The term software refers to the set of programs that helps the user to perform a task. Generally a software these days are capable of performing various different tasks. If you consider your browser, for example, you can load web pages, download files, play music and more. It is possible to broadly classify software into different categories. And in this post, we are going to talk about them briefly.
- System Software.
- Application Software.
- Web application Software.
- Hybrid Application Software.
- Native Application Software.
The software can be classified as system software and application software. Systems Software is the software that manages the computer. It includes the operating system, disk management utilities, device management utilities, driver software and more. The application software is the software that is meant to do specific tasks for the users like browsing the web, writing a word document, painting pictures and more.
We will see what are systems software before we see the different types of application software. The application software can be broadly divided into web applications, hybrid applications, native applications. We will see what the different types of application software are later.
The system software provides the platform for the other software to work. Without the system software, other software will not work. Some examples of system software are the Operating system, anti-virus software, disk formatting software, computer language translators, etc.
This software is written using the low-level language. These interact with the hardware and produce the output. This software has to interact with the hardware efficiently and produce the output.
The following properties are essential for system software.
- Low level.
- High speed.
- Difficult to write.
- Written in a low-level language.
- It is hard to design this software.
One of the best examples of System software is an Operating System. The operating system has to take care of many essential tasks. They are:
Memory Management: The OS needs to keep track of the memory in the RAM. It has to allocate the memory to the requesting program when the program needs it. When the application goes out of use, the operating system must ensure that the memory is available when the next application is ready and needs it.
Process management: It is the same as memory management except that it is done for all the available hardware. When a new process is spawned, the operating system must oversee all the resources needed by it and also the resources are freed up when the process is out of scope.
File Management: File management is done based on the type of disk format. The different types of major disk formats are, NTFS, FAT32, exFAT and more. These disk formats decide in which order the files must be saved etc. And this is used with other important factors to save and retrieve a specific file from the disk.
Security: The operating system runs many programs and so if the operating system is compromised, all the programs are also compromised. The operating system must be secure and should not let any security breach happen. It should protect the user across the network and hardware breaches also.
Error Detecting Aids: The users do not know how to fix the System Software. When the application software does not work, they usually reinstall the program. This is not easy with the system software. The system software must have good error detection.
Scheduling: The operating system schedules the process using an algorithm. The algorithm is used for executing the process in a timely manner in order to manage the hardware efficiently.
Application software is the software that is meant to perform a bunch of related and meaning full activities. As mentioned earlier, this software can be classified as web applications, hybrid applications, and native applications.
The web applications are the kind of application that is hosted on one major computer and share with the other computer via the internet. The web application is ideal when the single-use case does not need much processing and primary memory.
- Web applications are fairly simple and easy to get started with.
- They do not need much processing power to run at least the single instance of the web application.
- Where there are numerous users to the web application, the hosting server is either scaled up or scaled out.
- The web is one of the oldest technologies that has not changed much for beginners so there is a wide variety of technologies to get started with.
Hybrid applications are web applications in the native web view of the operating system. This means that it is the web application is stored away in the user’s device but is displayed with the help of the native web view.
- These applications are developed using Cordova.
- They need the native web view for working.
- Generally, these applications are very easy to develop as it is just the web front end working using the native web view.
- The development of these applications is simple, fast and very rapid.
- It is very easy to maintain these applications.
- The UI of the applications is easily developed.
- For accessing hardware there are several repositories that are easily available. There are frameworks for accessing the camera, file system, and more.
Building native applications require a good skill. It takes time to make native applications as they are complex and lots of effort goes into making them look good and also perform well. Generally, applications like Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, Groove Music are examples of native applications on a Windows Desktop.
The applications like WhatsApp, Google Play Music, are native applications on Android. The iMessages, iMovies are examples of native applications on Apple ecosystems.
Video games are also good examples of native applications.
- Native applications have good performance.
- They are difficult to develop.
- They are installed locally on the user’s computer.
- Once the application is sent to the user’s computer, it resides there and the user might get incremental updates later.
- The applications are generally large in size and it is not ideal to serve them from a central server every time the user needs it.
- The collective compute resources need to run all the applications simultaneously is too high and so it is not the central server that takes the load.
There are two types of software and they are System software and Application Software. The system software is very complex and it consists of the Operating System, driver software, disk utilities and more. It is the software that takes care of the communication between the hardware and the user. The Application software is of three types, the web applications, the hybrid applications, and the native applications.
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