What is Computer Software? Definition, Types and Examples

Classification of Computer Software

What is Computer software? Types of Computer software

What is Computer Software?

Computer Software Definition: Software is a general term for various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices that can be thought of as the essential part of a computer. That is, software is a list or set of instructions that direct a computer to perform certain functions. Software is an invisible power. Hardware is meaningless without software.

Software may be defined as follows:

1. Software is a set of programs that enables a computer to run.

2. Software is the written coded commands that tell the computer what tasks to perform.

3. Software is the program that tells the computer what to do.

4. Software is the program or set of instructions that controls the Operation of a computer system.

For Example:

I. CDS/ISIS for Windows

2. Alice for Windows

3. Graphical Library Automation System (GLAS)

4. Library System (LIBSYS).

5. Greenstone Digital library etc. are common examples of Library Management Software.


Classification of Software

Types of Computer software

According to the nature of work or function, computer software can be divided into two categories.

  1. System Software.
  2. Application Software.


System Software

What is System Software?

System software: System software consists of programs that facilitate the use of the computer by the users.

These programs performs the following activities:

  1. Organizing and maintaining data files.
  2. Translating program written various language to form acceptable to the computer.


System software may be divided into three categories:

a. System control: It has the following functions:

  • Operating system.
  • Data management.
  • Data communication.

b. System support software: It includes the following programs:

  • Service programs.
  • System performance.

c. System development software: It performs translator programs and program development.

Application software

What is Application software?

Application software: Application software consists of programs that perform a specific, well-defined task for a particular application i.e. MS word, MS excel, FOX PRO etc. Application software is of two categories:

i. General Application Programs/Package Programs: are programs that are developed by different software companies in order to solve the general problems. Users can solve their important tasks by using general application software.

For Examples: Microsoft Office, Internet explorer, Netscape Navigator etc.

ii. Application customized Application programs: These are the programs/User are developed according programs to the which requirements of the user and these are used in order to perform specific tasks for the user. Such programs are written in various programming languages according requirements and circumstances of the users.


Difference between System software and application software

System Software

Application Software

It is the part and parcel of a computer system. It is used to solve application problems or to process data.
It co-ordinates among different units of the computer system. It does not co-ordinate among different units of the computer system.
It is of three categories i.e. System Control, system support and system development. It is of two types i.e. General application and Application customized programs/User Application programs.
It controls the hardware, software, data and network with its system management software It does not control all of those.
Examples: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Linux, Unix etc.


Examples: WINISIS, GLAS, LIBSYS etc.




Difference between software and Programming and Software

Computer Hardware


All the physical components of a computer system including wires and cables are collectively called computer hardware. Software is a set or list of instructions that direct a computer to perform certain functions.
Computer hardware may be of three categories i.e. input device, Processing device and output device. Software is mainly of two categories i.e. System software and application Software.
Computer hardware cannot work with the support of software. To perform the real functions of software, computer hardware will be required.
Examples: Monitor, Printer, Keyboard, mouse etc. Examples: Windows Vista, Microsoft word, Microsoft Excel etc.


Difference between software and Programming



Software is a set or list of instructions that directs a computer to perform certain functions. Writing a program is called programming. Generally programming is written by using any programming language.
It is a produced output. It is the process or technique to develop software.
Software enables the computer system to accomplish the tasks of users. Programming enables programmer to develop a a software by using any programming language.
Examples: Windows Vista, Microsoft Excel etc. Example: Create Table Customer (CustID Char (10) NOT NULL, Phone varchar (16), Address text, Photograph image NULL).



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