Types of Software
Software is Mainly Classified as:
1. System Software and Operating Systems
2. Application Programs
3. General Purpose Packages
System Software and Operating Systems:
System software includes programs that simplify use of computers, provide man machine communication and control & drive all input/output devices interfaced to a Computer. The type and utilities depend on the type of computer. However, most of them have system programs like monitor, operating system, editor etc.
BIOS are a program that is stored in ROM and perform basic functions required in a microcomputer. These functions mainly include:
i) Power ON self Test which tests error free working of RAM, all I/O devices and reports accordingly.
ii) Managing the control devices.
iii) Control execution of program.
Computers need a set of program called Operating System to keep it working. These programs may not be used for a specific problem execution but they enable the computer to do all the different jobs in proper order and at the required time. For example, they keep track of the priority of different jobs and load the jobs in to the CPU for execution in correct sequence. OS also include programs, called utilities, which are useful to maintain day to day activities of the computer system like Copy, delete, sort, save, rename, print a file etc.
The Functions of the Operating System Include:
1. Scheduling and loading of programs or subprograms and continue the job processing sequence.
2. Control hardware resources such as Input/ Output devices, Secondary storage Devices etc.
3. Protect Hardware, Software form improper use.
4. Communication with user through commands and response.
5. File management and software management.
6. Memory management.
Operating system is a most powerful and important software in a computer. The HW along with OS and other SW forms a complete computer system.
The Most Popular Operating Systems are
These are program written for a specific job to meet the requirements of a particular user. For example program for pay billing in an organization, statistical data analysis, admissions at MAU are all application program. These are generally written in different high level computer languages and then complied to translate them in an executable from.
General Purpose Packages:
A general purpose package of software is collection of generalized application programs and utilities for a particular type of job so that it can be easily usable by nonprograming persons. Because of which they are called as user friendly programs. With ease of use in mind, selection of commands through menus is frequently incorporated in the design of these general purpose packages. These menus present options which enable the user to select an appropriate course of action, exactly similar to presenting menu to a customer in a restaurant. The users do not need to remember what to do next. Package programs are available for applications which are common to many users. Some example of popular software package are WordStar, MS-Word, Word Prefect for word processing, dBase, Fox Pro for database management, LOTUS, MS- EXCEL for spreadsheet.
Advantages of these Packages Include:
1. The users himself need not write programs in HIL.
2. Easy to use and user friendly.
3. Small application programs may be developed by an user as per requirement using a set of commands available in these package.
4. Documentation on how to use and maintain the software is provided by the vendor.