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What is a SDK?

A software development kit (SDK) is a piece of code that 3rd party developers provide for app owners. By adding this code into their app, app owners can enable prebuilt features or functions without the need to program them from scratch.

SDKs usually include APIs that connect them with web tools or databases owned by the SDK provider. To make the SDK’s features available to their users, app owners have to subscribe to the provider’s services.

Here is an example: If an app owner wants to show ads in his apps, he needs to integrate the SDK of an app network. But he also needs to sign a contract with them that allows him to access their services for several reasons:

  • To define which ads he wants to show in his app and which not.
  • To establish the connection between the SDK and the ad servers that place ads on the app.
  • To see reportings about his income.

Typical use-cases for SDKs are:

  • analytics tracking
  • attribution tracking
  • showing banner ads/video ads in the app
  • using in-app messaging/push notifications to communicate with users
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