Welcome lad, to the software-powered world! A place where finding anything or buying anything seems so easy and convenient. Browsing eCommerce sites, home security systems, ordering food online, are some of the common examples of software embedded in our lives on a daily basis. I hope you are aware of that! The following post focuses on what is computer software, Why both businesses and software development companies like TatvaSoft are emphasizing on its significance, how is it beneficial and what are the types of computer software, i.e. – system software, operating software, utility software, application software, database software, and what not!
Table of Content
1. Why do Businesses Require Application Software?
Now, this was the significance of software applications in general. Why do businesses require application software or a better operating system? One of the obvious reasons to choose a system software is that it helps you in distinguishing yourself from your competitors. After all, one computer software can offer a plethora of benefits such as improving client experiences, bringing a more feature-rich and innovative experience and making the existing environment more tech-savvy.
Also by incorporating such programming software and operating systems, you won’t just be storing adequate information but also enhance your decision making at every possible level. If I put this another way, application software nowadays does comprise data analytics. All the data/information is collected but when combined with the right system software businesses can keep a close eye on their valuable clients.
Business in today’s world needs dedicated software for successful operation and growth. In a majority of companies, efficiency and profitability go hand-in-hand. The quick and correct performance of tasks can make all the difference between breaking even and creating a profit. Further below I would like to mention a few reasons stating why software development is crucial for every small, medium and large-sized business.
1.1 Significant Promotion
Whether you choose an application software or continue to seek support from web browsers what happens is you can promote business to a great extent. You see your brand becomes more visible for everyone and almost anywhere through a computer or smartphone.
1.2 Increased Sales
High-end promotion definitely leads to an increase in sales and services. Also, gone are the days when businesses used to create products without considering opinions or feedback from their customers. Maybe because we didn’t have such operating systems but not anymore. Today businesses want to know their opinion and want them to give a positive comment as a result they are looking for a platform to let customers reach out to you easily and share their opinion about your products and services.
Application software also plays a major role when it comes to increasing engagement both ways internally as well as externally. And it’s so easy, it may quite interest you to know that you can boost the customers’ engagement with the help of a mobile app or website and make them come back to you and not to your rival.
So, you see in one way or the other, developers following secure Software Development Life Cycle can offer a wide range of benefits such as you can handle management tasks easily, save time/money and labor, increase efficiency and accuracy, prevent mistakes, keep track of business procedures and a lot more!
2. What is Computer Software?
Computer software is programming code executed on a computer processor. Now many of you have this misconception that computer software and an operating system are the same. Well, I already mentioned what computer software is so I will hop on to the operating system. An operating system is a software intended to provide a predictable and dependable layer for other programmers to build other software on, which are known as applications. Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac these are all famous operating systems found on your mobile devices, tablets and desktop or laptops.
The software provides a dependable layer for computer hardware manufacturers. Microsoft Word can be considered as computer software or computer programs. Other examples of Application Software Microsoft suite of products (Office, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.) Internet browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Mobile pieces of software such as Pandora (for music appreciation), Skype (for real-time online communication), and Slack (for team collaboration).
3. Types of Computer Software
Like I said before every day we see a new bunch of system software popping up! Of course, each one of these is created to serve a specific task or enhance the overall efficiency of the computer or mobile device. Without software, computers would be of no use. For instance, without the help of your web browser software, you will not be able to surf the Internet. Similarly, without an operating system, no application can run on your computer.
I am sure you will come across a wide range of types of computer software which can be very overwhelming at times. Without any further ado, I would like to mention certain types of computer software and their uses in detail.
3.1 System Software
First of all, system software is a kind of computer program mainly designed to run a computer’s hardware and application software. Do you know what makes system software more interesting?
- High speed – A system software must be as efficient as possible to provide an effective platform for higher-level software in the computer system.
- Not easy to manipulate – It often requires the use of a programming language, which is more difficult to use than a more intuitive user interface (UI).
- Versatility – A system software must communicate with both the specialized hardware it runs on and the higher-level application software that is usually hardware-agnostic and often has no direct connection to the hardware it runs on. The system software also must support other programs that depend on it as they evolve and change.
So basically a system software manages the computer’s basic functions, including the disk operating system, file management utility software and operating systems. Some of the common types of system software include:
- Operating system
- Device Drivers
- Antivirus Software
- Compilers and interpreters
- Firmware BIOS setup
- System utility software
- System cleaning software
3.1.1 Operating System
Like I said before an operating system, language processors and device drivers are few examples of system software. Technically speaking, an operating system works as the interface between the user and the hardware. The entire functionality of the computer system depends on the operating system. Windows, DOS, Linux, Unix are a few examples of operating systems.
These types of computer software perform a wide range of tasks such as handling files, directory creation and deletion. It manages process creation, deletion, suspension and synchronization. It also allocates and deallocates memory space. Another key point is that the operating system manages and controls hardware devices. Furthermore, it prevents the system from unauthorized access and secures the data and resources. Overall, an operating system is one of the most vital components of the computer. Some of the crucial types of operating systems include:
- Batch operating system
- Multitasking/time-sharing OS
- Multiprocessing OS
- Real-Time OS
- Distributed OS
- Network OS
- Mobile OS
3.1.2 Utility Software
Another interesting software is utility software. It helps to maintain the proper and smooth functioning of a Computer System. It assists the Operating System to manage, organizing, maintaining and optimizing the functioning of the computer system.
Tasks such as virus detection, installation and uninstallation, data backup, deletion of unwanted files, etc. Some examples are antivirus software, file management tools, compression tools, disk management tools, etc. Some of the common types of utility software include:
- File Management System
- Compression Tools
- Disk Management Tools
- Disk Cleanup Tool
- Disk Defragmenter
- Backup Utility
3.1.3 Device Drivers
Device drivers is a special kind of software program or a specific type of software application that controls a specific hardware device that enables different hardware devices for communication with the computer’s Operating System. A device driver communicates with the computer hardware by computer subsystem or computer bus connected to the hardware. Some of the common types of device drivers include:
- Kernel-mode Device Driver
- User-mode Device Driver
3.2 Application Software
An application software or an app for short is a type of software that performs specific tasks for an end-user. Application software is distinct from system software, which refers to the software that actually keeps the systems running such as the operating system, computational science software, game engines, industrial automation, and software as a service application. According to several resources, application software can be categorized into the following categories.
- Presentation software
- Spreadsheet Software
- Database software
- Multimedia software
- Simulation Software
- Word Processing Software
3.2.1 Word Processors
Are you willing to create text-based documents? If so, a word processing software might be the perfect choice for you! Mainly used to create memos, faxes and letters, this software can be even considered for creating reports and personalized pages on web.
3.2.2 Database Software
Next one in line is the database software. As the name implies, this one is used to manage database and organize your data in a subtle way. As soon as you run the application, data will be successfully retrieved from the database for further modifications. Popular examples of databases include Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and IBM Db2.
3.2.3 Multimedia Software
As the name implies, multimedia software is one consisting of Photo editing, media player, and video editing programs. In general multimedia software do come pre-installed on some operating systems, are available free online, or taught in classrooms. I am sure you must have come across graphic software or photo retouching software, photo editing software giving a user the ability to manipulate photos in countless ways, including changing its colour, removing objects, and tweaking the features of people and objects. It’s common types include:
- Multimedia Software (Audio-Video)
- Media player, Winamp.
- QuickTime, VLC, GOM, ATI TV.
- Video editing – software, list.
- Pinnacle Studio (About)
- Ulead MediaStudio (About)
So basically Text, Graphics, Audio, Animation, Video, Graphics Objects (see: Computer graphics and visualization) can be considered as multimedia software
3.2.4 Simulation Software
As the name suggests this type of software imitates the operation of a real-world process or system. In fact, this is one such software type that is pretty much interactive in nature. Using software simulations, you can show your customer how everything works in your program. This approach is often used in the design process, so that the final product will be as close to desired specifications as possible, without the need for expensive trial and error development. Flight simulators and scientific simulators are some of the best examples considered here.
3.2.5 Educational Software
Mainly used for education purposes, the software is a set of programs used to facilitate knowledge adoption by pupils. Educational software integrates multimedia content and provides users a high interactivity level. The two features distinguish them from traditional teaching practices. Multimedia content, such as graphics, pictures, and sound help engage students in their lessons. For example, when it comes to learning history, students could go back and see videos or other online-based content related to it.
Furthermore, online education software benefits teachers, allowing them to better connect with the students and help them keep students interested in a lesson. Finally, it also promotes a productive learning environment. Some of its crucial types include:
- Authoring system
- Graphic Software
- Reference Software
- Desktop Publishing
- Tutorial Software
- Educational Games
- Utility Software
3.3 Programming Language Translators
I am sure you must be wondering, is this for real? I mean aren’t those application software or system software known as programing software. Not really! Programming software are mainly for the ones who code. Here experts can easily develop, test, and debug other software programs.
Some of the finest examples of programming software apps include – GitHub, GitLab, Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, XCode, Notepad++, Atom, etc. Also, Compilers, assemblers, debuggers, interpreters etc. are examples of programming software.
So that’s all for now! Application software, computer software, system software, survival is just next to impossible. In fact, you will come across a wide range of application software used for different purposes. I hope the following post on types of computer software provides some help! In case, if you have any doubt or query mention that in the comment section below.