Introduction of Software Classification
Software is a code or the set of instructions that tells computer or hardware how to operate. Software is usually generic but it can also be custom built. Generic software is open to the market and its specifications are designed by the programmer. Mainly designed for a broad customer market. Customized software is software whose specifications are designed according to a particular firm or organization. It is not an open for all. Mainly designed for specific business purpose. Software is mainly classified into seven categories – System software, Application software, Engineering/scientific software, embedded software, Product line software, Web applications, and Artificial intelligence software.
Classification of Software
In this section, we are going to discuss the various classification of software in detail.
1. System Software
It directly interacts with computer hardware. It primarily concerned with the efficient management of the computer system. It is used to develop new system programs and using bootstrapping we can make them portable. It is machine dependent. The system software is further classified into three categories – The operating system which acts as an interface between the user and the hardware and provides different services to users. The second one is system support software which manages the hardware more efficiently. The other is System development software which supports programming development environment to the user.
2. Application Software
It is designed to solve user problems as per the user’s requirements. Application software can be generic or customized. Application software is further classified into two categories – One is general purpose software which is used for much number of tasks and provides many features. Another is special purpose software which is designed for a specific purpose only. For example, User’s programs. The focus is on the application not on the computer system. It is primarily concerned with the solution of some problems using the computer as a tool.
3. Engineering/Scientific Software
It deals with processing requirements in a specific application. This software are specially used for drawing, modeling, drafting, load calculations and analysis of engineering and statistical data for interpretation and decision making. For example, CAD (Computer Aided Design), CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing), and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering). These software are used in the field of mechanical, electrical, drafting, engineering and Analysis. They run on mainframes, general purpose workstation, and PCs (Personal computers).
4. Embedded Software
This software is embedded into hardware as a part of larger systems to control its various functions. This type of software is embedded in the ROM (Read Only Memory) of the systems. For example, Keypad control software embedded in a microwave oven or washing machine where there is a need to take input analyze and decide and take action which allows the product to perform in the desired manner. These software’s are also called intelligent software because of its performance.
5. Product Line Software
This type of software refers to software engineering methods, tools, and techniques for creating a collection of similar software systems from a shared set of software assets using a common means of production. It is a set of a software product that shares common features but are each different in some way. For example, they may be developed for a specific customer or for embedded software (Word document, spreadsheet, computer graphics, personal and business applications)
6. Web Applications
It is an application that is accessed via web browsers over a network such as an internet or an intranet. it is also a computer software application that is coded in a browser support language and reliable on a common web browser to render the application executable. The first generation of web application allows the business to post the information publicly. Thus, this information is seen to anyone with a web browser and internet access. The problem with first generation is that the information is in static form. The second generation web applications allow the users to do interactive queries against databases from a web application. It is characterized as facilitating communication, information sharing, user centered, and collaboration on the WWW. The third generation is more useful than the second generation application. In combination with queries of the second generation application and static information of the first generation, the third generation is a powerful business tool for organizations in their electronic commerce efforts.
7. Artificial Intelligence Software
This software makes the use of non-numerical algorithms that use the data generated in the system to solve complex problems that are not amenable to problem solving procedures and require specific analysis and interpretation of the problem to solve it. For example, Artificial neural networks, robotics, expert systems, and computer games. All this software can run either in real-time mode or offline mode. These software programs can be shared free for charged by storage.
This is a guide to Software Classification. Here we also discuss the introduction and various classification of software along with a detailed explanation. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –