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What is an SDK?

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?

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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.

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.

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(link takes you to an external page) and chat(link takes you to an external page).

Check out the full list of Twilio SDKs here.

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