Software in computer is a set of programs that when executed performs a specific task. Software plays an important role in operating the computer. Majorly the software is of two types, application software and system software. The application software is for the end users. The system software act as an interface between application software and the hardware of the system.
Software in Computer
- What is a Software?
- How Does a Software Work?
- Types of Software
- Software Development Life Cycle
- How To Maintain Software Quality
What is a Software?
Software in a computer is a set of programs that are executed to operate the computer to perform a specific task. Although the software is capable of performing dual tasks. First, it acts as a product that we use to perform a certain task. Second, it also acts as a tool that helps in delivering other products (software).
Let us discuss some of the characteristics of the software.
- Software is not manufactured, instead, they are developed or engineered.
- The software doesn’t wear out easily. Unlike hardware, the software is not susceptible to environmental disorders.
- Modern software is designed in components. These components can be reused to develop other programs.
How Does a Software Work?
We have two different kinds of software in computer, application software and system software. And they both work in a different manner. Let us understand the working of both the software.
Application software is developed to perform a specific task for the end user. Such as users use the application to perform some calculations, create a document, send mail, play game, etc.
But the application software is unable to run on its own. They need a platform to run, so it is the system software that provides a platform for application software to run. Application software can not directly access the hardware of the system. So, they convey their requirement to the system software and the system software coordinates with the hardware in order to let the application run.
System software works in between the application and hardware of the system. System software starts running as soon as the start your computer and stops only when you shut your system down. We also refer to system software as low-level software. The end users do not operate the system software.
Types of Software
In a generalized way, we classify software into two types i.e., system software and application software.
System software is a tool that helps in constructing the applications and it is even essential to support the application software. It is even responsible to run the hardware of the system. Thus, system software act as an interface between the application software and hardware of the system.
Examples of system software are:
- Operating systems
- Networking software
Application software is usually developed to perform some specific work. This software is usually developed for the end users.
Examples of Application Software
- MS Office
- Scientific software
Though the application and system software are two main categories of software, the other ones are programming software and malicious software.
Programming software is one that supports the developer to design new software such as compiler, linker, loader, interpreters, editors, etc.
Software Development Life Cycle
The software development life cycle defines the entire process that a software has to go through during its development, deployment and maintenance. Although there are various software development models such as the waterfall model, incremental process model, spiral model, etc.
There are various phases associated with the designing and implementation of the software. In general, to design software, the different phases that it has to go through are communication, planning, modelling, construction and deployment.
In the communication phase, the client communicates with the software developers to convey their requirements. Here, the developer tries to understand the objective of the client i.e., why they require the software, what they expect the software to perform, and how they want the interface to look. The developer tries to gather more and more requirement that helps him in understanding software features and functions.
In the planning phase, the developer creates a road map. It includes the technical task that must be performed. The risk that is likely to occur. The resources required for the development of the software. Schedule that developers have to follow to develop the software in time.
In the modelling phase, the developers create a model that is a prototype of the actual software. This model or prototype helps in understanding the software in a better way and also the design that is required to achieve those requirements.
In the construction phase, the developers generate the code to create the software. Simultaneously, the testing is performed to identify the errors in the code.
How To Maintain Software Quality
Good quality software meets both functional and non-functional requirements.
When a software meets the functional requirements, it is ensured that there are no incorrect or missing functions, no interface errors, no data structure and data access errors, no behaviour or performance error, and also there are initialization and termination errors.
When the software meets the non-functional requirement then it is ensured that the software is portable, has disaster recoverability, and is secure.
Along with this, the developer should fix the bugs reported by the customer. The developer must keep on updating the software to ensure that it becomes compatible with the changing hardware and the changing software environment.