SDK vs. API: What’s the Difference?

An SDK provides a complete development kit for software development for building applications for a specified platform, service, or language. An API is used to facilitate communication between two platforms.

Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) each play distinct roles in the software development process. It can be difficult to distinguish between the two because there is a lot of overlap. You can choose the API or SDK you’ll need for your project by understanding how they work and how they differ from one another.

API vs. SDK: What’s the difference?

Why are SDKs important?

SDKs use pre-written code to simplify the process of creating software or applications. Thus, rather than creating it from scratch, programmers can use functionality that has already been built. The process for integrating new tools is made easier thanks to SDKs. They can avoid doing the same thing twice and they can accelerate their development. SDKs also help enhance the overall experience for app users. Other benefits of using SDKs include:

What are SDKs?

Software development kits (SDKs) are a collection of programs, tools, and instructions for creating applications for a particular platform, like an app. To make it simple for computer developers to integrate their services, businesses frequently make their SDKs available. For instance, a company that offers video conferencing might give its SDK to programmers so they can use it on their website. Common utilities SDKs may include are:

Why are APIs important?

Using the capabilities of another application is possible thanks to an API. APIs enable consistency and speed up the development process for computer programmers. Some benefits of using APIs include:

What are APIs?

The tools and protocols used in application programming interfaces (APIs) are used to create software. Using a set of commands, this enables interaction between an application and an external service. For instance, a retailer’s website might use an API to give customers the choice to pay using a different system. When an application is used, it connects to the internet and sends information to a server every time. Before sending users the information they requested, the server interprets the data after it has been retrieved. The building blocks of a project are called application programming interfaces (APIs).


Both APIs and SDKs are tools that computer programmers use to build websites and applications, but each one has specific benefits and capabilities. Here are the primary differences between APIs and SDKs:


An API’s specific purpose is to enable communication between applications. If a programmer wants to make it easier for applications to interact with one another, these are effective. APIs are a tool that programmers can use to add specific features to an application. However, because SDKs enable programmers to add numerous functions, they give them the resources they need if they want to create a brand-new app or website. Since their new applications must be able to communicate with other applications, SDKs frequently contain APIs.


How a programmer uses an API and an SDK is one of the key distinctions between them. An SDK is downloaded onto the computer by the programmer, who then includes it in their project. The download comes with tools for programmers to use, like APIs and libraries. When utilizing an API, a programmer sends a request in accordance with the API’s instructions to the server. Programmers receive a response from the server with the required data after sending a request.


An API tends to be lightweight and fast. Additionally, it is specialized to perform a single function, with only the functionalities and function descriptions included. While SDKs represent the entire house, APIs represent the plumbing system that supplies water to it. SDKs are more robust and contain many utilities. They often include sample codes, technical documents and debugging tools.

Examples of SDKs and APIs

Here are some examples of companies using SDKs and APIs:

SDK example

There are two ways for users to sign in to a movie streaming website. Either new accounts can be created on the website, or users can log in with their social media credentials. With the latter option available, users can complete the process more easily. The movie streaming website uses an SDK package to implement this choice. They receive prewritten code from the SDK along with instructions on how to add a login option to their website. The movie streaming company can use the pre-written code instead of creating their own, saving them time and effort.

API example

Based on the local weather and the appropriate mood, such as upbeat music for sunny weather, the Moodzic app creates a playlist for listeners. When users enter their zip code, the company creates a playlist for them based on the weather conditions in their area right now. Customers can do this without leaving Moodzics’ website to access a playlist based on the weather in their area.

Moodzic does this by utilizing APIs for streaming music and the weather. Moodzic sends a request to a weather API after receiving your zip code to obtain local weather information. The music streaming service that creates a playlist based on the mood related to the weather receives a request from Moodzic using that data.

How can I choose between using an SDK and an API?

Think about the purpose it will serve when choosing between an SDK and an API. Whether you want to start from scratch or add a few features to your project will determine whether you should use an API or SDK.

An SDK is a great choice if you need a tool to assist with app development because it provides a starting point. However, since an API’s primary function is to enable communication between two platforms, choose it if you’re looking for something to assist your app’s communication with a third-party service provider. You might combine the use of an SDK and an API in certain circumstances because APIs allow your newly created app to communicate with other platforms.


Is API and SDK the same?

An SDK is a development kit that makes it easier to use an API, whereas an API is a collection of libraries that make up the base language and are usable right out of the box. Both are theoretically ways for your program to communicate with and manage the resources made available by another piece of software.

Why use an SDK instead of an API?

SDKs frequently include extra libraries, documentation, and code samples compared to APIs. Additionally, this lessens the learning curve and difficulty for software developers to integrate third-party functionality.

What is a SDK used for?

What is an SDK? SDK stands for software development kit. The SDK, also referred to as a devkit, is a collection of software development tools for a particular platform that includes building blocks, debuggers, and frequently a framework or collection of code libraries, such as a collection of OS-specific routines.

What is API Client SDK?

The API client uses the HTTP client’s core functionality but is also loaded with a ton of helper methods, including serializing API objects, applying filters, setting url parameters, and deserializing responses into API objects.

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