What is a Software Development Kit (SDK)?
An SDK or Software Development Kit is a set of tools that lets you build software and applications on top of specific hardware, operating systems, and more. SDKs include the documentation, code libraries, and other necessary tools needed to use those tools to efficiently build apps on top of the platform. There are specific SDKs for all the major operating systems such as iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Windows, and more.
As Auth0 highlights, there are a number of different types of SDKs including:
- SDKs for hardware such as IoT devices
- SDKs for mobile devices and operating systems
- Open source SDKs that are free to use
- Propriety SDKs that require a licence to use
A similar tool for developers is an API, or Application Programming Interface. An API allows developers to interface with external, third-party software. An API is built in order to connect these two apps and communicate data between them. For example, if you want to pull data from Twitter into your own application, you would use the Twitter API to do so. Typically, an SDK will include an API as part of the developer kit, although APIs do not contain SDKs.
Agility summarizes the difference between SDKs and API as follows:
If an API is a set of building blocks that enable developers to create something, an SDK is a workshop full of tools that facilitates the creation of apps far outside the scope of what an API would allow.
In the modern developer ecosystem, APIs and SDKs are two of the most important pillars for creating software and apps. Ultimately, an SDK is a complete toolkit that allows developers to build comprehensive software and apps, whereas an API allows multiple apps to communicate with each other.
Uses of SDKs
SDKs are used in order to facilitate the efficient development of software and applications for a specific platform. For example, if you want to build an iOS app you would use the iOS SDK that includes code libraries, APIs, an integrated development environment (IDE), and so on. The iOS SDK provides developers with the tools they need to connect to the built in functionality in a phone such as the camera, push notifications, and more.
As highlighted on TechAffinity, a few of the most common benefits and use cases of SDKs include:
- Faster integration: SDKs come with prebuilt packages and libraries that speed up the process of integration with the app’s existing stack.
- Efficient development & deployment: SDKs also mean that developers don’t have to build everything from scratch, allowing for more efficient development and deployment of new apps.
- Increased reach: By integrating other tools into an app through an SDK, this can lead to more functionality and exposure for the app.
- Brand control and reduced risk: SDKs allow you to manage how the product integrates with other apps while still keeping critical functions safe and secure.
SDKs are used to develop robust applications for a specific platform much more efficiently. In addition to enabling developers to add functionality to their apps, SDKs are powerful in helping apps collect, aggregate, and analyze their data.
Integrating the Singular SDKs
Singular provides developers with a mobile SDK for Android and iOS in order to help mobile marketers increase their return on marketing spend by attributing installs, measuring post-install conversion events, and collecting, aggregating, and visualizing data from various platforms in a unified location.
A few of the main applications of the Singular mobile SDK include:
The Singular SDK can either be integrated into an app directly or implemented with an S2S (server-to-server) integration. After implementing the Singular SDK or S2S integration in your app, you can then test its functioning properly with the SDK console. The SDK console allows you to add a test device by providing its ID and will then show you if the app is communicating the necessary information for Singular to provide accurate mobile attribution.
In summary, the Singular SDK enables mobile marketers to attribute and analyze cross-platform marketing data and events such as installs, ad spend, in-app purchases, and more.
Singular also offers a web SDK for measuring marketing effectiveness and attributing conversions cross-platform and cross-device, or for clients who are simply interested in web-based marketing measurement.