Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SDK and JDK

javaSDK vs. JDK

A Software Development Kit (also known as an SDK or a devkit) is a set of development tools. It allows for applications to be created for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or any platform similar to any of those listed. SDKs range from anything as simple as an API in the way that some files interface to a particular programming language or include sophisticated hardware in order to communicate with a certain embedded system. Some of the more common tools found in an SDK include debugging aids and similar utilities that are presented in an integrated development environment (or IDE).

The Java Development Kit (or JDK) is the most widely used SDK on the market. Developed by Sun Microsystems for Java developers, the JDK is a free software that was released under the GNU General Public License (or GPL). There is a plethora of components that make up the JDK. These components are a selection of programming tools. They include, but are not limited to java, the loader for all Java applications that interprets and is able to interpret the class files generated by the javac compiler; javac, which is the compiler that converts source code into Java bytecode; javaws, which is the Java Web Start launcher for the JNLP applications; jmap, which is an experimental utility that outputs memory map for Java and is able to print shared object memory maps or heap memory details of a given process; and VisualVM, which is a visual tool that integrates several command line JDK tools and lightweight performance and memory profiling capabilities.

SDKs include sample code and technical notes or other documentation that support this code in order to aid in the clarification of points from the primary reference material. Usually a software engineer receives the SDK from a target developer. SDK is thusly quite easily downloaded from the internet. Many SDKs are free of charge –mostly to encourage developers to use the system or language. They may have attached licenses in order to make them unsuitable for building software that is intended to be developed under an incompatible license. An SDK developed for an OS add on (QuickTime for Mac OS, for instance) may include the actual add on software itself for development use –if it is not to be redistributed.

The JDK is an extended subset of an SDK. Sun acknowledges under the terminology, the JDK is the subset of the SDK which is responsible for writing and running Java programs. What remains of this SDK is made up of extra software (Application Servers, debuggers, and documentation).


1. An SDK is a set of development tools that allow applications to be created for certain software packages or platforms; the JDK is the most widely used SDK and is an extension of the SDK responsible for writing and running Java programs.

2. An SDK includes sample code and technical notes or other supporting documentation; the JDK includes components that are a selection of programming tools.

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