Well, software in general term refers to a collection of procedures, programs and documentation that perform specific tasks on a computer system. In more simple words, the parts of your body constitute the hardware part and brain is the software which controls and co-ordinates the hardware parts. There are mainly two types of software, System Software and Application Software. System software is one which provides an interface between the hardware and the user. A common example would be the operating system on which you are working on right now.
Application software is computer software designed to help the user perform single or multiple tasks. It helps to solve problems in the real world. It also helps in manipulating texts, numbers, graphics or a combination of these. Till date, application software has been classified into many types:Enterprise Infrastructure software, Content Access software, Entertainment software, Media Development software, Educational software, Product Engineering software, Simulation software.
The development of application software is similar and roots back to the typical software development process and they include:
• Planning: This is the first stage where the company decides on what the customer requirements are and what has to be created to satisfy them. This is often done by the higher management. The stage is also responsible for planning on the time and cost constraints.
• Design: This is the most important step in any software development process, wherein a workflow of the software is drafted and the software is developed by the developers based on the plan approved by the management. Some firms do not take this stage seriously and they end up paying a lot in the end by investing more on testing and debugging.
• Testing: In order to make sure the developed programs work in different environments and pose no problems, the software products are tested for its efficiency and its effectiveness. The traditional way of testing being there will be a set of testers who exploit the programs to find any errors. Recently, Testing is considered to be the soul of every software development process. The testing stage also involves launching of the software in beta version and allows its end users to find out any flaws.
• Implementation: This is a stage where the software is proven to be good and released to the public. Or in simple terms upgrading of the beta version. The implementation stage will also result in fixing unexpected errors put out by different users.
• Maintenance: Developers should also be responsible for the maintenance of software after its successful launch. They should also continuously work on answering to the user queries and develop additional features to make the user’s task easy.
• Termination: This is a stage where the software has to be scrapped due to the drastic changes in the market. However, this is not the case with all software products. They just evolve with a new coding language and technology being used.
Every day we come across application software which gets machines to life. So, Next time you use a computer or your mobile, think about these software which write a set of instructions and codes to perform the task you want it to do. To conclude, a computer without application software it’s like life without a soul.