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SDK 101: Software Development Kit Basics and Benefits

In today’s technology-driven banking environment, even professionals in non-technical roles may have heard of application programming interfaces (APIs). But fewer are familiar with software development kits (SDKs), another important resource for creating modern digital banking platforms. 

SDKs include a variety of essential developer tools and features designed to give your financial institution the power and autonomy to build and customize digital banking platforms to meet your business needs and satisfy your account holders’ demands.

SDKs Include the Fundamental Building Blocks for Software Development

An SDK, also known as a “devkit,” assembles all of the components a developer needs to create and run a custom software application for a specific operating system or program language. These dev tools can include compilers, debuggers, code libraries or samples, frameworks, documentation and training materials, and more. It’s important to note that SDKs (and the various tools within them) vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. A powerful SDK puts essential resources right at the developer’s fingertips, so they don’t have to start from scratch when developing a new application or adding new features to a financial institution’s digital banking platform. 

SDKs also include APIs, the methods of connection that integrate separate platforms to enable communication, information sharing and other processes and tasks. It’s important to note that an SDK can include APIs, but not vice versa. Together, a well-engineered devkit and a suite of powerful APIs provide the flexibility financial institutions need to introduce more advanced features and integrate with third-party providers.

In some ways, an SDK is like a meal delivery kit. The kit includes all the ingredients and instructions for preparing a homemade meal. There is no need to shop for the items individually or grow them in a backyard garden, because they all come in the kit. And each home chef can customize the recipe to suit their tastes by adding extra seasonings or substituting ingredients as they see fit. Meal kits offer customers the autonomy and freedom to cook for themselves, while providing instructions and guardrails to help ensure they succeed—and an SDK does the same thing for software developers.

Alkami’s SDK Drives Innovation on Digital Banking Platforms

Digital banking SDKs offer a number of useful benefits to financial institutions. The Alkami SDK offers our clients the following advantages:

  • Enables developers to integrate fintech functionality more quickly, which facilitates a faster speed to market and contributes to development cost savings. 
  • Allows developers to build custom features and workflows tailored to address the specific needs of each financial institution and its end users. 
  • Equips financial institutions with the necessary design elements to elevate and customize the look and feel of their app, across both desktop and mobile UX environments for parity and consistency.
  • Provides comprehensive documentation for how to use the SDK, including code samples, “getting started” guides and tutorials that empowers developers to build on top of the digital banking platform without having to write net-new code.

The Alkami SDK is designed to help developers build a better platform for their account holders. Learn more about our developer tools and integrations here, or search our resources section for SDK.

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