...for measurement and test, control and communication. For many products, the software (at least the driver software) is included in the scope of delivery free of charge - partly on data carriers, but mostly by download from the manufacturer's website.
Driver software and SDK: A device driver that is strongly dependent on the hardware and operating system is required to enable interaction between the computer and connected or built-in measurement hardware. The driver exchanges control signals and data with the device via an interface (such as USB, PCI Express etc.) on the device side. On the computer/operating system side, the driver provides a standardized interface for programming the device.
An SDK (software development kit) is a library/collection of programming tools and commands. It forms the basis for programming software for a device in common high-level languages like C++, C#, VisualBasic or development environments like LabVIEW. For this purpose the SDK provides a set of commands for the device as well as programming examples and documentation. The SDK is important for software developers and system integrators who want to control a device with their own software, for example in an embedded application.
An application software on the other hand is a self-contained software ("app") that can be used immediately without the need for programming. The advantage is that the user can use it quickly and directly. However, only the functions offered by the software are available to the user, while the SDK allows him to integrate a device into his own programs and implement his own functional sequences.