Design to Deployment: Everything You Need to Know About Building an SDK


Software Development is a complex process. In general, development is not a one-time process where we develop and deploy. The journey from ideation to implementation involves many requirements and dependencies. There are various steps involved, and they must be carried out repeatedly throughout the software development lifecycle.

Code modules must move across many stages of compilation, debugging, testing, and more to function properly. These steps must be carried out with every new feature addition, bug fix, integration with external libraries, etc. Since there are many different tools involved, manual efforts come with a high likelihood of human errors. However, a plausible solution is to bundle all the necessary tools and libraries as SDKs. Let’s explore their importance and how they work in detail.

What are SDKs?

SDK is a unified interface where platform/OS/language-specific features are bundled to develop and run software. All necessary development tools and capabilities are available within an SDK to compile, debug, test, and more. SDKs enable rapid development by offering use-case-specific and out-of-the-box resources and functionalities.

Types of SDKs

There are several types of SDKs available to suit different contexts and purposes in development. Platform SDKs offer tools and APIs for app development and are tailored to specific platforms, such as iOS or Android. Programming languages like Python and Java have libraries and tools available through language SDKs. API SDKs make it easier to integrate third-party services.

Hardware SDKs provide tools and APIs for interfacing with hardware devices or sensors. Development on cloud systems such as AWS or Azure is made possible via cloud SDKs. When developing apps for several platforms, cross-platform SDKs help abstract platform differences. With plugins and add-ons, Integrated Development Environment (IDE) SDKs expand IDEs such as Visual Studio or IntelliJ IDEA.

SDK Building Phases and Considerations

While SDKs have significant advantages, to actually build an SDK is a complex and involved process. Under the hood, an SDK must be architected with every conceivable scenario to address and solve the requirements. If the issues cannot be resolved using existing functionality, then the SDK should be well-equipped to deliver workarounds. These workarounds can be third-party extensions or functionality derived by combining various SDK features. Let us understand the different phases of SDK development and their importance in crafting a promising SDK:

Design Phase

Unlike any other design process, SDK design is a very involved phase. Aligning and articulating the SDK design with only known factors will not yield better outcomes. An in-depth understanding of the domain features and flaws is needed to initiate the design phase. New capabilities and features may emerge. Therefore, the SDK design should be flexible to add and integrate new functionalities progressively. Generally, an SDK should be capable of delivering all possible functionalities, addressing platform/OS/language-specific requirements.

What to Consider During or Before the Design Phase?

Following design considerations ensures the SDK will meet developer needs and integrates seamlessly with existing systems:

  1. Understand everything about the platform, operation system, or programming language. What does it offer, how does it function, what are its capabilities, limitations, security flaws, how do you test, debug, etc.?
  2. Ensuring a developer-friendly experience. Design the interface to abstract the complexities and offer a seamless experience. An interface enabling developers to work swiftly with a debugger, compiler, and every necessary tool and feature.
  3. The ability to extend and support integrations with diverse platforms and development environments.

Development Phase

The development phase is where all the heavy lifting with breaking changes occurs. This phase should be the focus point to develop SDK features to meet the needs of developers. It should integrate seamlessly with existing systems and foster successful adoption within the developer community. Following design stage considerations are critical to avoid complexities and deviations from the result. Performance and efficiency with easy maintenance can be ensured by isolating and streamlining the SDK features.

What to Consider During the Development Phase?

The following are the considerations to guarantee the effective development of a reliable and user-friendly SDK:

  1. Start feature development and enablement with performance, scalability, and security factors in mind.
  2. Enforce robust security and privacy configurations for data and functionality. Define procedures for safe authentication and authorization to use SDK resources and features. Safeguard sensitive data handled by the SDK with high encryption and data security measures.
  3. Develop the SDK features with standardization and consistency in mind. Also, maintain ecosystem support with detailed documentation and cross-platform support.

Deployment/Release Phase

The deployment phase is important to ensure a successful and seamless SDK distribution to developers and users. Post-deployment, the final SDK version should be tested and validated for reliability. Incremental releases should be targeted with SDK beta versions with cross-platform support.

What to Consider During the Deployment Phase?

The following considerations ensure a smooth and successful rollout of the SDK to developers and users:

  1. Create a rollout strategy outlining the procedures and schedule for distributing the SDK to users. With staged rollout techniques, SDK is available to beta adopters to track issues before releasing to a larger audience.
  2. Establish a transparent versioning approach and maintain backward compatibility. Offer comprehensive support medium to assist users with issues on the latest SDK release.
  3. Conduct scheduled security audits and monitor performance metrics. Leverage the feedback loop to determine the order of importance for upcoming upgrades.


The true value of SDK is defined by the measure of how productive and efficient development teams can be by using the SDK. In every step, from design to deployment, the SDK must be built to amplify the value. Irrespective of the SDK type or purpose, the SDK should assure performance, security, and reliability to end users. By leveraging the considerations outlined in the post, it is possible to create an SDK that empowers users, drives innovation, and fosters the developer community.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *