Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SDK and IDE


If you want to take a stab at programming, there are probably a few things you need to get first. These things include an SDK and an IDE. An SDK is very different from an IDE. SDK stands for Software Development Kit; this is a bundle of software that you will need in order to create programs for a specific programming language. The kit contains compilers, debuggers, documentations, and other files that may help you. In contrast, IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment, which provides a user interface that integrates all the necessary components needed in programming. You can write and debug your code in the IDE then run it as it is able to execute the debugger and compiler with your code.

The actual contents of an SDK vary from one to the other. Some SDKs have a dedicated IDE that you can use right out of the box. So you no longer need to worry about getting one. On the other hand, some SDKs do not include an IDE. You can download one for yourself or just use a text editor to write your code. This illustrates that an IDE is not really an essential component in programming. It simply makes programming easier and more convenient for the programmer. This is unlike an SDK, which is absolutely essential in coding and debugging your program.

For those that do not provide their own IDE along with the SDK, you have the freedom to download and install any compatible IDE. Most IDEs that are available for download nowadays work with or have separate versions for different programming languages. This is quite good since you can choose one that you are most comfortable with; especially if you’ve been using that IDE in programming for other platforms.

Both the SDK and IDE are important if you want to code programs properly and efficiently. Although some SDKs allow the use of a text editor for coding, it isn’t really advised since you wouldn’t have the tools like automatic notifications on typos and the like.


  1. An SDK provides the tools for programming while an IDE only provides an interface
  2. Some SDKs already include an IDE
  3. An SDK is necessary for programming while an IDE is only optional
  4. There are a lot of IDEs to choose from but not the SDK

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