
- Code examples
- Documentation, tutorials, guides, and references.
SDKs help developers create a solid foundation for building applications. It has more functions than APIs. A functional API is an integral part of most SDKs.
An excellent SDK is easy to use and has a minimal footprint on the memory, CPU, and system battery. SDKs give developers access to detailed documentation, tutorials, and code examples to get up and running quickly.
Most SDK packages support multiple operating systems and hardware platforms. For instance, the iOS SDK supports iPhone and iPad, the Android SDK works with multiple versions of Android OS, while the .NET framework works with machines with Windows operating system.
Although most SDKs are designed for Mobile platforms, they are also valuable for web development and other cloud-based applications.
The Benefits of SDKs
Some of the benefits of SDKs for developers are listed below.
Makes Development Tasks More Manageable
A good SDK offers pre-written codes, instructions, APIs, and many other utilities that increase productivity. Managing app development projects is easier with an SDK.
Reduces Development Costs
Software engineers are often high earners. That is why their engagement must be for the development of high-value codes. With SDKs, developers don’t have to build every single code from scratch as SDK often offers ready-made codes for third-party integration.
Developers can access SDKs documentation, sample codes, and APIs that enhance the productivity of app development assignments.
Expedites Time to the Market.
Since SDK reduces the App development engineering efforts and enhances productivity, allowing developers can complete app projects quicker. They can also roll out updates faster in response to feedback from app users.
You should learn more about the Back4App’s SDK if you can to build apps faster and expedite time to the market.
Offers Better User Experience
Some SDKs provide ready-made user interfaces (UIs) and UI elements that elevate user experiences. Sometimes, developers can customize these UI elements to suit their design objectives. In any case, the integrated UI helps elevate the user experience.
Offer Brand Control.
SDKs can play a vital role in controlling how third-party platforms interact with your brand. A company can define the design patterns of its brand to prevent misuse and abuse by third-party applications.
Security is a paramount feature for any type of app, especially the ones that manage financial transactions. That is why payment processors offer SDKs with enhanced security functions like APIs and 3D authentication.
How SDK Works
SDKs offer in-built elements that enhance mobile and web development tasks. The straightforward procedure for using an SDK is outlined below:
1. Download your application SDK, read the instructions, and study the examples it provides.
2. Most IDEs offer third-party SDK integration features. Use the integration feature to connect the SDK with your preferred IDE.
3. Start coding with the instructions provided.
Common Use Cases of SDKs
The use cases of SDKs are numerous and cut across multiple industries. It has been used in implementing projects like analytics, monetization, payments, social media, automation, marketing, CRM, advertisements, communications, and lots more.
SDK Deployment Examples
Here are some specific functions created with SDKs
Push Notifications SDK
In this scenario, SDK is used to expedite the creation of a push notification function in a mobile application. In this example, we shall be considering a smartphone running an Android operating system.
First, we must determine the backend for managing the server-side features of the push notification function. In this case, we shall use the Back4App backend.
With the Back4app SDK, developers can integrate and manage push notifications without stress. It provides a straightforward way to communicate with app users.
Next, we shall install the Android SDK for managing push notifications on the smartphone app. to do this, follow the procedure below:
- Install Android Studio: After installing Android Studio, download and install the Android SDK. You can check this guide to Install SDK on your Android Studio Project.
- Create a Back4app Account: Create an account at Back4App and create your first app. Take note of the application number, you will need it to connect the SDK, This guide shows you how to build your first app with Back4App.
- Connect Back4app with Android SDK: the procedure for connecting Back4App with Android SDK is not complex. You need an application ID and a client key to accomplish the task. This guide details the process for connecting Android SDK with Back4app.
- Connecting Back4app with Firebase: You can use the free notification system of Firebase by connecting it to Back4apps. See this guide on Push Notification Setup to accomplish this task.
- Test the Push Notification: The final step is to send a test message to see how the push notification setup works. Choose Android on the Back4App dashboard, define your message, choose a target audience, and activate the Send Push-button.
As you can see, the procedure is simple, the SDK provides all the complex code and manages the action required to send push notifications on the Firebase and Android platforms.
Payment Integration SDK
This section shall be considering how to use SDK for mobile payment integration. We shall be using the Android Operating System in this example.
First, we must select a server-side platform to handle payment transactions. In this case, we shall be using Stripe.
Stripe provides an Android SDK that facilitates a seamless payment experience on Android devices by providing customizable UI elements for processing payments.
The most crucial features of the Stripe payment SDK are APIs, security, 3D authentication, native UI elements, and localization.
You can read the Accept Payment Tutorial for a detailed procedure for implementing Stripe SDK for payment.
Let’s consider a simple way to monetize an app with SDK.
First, we shall select a server-side platform to implement our advertising system. We shall be using IronSource in this example.
Developers can connect their app to IronSource’s SDK to use their advertising network to serve ads and increase revenue. Whether your app runs on Android or iOS platforms, you can use the IronSource SDK to integrate advertising into your app.
SDK Licence Types
The use of most SDKs is subject to a license agreement. Therefore, it is necessary to review the licensing agreement before deploying an SDK from a vendor. These licenses are often open-source or proprietary.
- GPL (General Public License): This licensing schema allows you to deploy, study, share the modify an SDK.
- Proprietary License: This licensing schema is typical for closed-source and commercial software.
- LGPL (Lesser General Public License): The GPL, it’s a free license that allows developers to integrate SDK components into their software.
Software Development Kits, commonly called SDKs are a suite of tools used for enhancing web and mobile app development projects. Developers use SDKs to simplify development tasks, and access ready-made development utilities like code libraries, APIs, and code samples.
With SDKs, developers can simplify app development processes reduce time to the market, minimize integration costs, and access pre-defined UI elements.
SDK usage scenarios include analytics, media integration, social media integration, advertisement, payment integration, and much more.
The licensing options for SDKs include open-source and proprietary options; these are GPL, LGPL, and private licenses.