Here is your short essay on Software Concepts

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The hardware alone cannot perform any particular calculation or manipulation without being instructed exactly what to do and in what order to do it. These instructions are hence as important, if not more than hardware and are called software. The software acts as an interface between the user and the computer.

A software or a program can be defined as a complete set of written instructions written by the programmer which enables the computer to obtain the solution of problem (with or without data). Software is a general term that is used to describe any single program or group of programs.

Types of Software

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1. Application Software

2. System Software

3. Utility Software.

1. Application Software are programs employed by the user to perform some specific functions. For example, an application software can be a program used for inventory control in business or a program used for engineering design. Some examples of Application Software are : –

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a. Word processors

b. Spreadsheets

c. Database management.

2. System Software consists of all programs, languages and documentation supplied by the manufacturer along with the computer. These programs allow the user to communicate with the computer and write or develop his own programs. This software makes the machine easier to use and helps to make very efficient use of the resources of the hardware. System software are programs held permanently on a machine, which will relieve the programmer from some mundane tasks and will improve resources utilization. Without this software, the user will not be in a position to develop his own application software. System Software is written especially for a particular type of computer. Hence it cannot be used, without any modifications, on different computers. System software is usually supplied by the computer manufacturer. System software includes:

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i. Operating System

ii. Language Translators

iii. Programming Languages

iv. Editors

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v. Utility programs

vi. Linkers

vii. Loader Programs

3. Utility software may be considered as applications software or systems software, which is used quite often in the development of a program. For example, a program for the evaluation of logarithm or square root of a number may be required in developing some applications software. Utility programs are also required to transfer data from tape-to-tape, tape-to-disk, card-to-tape or tape-to-printer. Other utility programs like sort/merge programs are used to sort records into a particular sequence to facilitate updating of files. These sorted files can then be merged into a single updated file using merger utility program. Such programs are normally supplied by the hardware manufacturer and supplied along with system. However, the user can also develop his own utility software and keep it in the primary memory of the computer.

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