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Pedro Aravena for Vaultree

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What is the difference between API and SDK?

One of the main aspects of the digital era is the continuous innovation of products and processes, which allows the improvement of the most varied types of technological devices.

There is, however, the other side of this reality: the emergence of doubts or even ignorance regarding the properties of new concepts and uses of computational tools. This is exactly what usually happens with the acronyms API and SDK.
As they are technologies with important functions for software development, API and SDK are acronyms commonly confused by professionals in the computing area and even by those who, due to different reasons, need to know these resources.

This lack of clarity can make the user of such technologies make mistakes in their operationalization, making them less efficient than they could be.
Given this scenario, API and SDK must be differentiated correctly. It is exactly this distinction that we will make throughout this post. In addition, we will address the main features and functions of each of these tools, as well as indicate whether there are possibilities for them to work together. Be sure to check out all this information!

What is API?

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Source: Turing

API is the acronym corresponding to the expression in English Application Programming Interface, which, in Portuguese, can be translated as Programming Interface for Applications. This technology consists of a set of libraries that are formed by objects, codes, methods, and functions, which allow, as the name suggests, efficient interfacing between different software or applications and their consequent communication.

Therefore, the API is capable of integrating a given computer system with other external devices to perform a task. The functionalities of these resources make it possible for different platforms to interact with each other so that they operate on a single hardware or application. From the libraries belonging to the API, the programmer can implement the necessary integration for the joint operation of at least two software.

There are many uses for this technology. When mobile software is being developed and there is a demand for a photo button, the solution is to use the camera methods available in the API, which excludes the need to develop all the code to access it.

When it is necessary to use Bluetooth for a task, instead of implementing the complete functionality that will access the hardware responsible for this type of communication, it is enough to use the API related to it.
There are also several sources of obtaining APIs. They can be offered by the operating system itself β€” such as an API for Android, iOS, and Windows β€” and by the manufacturer of a resource β€” such as a smartwatch β€” or by a web service β€” such as the Google Maps API, in which map functionality is integrated. in the app.
With the expansion of cloud computing, APIs have become fundamental in the corporate world, as it has become much easier to interface with systems via the internet.

I wrote a super interesting article on designing APIs and you can read it here.

What is SDK?

The acronym β€œSDK” refers to the English term Software Development Kit, which, in Portuguese, is translated as Kit for Software Development. Also known by computer professionals as devkit, this tool consists of a group of development resources and pre-written code that are used by programmers to build applications for an operating platform.

This technology is, in general, constituted by an Integrated Development Environment. This system is equipped with an editor that writes the code, a visual editor to structure the application's screens, debug tools with the function of monitoring and solving coding inconsistencies, and a compiler used to create the app. SDKs help to reduce the time and effort that would be required from professionals if they were to write their code.

One type of SDK is Android Studio, which consists of software used to develop applications for mobile devices, such as tablets and cell phones, which mainly have an Android operating system.
SDKs can include development-specific hardware, such as video game consoles. Examples of tools packaged with SDKs are media creation devices β€” such as 3D modelling software for games, codecs, and video renderers β€” as well as debuggers.
Most SDKs are accompanied by tutorials with code implementation examples that make the programmer's work easier when starting their projects. An important feature of this technology is that it can use APIs to integrate applications, a condition that may help explain why there is so much confusion between these two features.
Next, we will deal with this operation together.

How can API and SDK work together?

It is possible to have a single API displaying a series of functionalities intended for interfacing and several SDKs to access it. This is because an API provides an interface for users to access resources on a platform, so that, in the SDK, the API can be used in the integration process with other applications.
In addition, an SDK is capable of providing a set of resources, particular linguistic connections, example code, and helper classes β€” such as extra code that facilitates access to an API β€” to assist users in developing and using APIs.

What are the main differences between these two features?

The three main differences between API and SDK are:

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Source: Partition Wizard

  1. the API performs the integration between systems, but the SDK does not.
  2. the SDK makes it possible to create an application, but the API does not.
  3. an SDK can couple APIs, but not the other way around.

An API offers a set of libraries that display functionality to be used in the application's communication, while an SDK provides an integrated development environment with a visual editor, compiler, and debug tools.

Knowing the main differences between API and SDK is very useful to properly operationalize these. So, if the goal is to build an application with the demand for a development device, the technology SDK should be used. If the purpose is the integration between the application and third-party systems, you will need to use the product's API.

Vaultree's SDK

Why are we talking so much about APIs and SDKs? Because we understand how important these concepts and technologies are when building a solution. Vaultree's solution is a powerful SDK that includes an API. Vaultree's SDK was developed to encrypt databases, it allows you to pick your cipher: AES, DES, 3DES (TripleDES), Blowfish, Twofish, Skipjack, and more, with user-selectable key size: you choose what encryption standard fits your needs best.

Our SDK integrates with databases and encrypts all of the data in a fully functional way, from search to arithmetic operations, you choose what you want to do with your data with no need to disclose it. The fully encrypted SQL transacts with the database in a zero-trust environment.

You can see how it works here.

Vaultree's main advantages are:

  1. Simplicity: No existing data access application code needs to be changed; the Vaultree SDK provides a drop-in replacement for the standard database driver

  2. No cryptography knowledge required: Developers change the database driver and run an initial encryption process on the database and they're good to go

  3. Security: Vaultree's solution is zero trust - data is never decrypted on the server, no encryption key exists on the server, and all data is end-to-end encrypted

  4. Performance: Vaultree's solution out-performs other much more complicated data encryption products and privacy-enhancing technologies, with FHE arithmetic operating seven times faster than column-level encryption with sub-linear performance when scaled, compared to the linear performance of column-level encryption

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In short, Vaultree has developed the world’s first fully functional data-in-use encryption solution that solves the industry’s fundamental security issue: persistent data encryption, even in the event of a leak. Wanna know more about the database-in-use encryption revolution we are building right now? Request a free demo. =D

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About Vaultree

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Vaultree’s Encryption-in-use enables businesses of all sizes to process (search and compute) fully end-to-end encrypted data without the need to decrypt. Easy to use and integrate, Vaultree delivers peak performance without compromising security, neutralising the weak spots of traditional encryption or other Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) based solutions. Follow Vaultree on Twitter (@Vaultree), LinkedIn, Reddit (r/Vaultree) or dev.to. Visit www.vaultree.com, and sign up for a product demo and our newsletter to stay up to date on product development and company news.

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