Modern business requires keeping up with the latest technologies and play by the rules of the connected world. It should be no surprise that, if you want your new software or application to be successful or at least competitive, it should be built with the right tools and be easily integrated with other software. These two main requirements could be fulfilled utilizing SDKs and APIs.
In this piece, we will explain what APIs and SDKs are, how they are used and why they are important for every modern business. We will also provide you with some examples of companies that have already grasped the idea of the connected world and built their business around it.
Defining API and SDK
API stands for an application programming interface. In other words, this is simply an interface that allows a piece of software to interact with another piece software according to a set of instructions. The main benefit of employing an API is a coding consistency in stable environments. This way the replicable functions can be delivered simultaneously with a request submission in a reliable and predictable way.
By definition, SDK is a software development kit that provides a set of tools, processes, libraries, code samples, relevant documentation or guides for developers to make software applications on a specific platform. Almost every program or application modern user interacts with, was primarily built with an SDK and then possibly an API was joined to communicate with other programs or applications.
For a better understanding of this let’s take a house as an example. Thus, we can compare APIs with telephone lines that communicate a building with other ones, and the SDK is the house itself with all its contents, materials and utility bills.
About popular SDKs
SDKs come in many forms and sizes. They are utilized by developers when there is a need to build a specific application or enrich it with advanced features, advertisements, push notifications and more. Here are some examples of SDKs: Android SDK, iOS SDK, Google Play services SDK, Opera Devices SDK, CryEngine 3 SDK, Bada SDK etc.
One of the most successful examples from the list is an iOS SDK. Thanks to the iOS SDK and Apple’s efforts, more and more customers choose iOS. It is not only because of the quality hardware but mainly because of the applications availability.
APIs and data automation platforms
APIs define how two different applications communicate and interact with one another by disclosing parts of a service application’s code, allowing another application to accomplish tasks using the service.
However, making your application accessible does not mean that you have to reveal all of an application’s code. With an API you can specify the part of the code, which is important for interaction with other applications.
With the growth of the applications’ market, we began to see the new types of services appearing, that are aimed to smooth the interaction of web services and make life a little bit easier. Such platforms as IFTTT, Zapier, CAP, Atooma employ dozens of the applications’ APIs to allow users automatically pushing data and content from one application to another.
The boom of these platforms is explained by a need of modern users for data management and organization. People want to use one little application that allows automating emails, managing social media accounts and much, much more, with the bare minimum of setup time.
What SDKs and APIs are you working with? Are there any of them worth our attention, we have not mentioned? Please, share your thoughts about the issue.