Best Practices for building Android SDKs

Abhishek Nandi
Oct 24, 2016 · 7 min read

To hone a new skill, you need to practice and its not just the quality but also the quantity. Scientists also believe that expert-level performance is primarily the result of expert-level practice and NOT due to innate talent. This is called deliberate practice. While this can be applied to a sport like golf it also applies to software engineering.

In a previous post I talked about How to write SDKs. It was a generic article. This article is very specific to Android and states, what are some of the best practices for writing and publishing performant and good android SDKs/libraries.

The order of the topics have nothing to do with priority or importance.

1. Say No to AsyncTasks

2. Using Android Support Annotations

3. Keeping a low method count

4. Manifest Merger and Groovy variables

5. Check your threads

6. Leverage Platform components

7. Optimize network calls

8. Optional needs

9. Check for permissions rather than taking them

10. Use JCenter or MavenCentral for distribution

11. API Naming Conventions

If you have a similar behavior which exists in the android framework, it would be wise to use similar naming conventions and design patterns so that the library usage feels an extension of the framework. Be advised, I am not encouraging you to use android as part of your package name. While I can go on writing about APIs you can read up on how to design APIs which id documented well in Anup Cowkur’s article.

12. Go for minimum integration effort

13. Minimum permissions

14. Effective Obfuscation

15. Testing the Integration

16. Versioning and release notes

17. Account for changes/updates in your own dependencies

18. Exception handling

19. Follow platform and developer guidelines

While I can go on writing on this, and probably have a few more points to mention here, but I’ll keep this post limited or I’ll never end up publishing it. I started this post 3 months back, I was not getting enough time to complete it. I just thought of hitting publish or else it would never end.

Originally published at www.puremetrics.io.

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