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SDK vs Library vs Framework

As a programmer, you always encounter new terms that sometimes baffle your head. If you don’t understand the basic concepts of these terms, you might face trouble later.

One such case where many programmers and developers get stuck is the difference between SDK, library, and framework.

Now, as easy as these terms look on paper, their concepts and differences are subtle, which might give you a headache. Further, even on the internet, very little information is available on these technical terms. But don’t worry! This article will explain these terminologies and any other information related to them.

SDK vs Library vs Framework


SDK stands for the software development kit. Just as your shaving kit has tools that help you shave, a software development kit enables you to develop an application. You get fundamental tools such as APIs, compiler, debugger, libraries, and much more. With these essential tools, you can create applications for a specific platform and connect them with other programs if required.

Now you might be wondering why do we need an SDK? Can’t we build these tools all by myself? The answer is yes, you can. But it will require a lot of time to create all of these tools and functions from scratch, and you will have to write more than 1000 lines to build a basic application. With SDKs, the whole process becomes more accessible and smoother.

Features of an SDK

An ideal SDK should have the following features:

Quick Integration

An ideal SDK should quickly integrate with different platforms such as Android or IOS.

Clear and Easy Documentation

Clear documentation is necessary to make the developer’s job easy and fast. SDK with excellent documentation consisting of examples and samples to help you explain how the code works.


If your SDK isn’t secure, then there are chances that all the apps built using it will get hacked.


We all remember the first program we built as beginners. The “Hello World Program.” We used the print function to print “Hello World” on our screen in that program. We called an in-built function “print” to display the list of characters. All the built-in functions in any program come from a set of libraries.

A library is a collection of codes already written to help us write new ones. While writing a code, you can call the functions from these libraries and use them. Some examples of libraries are NumPy, Matplotlib in python, TensorFlow in Python or C++, and p5 in JavaScript.


The framework is just like software in itself, and its main motive is to build an application that can be used on mobile, web, or any other platform. For example, a popular web application framework called Django is software in itself, but it helps you build other web applications by creating instances. All you have to do is write your code at different frames or architecture available there.

SDK vs Library vs Framework

Let us start with the primary difference between a library and a framework. A library is not software in itself but a framework is. The second difference is about the access or control of flow. In a library, you have the authority to call a function and control the workflow. However, in a framework, it’s just the opposite. The framework has the right and authority to contact your code and manage the workflow.

Let’s understand it with an example. Suppose you are building your house. For that, you will require materials such as bricks, cement, and paint. These items are like libraries that you will use to create(write) your own house(code). However, if you are purchasing a home, you already get all these items there. All you have to do is decorate it as you want. This pre-built house is like your framework.

Now, coming to the SDK part, you can think of it as a superset of libraries and frameworks. It contains several libraries, frameworks, APIs to help build your application. In terms of an analogy, you can consider SDK as a society that consists of many houses and bungalows.


This article cleared the basic concepts and differences of a library, framework, and SDK by giving examples and analogies. To sum it up, a library is a set of pre-written codes that you can use for creating a new one. A framework is software that helps you create a new application by providing you with different frames or a set pattern to write codes. And SDK is a development kit consisting of frameworks, libraries, APIs, and IDE.


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