What should be included in a software development kit?

I am working on a draft proposal for developing a SDK.  Would like to hear feedback on what you think is the minimum required to include in an SDK.

Required Pre-requisites

  • Specifications like OSLC, J2EE,  etc
  • Pre-requisite libraries like LYO (which includes open source like JAX-RS(Apache Wink)  etc)
  • Built and supported on OS platforms
  • Key supported integration Use Cases

API Documentation

  • Easily understood Object vocabulary
  • Tutorials for each use case
  • Sample code
  • Working sample application and implementation


  • Terms and conditions
  • License key enforcement

Test Suite

  • Compliance verification tool or scenario.


  • Method for packaging and installing adapters
  • Installation guide ( How to configure OAuth, LQE, etc )
  • Installation verification test tool

Productivity Tools and Extensions

  • IDE / Eclipse views or perspectives to speed development

Also how does or should an SDK complement a community for:

  • Getting support
  • Offering a market place to market adapters or solutions build with the SDK

About Carlos

Principal Technical Product Manager for Bluemix in IBM Software. The postings on these blogs are the authors own and don’t represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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3 Responses to What should be included in a software development kit?

  1. Bryan Miller says:

    Carlos, what is the target audience and solution space for the proposed SDK? I agree with your points on documentation. Those are critical as well as a license that will pass legal scrutiny for an COO. I work daily with many SDKs and API and the good ones go almost unnoticed but the bad ones are painful.

  2. Bryan Miller says:

    Another idea would be to offer both Java and Python as implementation languages. I am seeing a steady trend in this space of rapid prototyping in Python.

  3. Carlos says:

    Hi Bryan, Thanks for the feedback you can see the draft here:

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