Differients types of software
TYPES OF SOFTWARE
Software is the means by which computer systems speak with computer users. Software forms the heart of computer systems. What are the major types of software? Read on to find out.
Major Types of Software
This is one of the most commonly known and popularly used forms of computer software. These software come in forms of tools that assist a programmer in writing computer programs. Computer programs are sets of logical instructions that make a computer system perform certain tasks. The tools that help the programmers in instructing a computer system include text editors, compilers and interpreters.
It helps in running the computer hardware and the computer system. System software is a collection of operating systems; devise drivers, servers, windowing systems and utilities. System software helps an application programmer in abstracting away from hardware, memory and other internal complexities of a computer. (3)Application Software :
It enables the end users to accomplish certain specific tasks. Business software, databases and educational software are some forms of application software. Different word processors, which are dedicated for specialized tasks to be performed by the user, are other examples of application software.
Apart from these three basic types of software, there are some other well-known forms of computer software like inventory management software, ERP, utility software, accounting software and others. Take a look at some of them.
(4)Inventory Management Software:
This type of software helps an organization in tracking its goods and materials on the basis of quality as well as quantity. Warehouse inventory management functions encompass the internal warehouse movements and storage. Inventory software helps a company in organizing inventory and optimizing the flow of goods in the organization, thus leading to an improved customer service.
Also known as service routine, utility software helps in the management of computer hardware and application software. It performs a small range of tasks. Disk defragmenters, systems utilities and virus scanners are some of the typical examples of utility software.
(6)Data Backup and Recovery Software:
An ideal data backup and recovery software provides functionalities beyond simple copying of data files. This software often supports user needs of specifying what is to be backed up and when. Backup and recovery software preserve the original organization of files and allow an easy retrieval of the backed up data.
This was an overview of the major types of software. Computer software are widely popular today and hence we cannot imagine a world of computers without them. We would not have been able to use computers if not for the software. What is fascinating about the world of computers is that it has its own languages, its ways of communication with our human world and human interaction with the computers is possible, thanks to computer software. I wonder, if the word 'soft' in ‘software’ implies ‘soft-spokenness’, which is an important qu1.
1- Application Software
A set of programs used to solve particular problems of user through computer is called Application software. It is also known as application package. The ready packages are also available in market on CDs for various purposes. These are used by user who does not know the computer programming. The users solve their problems by using ready packages more easily and quickly. Some ofapplication packages are:1.Word processing software. 1.Word processing software. 2.Spreadsheet software. 3.Database Management System software. 4.Graphics software. 5.Communication software.
1. Word Processing Software
This software is used to create and to edit documents such as letters, reports, essays etc. The word processing software provides several features for document editing and formatting. In. editing process, text is entered into the document, deleted, copied or moved to another location etc. In formatting process, different formats can be applied on the text to make the document more attractive before to print on the printer. The most popular word processing software programs are: Microsoft Word, Word Perfect etc.
2. Spreadsheet Software
Spreadsheet software is used to store and process data in an electronic sheet having columns and rows. The data is entered into the cells of the sheet. The intersection of a row and a column is known as cell. Each cell is a unique address. The numbers and formulas are entered into the cells and the computer can automatically perform the calculation on numerical data in cells.
The spreadsheet software is commonly used for business application such as for performing financial calculations and recording transactions. The most popular example of spreadsheet software is Microsoft Excel etc.
3. Database Management Software
Database management software is used to create and manage databases. A database is a collection of related information or records on any subject such as records of the books in a library, information about the students of a college etc.
Database Management Software stores and manages records in databases. These records can be accessed very quickly when required. The Microsoft Access, Oracle etc. are most popular examples of Database Management Software.
4. Presentation Graphics Software
The presentation graphic software is used to create slides for making presentations. The presentation graphic software also has pre-drawn clip art images, which can be inserted into slides and can be modified. The PowerPoint is an example of presentation graphic software.
5. Communication Software
The Communication software is used to exchange information electronically. It is most commonly used software to send and receive information on the Internet. It also allows for sending and receiving faxes directly. The computer files can also be transferred from one PC to another through this software. The Internet Explorer is an example of this software.
2. System Software
System software is a set of programs that control the operations of a computer and devices attached with the computer. It creates links between user and computer as well as controls the execution ofapplication programs. System software are essential for a computer to do work, Without this software no link can be created between user and computer.
Various types of computer software are used to simplify the operations and applications of computer programs. Computer software enables the computer system to perform in accordance with the given tasks. Computer software involves all types of software related applications. Electronic media content is also explained by the computer software.
Different types of computer software are available in the global computer market. Programming software, system software and application software are the three main types of computer software used in computer networking. System software is the most commonly used variety types of software. System software offers a protective shield to all software applications. It also provides support to the physical components of computers. System software coordinates all external devices of computer system like printer, keyboard, displays etc.
Programmers use the programming software to develop the programming languages necessary to run computer software. Compliers, interpreters, linkers and text editors are some of the basic tools used in programming software.
Application software is used for commercial purpose. The application software is widely used in educational, business and medical fields. Computer games are the most popular forms of application software. Industrial automation, databases, business software and medical software prove to be of great help in the respective fields. Educational software is widely used in educational institutes across the globe. Computer software works through computer programming. The whole process runs like a chain reaction. Transfer of commands initiates the chain. Machine code generated by computer software ends the entire process.
Geographic Information System or GIS can simply be defined as a computer based integrated database management system, which stores large volume of spatial data with its attribute or non-spatial data that are captured, stored, retrieved, processed and analyzed for providing answers to queries of a geographical nature.
GIS consists of five key components: Hardware, Software, Data, People and Methods. Computer Hardware Module is generally a computer or central processing unit. It is linked to a disk drive storage unit, which provides space for storing data and programs. A digitizer, scanner and other device is used to convert data from maps and documents into digital form and send them to computer. Remote Sensing Applications Remote Sensing Applications covers a vast range of field ranging from atmosphere, biosphere to hydrosphere to even the geological composition of the earth surface. Due to such vast range of Applications Remote Sensing has gained considerable importance.
Remote Sensing Applications includes the following:
• Classification of land cover: The physical appearance of the ground like forest, grassland, concrete constructions, water bodies, bare ground etc. can be identified. It must be noted that land use is different from land cover.
• Detection of land cover change:Among other Remote Sensing Applications , this is necessary to detect changes in resource reserves and for updating the land cover and land use maps. Two ways of change detection can be identified:
• Comparing two land cover maps
• Integrating two land cover images into a color composite image.
Change of land cover can be of two types:
• Seasonal change for example change in agricultural lands.
• Annual change for example change in newly built-up areas.
• Vegetation maps: NOAA produces global vegetation maps which can be interpreted for finding out the pattern of vegetation in specific areas, the distribution of vegetation, types of tress etc. Such maps are useful for comparison of vegetation in different countries and the respective governments of countries can take actions accordingly. Remote Sensing Applications , thus can also be used to save trees
• Water quality monitoring: Water quality can be monitored through Remote Sensing Applications . The water quality can be assessed through following ways:
• Water with suspended solid material: Clear water allows the radiation to penetrate deep and as a result it gives a bluish color. A turbid water with suspended solid materials do not allow the radiation to penetrate so deep and gives a greenish or yellowish color.
• Plankton detection: Both chlorophyll in plankton bodies and suspended solid material modifies the sea color. Fishes are mostly found in plankton fill areas of sea, through Remote Sensing Applications it is possible to detect planktons which helps in fishing.
• Ground water monitoring: Remote Sensing Applications are used to find out the geologic composition of a place. The geological composition affects the ground water. So it is possible to tell through Remote Sensing Applications the kind and quantity of ground water present in an area.
• Detecting sea surface temperature: The temperature of the sea can be detected much accurately than land. Remote Sensing Applications in this respect will help to find out the sea characteristics in those areas like salinity, density etc.
• Snow survey: Since snow has a very high reflectance, snow cover are easily detected by Remote Sensing Applications . This helps in finding out the amount of snow cover affected due to global warming.
• Monitoring atmosphere: Different constituents in the atmosphere have different reflectance, which helps to identify the amount of suspended materials and other polluting particles in the atmosphere of respective countries.
• Lineament extraction: This Remote Sensing Application identifies the linear pattern on the earth surface especially the faults, folds pattern.
• Geological interpretation: Different rock emits differentially, as a result their composition, types and other attributes can be acquired Remote Sensing Applications .
• Height measurement: Height of any tower, buildings or physical features can be detected by using stereoscopes on the imageries.
Remote Sensing Applications are expected to increase manifold in coming years.
Types of Software used in Business
Several major software trends. First, there has been a major trend away from custom-designed programs developed by the professional programmers of an organization. Instead, the trends is toward the use of off-the-shelf software packages acquired by end users from software vendors. This trend dramatically in creased with the development of relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use application software packages and multipurpose software suites for microcomputers. The trend has accelerated recently, as software packages are designed with networking capabilities and collaboration features that optimize their usefulness for end users and work grounds on the Internet and corporate intranets and extranets.
there has been a steady trend away from (1) technical, machine-specific programming language using binary-based or symbolic codes, or (2) procedural languages, which use brief statements and mathematical expressions to specify the sequence of instructions a computer must perform. Instead, the trend is toward the use of a visual graphic interface for object-oriented programming, or toward non procedure natural languages for programming that are closer to human conversation. This trend accelerated with the creation of easy-to-use, non procedural forth-generation languages (4GLs). It continues to grow as developments in object technology, graphics, and artificial intelligence produce natural language and graphical user interfaces that make both programming tools and software packages easier to use.
In addition, artificial intelligence features are now being built into a new generation of expert-assisted software packages. For example, many software suites provide intelligent help features called wizards that help you perform common software functions like graphing parts of a spreadsheet or generating reports from a database, Other software packages use capabilities called intelligent agents to perform activities based on instructions from a user. For example, some electronic mail packages can use an intelligent agent capability to organize, send, and screen E-mail messages fro your.
These major trends seem to be converging to produce a fifth generation of powerful, multipurpose, expert-assisted, and network enabled software package with natural language and graphical interfaces to support the productivity and collaboration of both end users IS professionals.
Application Software for End Users
Application software includes a variety of programs that can be subdivided into general-purpose and application-specific categories. Thousands of application-specific software package are available to support specific applications of end users in business and other fields. For example, application-specific packages in business support managerial, professional, and business uses such as transaction processing, decision support, accounting, sales management, investment analysis, and electronic commerce. Application-specific software for science and engineering plays a major role in the research and development programs of industry and the design of efficient production processes for high-quality product. Other software packages help end users with personal fiancé and home management, provide a wide variety of entertainment and educational products.
General-purpose application programs are programs that perform common information processing jobs for end users. For example, word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, database management programs, and graphics programs are popular with microcomputer users for home, education, business, scientific, and many other purposes. Because they significantly increase the productivity of end users, they are sometimes known as productivity packages. Other examples include Web browsers, electronic mail, and groupware, which help support communication and collaboration among workgroups and teams.
Software Suites and Integrated Packages
Let’s begin our discussion of popular general-purpose application software by looking at software suites. That’s because the most widely used productivity package come bundled together as software suites such as Microsoft Office, Lotus SmartSuite, and Corel WordPerfect Office. Examining their components gives us an overview of the important software tools that you can use to increase your productivity, collaborate with your colleagues, and access intranets, extranets, and the Internet.
Compares the component programs that make up the tope three software suites. Notice that each suite integrates software packages for Web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, database management, personal in formation management, and more. These packages can be purchased as separate stand-alone products. However, a software suite costs a lot less than the total cost of buying its individual package separately.
Another advantage of software suites is that all programs use a similar graphical user interface (GUI) of icons, tool and status bars, menus, and so on, which gives them the same look and feel, and makes them easier to learn and use. Software suites also share common tools, such as spell checkers and help wizards to increase their efficiency. Another big advantage of suites is that their programs are designed to work together seamlessly, and import each other’s files easily, no matter which program you are using at the time. These capabilities make them more efficient and easier to use than using a variety of individual package versions.
Of course, putting so many programs and features together in one super-size package does have some disadvantages. Industry critics argue that many software suite features are never used by most end users. The suites take up a lot of disk space, from over 100 megabytes to over 150 megabytes, depending on which version or functions you install. So such software is sometimes derisively called bloatware by its critics. The cost of suites can vary from as low as $100 for a competitive upgrade to over $700 for a full version of some editions of the suites.
These drawbacks are one reason for the continued use of integrated packages like Microsoft Works, Lotus Works, Claris Works, and so on. Integrated packages combine some of the functions of several programs word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, database management, and so on into one software package.
Because Works programs leave out many features and functions that are in individual packages and software suites, they cannot do as much as those packages do. However, they use a lot less disk space (less than 10 megabytes), and cost less than a hundred dollars. So integrated packages have proven that they offer enough functions and features for many computer users, while providing some of the advantages of software suites in a smaller package.
Web Browsers and More
The most important software component for many computer users today is the once simple and limited, but now powerful and feature rich, Web browser. A browser like Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer is the key software interface you use to point and click your way through the hyperlinked resources of the World Wide Web and the rest of the Internet, as well as corporate intranets and extranets. Once limited to surfing the Web, browsers are becoming the universal software platform on which end users launch into information searches, E-mail, multimedia file transfer, discussion groups, and many other Internet, intranet, and extranet applications.
Industry experts are predicting that the Web browser wil be the model for how most people will use networked computers into the next century. So now, whether you want to watch a video, make a phone call, download some software, hold a video conference, check your E-mail, or work on a spreadsheet of your team’s business plan, you can use your browser to launch and host such applications. That’s why browsers are being called the universal client, that is, the software component installed on the workstations of all the clients (users) in client/server networks throughout an enterprise.
The web browser has also become only one component of a new suite of communications and collaboration software that Netscape and other vendors are assembling in a variety of configurations.
The first thing many people do at work all over the world is check their E-mail. Electronic mail has changed the way people work and communicate. Millions of end users now depend on E-mail software to communicate with each other by sending and receiving electronic messages via the Internet or their organizations’ intranets or extranets. E-mail is stored on network servers until you are ready. Whenever you want to your can read your E-mail by displaying it on your workstations. So, with only a few minutes of effort (and a few microseconds or minutes of transmission time), a message tone or many individuals can be composed, sent, and received.
As we mentioned earlier, E-mail software is now a component of top software suites and some Web browsers. E-mail packages like Eudora and Pine are typically provided to Internet users by Internet service providers and educational institutions. Full-featured E-mail software like Microsoft change E-mail or Netscape Messenger can route messages to multiple end users based on predefined mailing lists and provide password security, automatic message forwarding, and remote user access. They also allow you to store messages in folders with provisions for adding attachments to messages files. E-mail packages may also enable you to edit and send graphics and multimedia as well as text, and provide bulletin board and computer conferencing capabilities. Finally, your E-mail software may automatically filter and sort incoming messages (even news items from online services) and route them to appropriate user mailboxes and folders.
Word Processing and Desktop Publishing
Software for work processing has transformed the process of writing. Word processing packages computerize the creation, editing, revision, and printing of documents (such as letters, memos. And reports) by electronically processing your text data (words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs). Top word processing packages like Microsoft Word, Lotus WordPro, and Corel WordPerfect can privide a wide variety of attractively printed documents with their desktop publishing capabilities. These packages can also convert all documents to HTML format for publication as Web pages on corporate intranets or the World Wide Web.
Word processing packages also provide advanced features. For example, a spelling checker capability can identify and correct spelling errors, and a thesaurus feature helps you find a better choice of words to express ideas. Or you can identify and correct grammar and punctuation errors, as well as suggest possible improvements in your writing style, with grammar and style checker functions. Another text productivity tool is an idea processor or outliner function. It helps you organize and outline your thoughts before you prepare a document or develop a presentation. Besides converting documents to HTML format, you can also use the top packages to design and create Web pages from scratch for an Internet or intranet Web site.
End users and organizations can use desktop publishing (DTP) software to produce their own printed materials that look professionally published. That is, they can design and print their own newsletters, brochures, manuals, and books with several type styles, graphics, photos, and colors on each page. Word processing packages and desktop publishing packages like Adobe PageMaker and QuarkXPress are used to do desktop publishing. Typically, text material and graphics can be generated by word processing and graphics packages and imported as text and graphics files. Optical scanners may be used to input tex and graphics from printed material. You can be also use files of clip art, which are predrawn graphic illustrations provided by the software package or available from other sources.
The heart of desktop publishing is page design process called page makeup or page composition. Your video screen becomes an electronic pastcup board with rulers, column guides, and other page design aids. Text material and illustrations are then merged into the page format your design. The software will automatically move excess text to another column or page and help size and place illustrations and headings. Most DTP packages provide WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) displays so you can see exactly what the finished document will look like before it is printed.
Electronic spreadsheet packages like Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel, and Corel QuattroPro are used for business analysis, planning, and modeling. They help you develop an electronic spreadsheet, which is a worksheet of rows and columns that can be stored on your PC or a network server, or converted to HTML format and stored as a Web page or websheet on the World Wide Web. Developing a spreadsheet involves designing its format and developing the relationships (formulas) that will be used in the worksheet. In response to your input, the computer performs necessary calculations based on the relationships (formulas) you defined in the spreadsheet, and displays results immediately, whether at your workstation or Web site. Most packages also help you develop graphic displays of spreadsheet results.
For example, you could develop a spreadsheet to record and analyze past and present advertising performance for a business. Your could also develop hyperlinks to a similar websheet at your marketing team’s intranet Web site. Now you have a decision support tool to help you answer what-if questions you may have about advertising. For example, “What would happen to market share if advertising expense increased by 10 percent?” To answer this question, you would imply change the advertising expense formula on the advertising performance worksheet your developed. The computer would recalculate the affected figures, producing new market share figures and graphics. You would then have a better insight on the effect of advertising decisions on market share. Then you could share this insight with a note on the websheet at your team’s intranet Web site.
Microcomputer versions of database management programs have become so popular that they are now viewed as general-purpose application software packages like work processing and spreadsheet packages. Database management packages such as Microsoft Access, Lotus Approach, or Corel Paradox allow you to set up and manage databases on your PC, network server, or the World Wide Web.
- Database development. Define and organize the content, relationships, and structure of the data needed to build a database, including any hyperlinks to data on Web pages.
- Database interrogation. Access the data in database to display information in a variety of formats. End users can selectively retrieve and display information and produce forms, reports, and other documents, including Web pages.
- Database maintenance. Add, delete, update, and correct the data in a database, including hyperlinked data on Web pages.
- Application development. Develop prototypes of Web pages, queries, forms, reports, and labels for a proposed business application. Or use a built-in 4GL or application generator to program the application.
Graphics and MultiPresentation media
Presentation graphics packages help you convert numeric data into graphics displays such as line charts, bas graphs, pie charts, and many other types of graphics. Most of the top package also help you prepare multimedia presentations of graphics, photo, animation, and video clips, including publishing to the World Vide Web. Not only are graphics and multimedia displays earlier to comprehend and communicate than numeric data but multiple-color and multiple media displays also can more early emphasize key points, strategic differences, and important trends in the data. Presentation graphics has proved to be much more effective than tabular presentations of numeric data for reporting and communicating in advertising media, management reports, or other business presentations.
Presentation graphics software packages like Microsoft PowerPoint, Lotus Freelance, or Corel Presentations give you many easy-to-use capabilities that encourage the use of graphics presentations. For example, most packages help you design and manage computer generated and orchestrated slide shows containing many integrated graphics and multimedia displays. Or you can select from a variety of predesigned templates of business presentations, prepare and edit the outline and notes for a presentation, and manage the use of multimedia files of graphics, photos, sounds, and video clips. And of course, the top packages help you tailor your graphics and multimedia presentation for transfer in HTML format to Web sites on corporate intranets or the World Wide Web.
Hypertext and hypermedia are foundation technologies for multimedia presentations. By definition hypertext contains only text and a limited amount of graphics. Hypermedia are electronic documents that contain multiple forms, of media, including text, graphics, video, and so on. Key terms and topics in hypertext or hypermedia documents are indexed by software links so that they can be quickly searched by the reader. For example, if you click your mouse button on an underlined term on a hypermedia document displayed on your computer video screen, the computer instantly brings up a display of a passage of text and graphics related to that term. Once you finish viewing that pop-up display, you can return to what you were reading originally, or jump to another part of the document.
Hypertext and hypermedia are developed using specialized programming languages like Java and the Hypertext Markup. Language (HTML), which create hyperlinks to other parts of the document, or to other documents and media. Hypertext and hypermedia documents can thus be programmed to let a reader navigate through a multimedia database by following a chain of hyperlinks through various documents. The Web sites on the World Wide Web of the Internet are a popular example of this technology. Thus, the use of hypertext and hypermedia provides an environment for online interactive presentations of multimedia.
Multimedia technologies allow end users to digitally capture, edit, and combine video with text, picture, and sound into multimedia business and educational presentations. For example, an interactive video session for training airline flight attendants can be produced on CD-ROM disks. It can combine animated graphics displays of different airplane configuration, presentations graphics of airline statistics, lists of major topics and facts, video clips of flight attendants working on various airplanes, and various announcements and sounds helpful in managing emergencies.
Personal Information Managers
The personal information manager (PIM) is a popular software package for end user productivity and collaboration. PIMs such as Lotus Organizer, Sidekick by Starfish Software, and Microsoft Outlook help end users store, organize, and retrieve information about customers, clients, and prospects, or schedule and manage appointments, meetings, and tasks. The PIM package will organize data you enter and retrieve information in a variety of forms, depending on the style and structure of the PIM and the information you want. For example, information can be retrieved as an electronic calendar or list of appointments, meetings, or other things to do; the timetable for a project; or a display of key facts and financial data about customers, clients, or sales prospects.
Personal information managers are sold as independent programs or are included in software suites, and vary widely in their style, structure, and features. For example, Lotus Organizer uses a notebook with tabs format, while Microsoft Outlook organizes data about people as a continuous A-to-Z list. Most PIMs emphasize the maintenance of contact lists, that is, customers, clients, or prospects. Scheduling appointments and meetings and task management are other top PIM applications. PIMs are now changing to include the ability to access the World Wide Web as Sidekick does, or provide E-mail capability, as in Microsoft Outlook. Also, some PIMs use Internet and E-mail features to support team collaboration by sharing information such as contact lists, task lists, and schedules with other networked PIM users.
Groupware is collaboration software, that is, software that helps workgroups and teams work together to accomplish group assignments. Groupware is a fast-growing category of general-purpose application software that combines a variety of software features and functions to facilitate collaboration. For example, groupware products like Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange, and Netscape Communicator and Collabra support collaboration through electronic mail, discussion groups and databases, scheduling, task management, data, audio and videoconferencing, and so on.
Groupware products are changing in several ways to meet the demand for better tools for collaboration. Groupware is now designed to use the Internet and corporate intranets and extranets to make collaboration possible on a global scale by virtual teams located anywhere in the world. For example, team members might use the Internet for global E-mail, project discussion forums, and joint Web page development. Or they might use corporate intranets to publish project news and progress reports, and work jointly on documents stored on Web servers. Collaborative capabilities are also being added to other software to give them groupware features. For example, in the Microsoft Office software suite, Microsoft Word keeps track of who made revisions to each document, Excel tracks all changes made to spreadsheet, and Outlook lets you keep track of tasks you delegate to other ream members.