Driver Update Software

What Are Device Driver Development Kits, Who Uses Them, And Why?

Filed under: Device Drivers 

Many of us might have seen the term device driver development kit, sometimes called DDK for short, but most of us have no idea what these are, or if we would ever need one. These kits contain different programs and files that are beneficial to developing new device drivers. Usually these kits are used by the manufacturers of devices and the developers of software applications. A lot of times the operating system manufacturer will offer driver development kits on their website so that you can download them. There are also many third party kits that can be used.

What is in a Device Driver Development Kit?

Device driver development kits all usually contain the same components, because these are needed to develop a device driver and to test and verify it as well. Sample device drivers are usually included, along with source code and a utility for debugging the device driver. Testing tools, a compiler, other helpful utilities, and documentation also make up some of the components in a driver development kit. Anyone who does not have at least a basic understanding of how a device driver functions and is not very familiar with the operating system should not attempt to use these tools.

Developing and building a device driver is a complex process, and then there are rigorous and thorough testing and verifications to be done, to ensure the device driver has no bugs and works as it was intended. There are many steps involved in creating a device driver from scratch, and it takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and probably frustration. For this reason many developers do not create updates for older device drivers, because this process must be followed again for the update process, instead concentrating on newer versions.

Most hardware and software manufacturers need to create a device driver which will work with their product. Driver development kits are used because they make this process much faster and simpler than doing all of the work from scratch. These kits eliminate some of the steps involved in developing and writing device drivers, so that the vendors can get their products and the required device drivers to the market much faster, as well as ensure that the device drivers function as intended with no errors or flaws.

Device drivers must be tested and verified thousands of times before they are released for the public or deemed safe for use on computers. Driver development kits can help shorten this process, and make it much easier on the device driver developer. It is never advisable for someone who does not understand computer programming or the device driver development process. Only experienced and knowledgeable computer programmers and hardware vendors should attempt to write device drivers.

Device driver development kits were created to speed up the device driver development process and streamline it to make it more efficient. Always take care to use only programs that are from trusted sources, like Microsoft and other names which are known for quality products.


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