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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:32 PM
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Default Please Define SDK

May I ask a really dumb question?: What is an SDK?

I know that it is a Software Development Kit, but it seems to suggest that it is something above and beyond things like Visual Studio and other forms of development systems.

I have Visual Studio V7.0 with support for C++, C#, VB etc. Can I not develop software with these tools? Does this not make Visual Studio a Software Development Kit? Yet it seems that to do certain things, I have to acquire things like the ".NET Framework SDK". Well, if I have the .NET Framework on my system AND Visual Studio V7.0, what does this SDK have in addition to this?

Sometimes I think an entire book could be written, dedicated to defining and de-mystifying all of the jargon and terms that are out there and sorting out what you need and why you need it if you want to be able to do certain things...

Thanks in advance to anyone that responds,
Old April 4th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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Hi Eberly,
I can understand your confusion. Microsoft have been using the acronym SDK for many years now, for them the SDK is a specific thing not just a general term for "kit that can be used to develop software". Basically whenever there's a new Microsoft technology then there is an accompanying SDK specific to that technology - as I say it's a specific collection of things (I'm deliberately being vague here because what's in each individual SDK can vary hugely, but it's basically whatever Microsoft think is essential/necessary/useful to develop software using that technology). Do a search for SDK on the Microsoft site and you'll see endless examples: Windows SDK, .NET SDK, DirectX SDK etc etc

I'm not familiar with the exact contents of the .NET SDK so I ca't answer your specific question about why it's not all in Visual Studio 7.

Old April 10th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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From what I've found, what you get with VS.NET is enough to do native .NET development. Once you start branching into more mirky waters you have to start using the tools in the SDK.

Some examples of these tools are the exes used to build wrappers for getting .NET to place nicely with COM. To make a COM library work in .NET you use the tlbimp.exe program that builds a wrapper that .NET can call to talk to the COM objects. To go the other way, you use the regasm.exe program to register a .NET assembly with COM so COM programs can call it. There are tools for de-compiling assemblies, creating and assigning strong names to assemblies and all sorts of other stuff you might need to do in the course of more real-world development. (Wouldn't it be oh-so-nice to just develop native .NET applications.)


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