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A software development kit, or SDK, is a downloadable software package that contains the tools you need to build on a platform.

What's Inside an SDK?

An individual SDK is often heavily customized for its platform, but a typical SDK may contain:

  1. Libraries or APIs: pre-defined pieces of code that help you perform common programming tasks on the platform.
  2. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE): a visual editor that helps you design and layout graphical elements like buttons and text boxes. These are common in mobile SDKs. For example, Xcode is Apple's IDE for developing iOS applications, while there are many IDE options for Android.
  3. Other Tools: to help you do things like debug, build, run, and test your application.

A Real World Example

Imagine you wanted to make some popcorn...

popcorn in a bowl

You wouldn't go out and plant, grow, and harvest your own corn everytime you wanted to make some delicious popcorn. The time and effort required would be totally unreasonable for most humans of this earth to endure.

harvesting corn

When it comes to developing a software application, this is where an SDK would come in. The libraries in a popcorn SDK could contain pre-written functions like plantCorn(), growCorn(), harvestCorn(), and popCorn() that you can call on to make the process easy. Now it's up to you how you season and serve that popcorn.

Twilio SDKs

If you're building an application and want to leverage Twilio, we've made various SDKs available to you depending on your programming language, the platform you're developing for, and the kind of communication solution you need. For instance, Twilio has SDKs available for voice calls and chat.

Check out the full list of Twilio SDKs here.

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