Computer Software: Types of Software: System and Application Software

Doorsteptutor material for UGC is prepared by world's top subject experts: Get complete video lectures from top expert with unlimited validity: cover entire syllabus, expected topics, in full detail- anytime and anywhere & ask your doubts to top experts.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 173K)

Type of software process image

Type of Software Process Image

Type of software process image

What is Software

  • A machine which cannot do anything without instructions from the user.

  • In order to do any specific job, you have to give a sequence of instructions to the computer.

  • Set of instructions in a proper sequence is called a computer program.

  • Software refers to the set of computer programs that cause the hardware (computer system) to function in the desired manner.

  • Hardware means physical components of the computer system.

  • Hardware cannot perform any calculation, comparison or manipulation without being instructed to do so.

  • Instructions play a vital role in the performance of a computer.

  • A complete set of instructions written to solve a problem on a computer is called software.

Types of Software

Computer software is normally classified into two broad categories:

  1. System Software

  2. Application Software

System Software

  • System software includes general programs written for a computer.

  • Consists of pre-written programs and documentation supplied by the manufacturer along with the computer.

  • Programs are held permanently in the machine.

  • Primary objectives of this software are to:

    • Enhance the efficiency of hardware utilization.

    • Make computers simple to use.

  • Component of system software is commonly known as operating system.

  • System Software is a set of instruction to the machine to interpret and execute application software.

For example: language translators (called compilers and interpreters), operating systems, utilities and special purpose software.

Language Translator

  • A language translator is system software which translates a computer program written by a user into a machine understandable form.

  • The most elemental form of programming uses only the binary digits 0 and 1.

  • A program that have only binary digits is called a machine language program.

  • A program written in a high-level language needs to be translated into machine language code before execution.

Operating System

  • An operating system is the most important system software and is a must to operate a computer system.

  • An operating system manages a computer's resources very effectively.

  • First operating system, called batch processing operating system.

  • A multi programming opening system handle multiple jobs simultaneously by overlapping the input/ output and processing cycles of various jobs.

  • Other types of operating system which are popular today are ‘multi-processing operating systems’ and ‘real time operating systems.

  • A multi-processing operating system uses multiple CPUs to process multiple jobs.

  • A real time operating system is a type of interactive operating system.

  • The major functions of an operating system are:

    • Protection of user's data and programs.

    • Providing programs to select appropriate translators.

    • Providing facilities to detect and correct errors in a user's program.

    • Executive batches of programs, one after another, without human intervention.

  • An operating system understands a fixed set of commands.

  • This set of commands is often called job control language (JCL).

  • The JCL commands are used by the computer users to indicate their requirements to the operating system.

Utility Software

  • Utility software may be considered as system software.

  • Sort merge programs are used to sort records in a particular manner or sequence.

Application Software

  • Application software is written to perform a specific task or process

  • Majority of application software is written in high-level languages.

Application Software image

Application Software Image

Application Software image

Write It Yourself

  • The program written by the user can be the most satisfactory solution.

  • It will be an exact match to the needs of the business.

  • The program can grow with the business.

General Purpose Application Packages

  • Application packages refer to a set of computer programs.

  • It is applicable to a large number of users.

Advantage: It is relatively cheap as cost of the package is spread over a number of customers.

Disadvantage: Application package is that it is not likely to fulfil all the requirements of the prospective users.

Some general kinds of application software include:

  • Productivity software, which includes word processors, spreadsheets, and tools.

  • CAD/CAM software

  • Presentation software

  • Graphics software for graphic designers

  • Specialized scientific applications

  • Vertical market or industry-specific software. For example: - for banking, insurance, retail, and manufacturing environments

Customer Software

  • It refers to computer programs specially written to match the exact needs of the user.

  • Advantage is that such software fulfils all the needs of the customer.

  • Disadvantage is that customer software costs much more than general purpose application software

Common Application Packages

  • Packages include word processor, database processing, spreadsheet calculations, mail-merge, presentations and communications (email).

  • Packages have been prepared so that they are simple to use.

  • Also provide graphical user interface to make them very user friendly.

Developed by: