A static library is a programming concept in which shared libraries with special functionalities, classes or resources are linked to external applications or components, facilitating the creation of stand-alone and executable files. During linking, a static library's external parts are loaded into the address space or merged with application code.
A static library provides an effective mechanism for reusing code.
Static libraries are called and activated by software language and an operating system (OS), versus dynamic libraries, which uses different implementation mechanisms. Only a developer or user may link a static library to an application.
Most library concepts are derivatives of the static library, which evolved from a concept in which the same programming codes or routines are not reimplemented for different applications or components. Rather, a library with required routines is defined.
Key static library benefits are as follows:
Ensures library version and compatibility with the developed application code, facilitating version maintenance.
Enables the creation of single executable files. Only required library parts of an executable file must be linked, versus a dynamic library, which requires loading of the entire library. However, executable file size is higher when a static library is used.