We always celebrate when an important company opens up its application programming interfaces (APIs) so they can be used by other developers. Or better yet (as in the example below) an entire software development kit (SDK). It is one half of the equation needed to create a large library of clever applications.
The first half of the equation is open APIs, so developers can quickly and simply stitch together applications that pull information and functionality from different sources. To name a simple example, a developer might pull information about water leaks via the IBM APIs described below, then place it on a map using APIs from Google Maps.
The second half of the equation is a marketplace where users can quickly find and buy those applications. That was the secret behind Apple's App Store success. The company not only published APIs that let developers plumb the power of the iPhone. It simultaneously created a mechanism for buyers to find and buy the resulting products. -- Jesse Berst, Smart Cities Council Chairman
A new version of IBM's Smarter Water product includes a promising new feature that allows third-party developers to build water apps – think leak detection, flood management, water quality and the like – on its platform.
The Smarter Water platform provides the app development capability via a new software development kit (SDK) for water application developers. The SDK consists of a set of underlying interfaces and programming model to enable and simplify application development as well as a number of examples and a tutorial to help guide and educate application developers.