Where to find Software in Kenya
If you wish to purchase Software, Bigtec Solutions are the top dealer.
What is a Software
Software is a set of instructions, data, or programs used to operate computers and execute specific tasks. It is the opposite of hardware, which describes the physical aspects of a computer. Software is a generic term used to refer to applications, scripts, and programs that run on a device. It can be thought of as the variable part of a computer, while the hardware is the invariable part.
The two main categories of software are application software and system software. An application is a software that fulfills a specific need or performs tasks. System software is designed to run a computer’s hardware and provides a platform for applications to run on top of it.
Other types of software include programming software, which provides the programming tools software developers need; middleware, which sits between system software and applications; and driver software, which operates computer devices and peripherals.
Early software was written for specific computers and sold with the hardware it ran on. In the 1980s, software began to be sold on floppy disks, and later on CDs and DVDs. Today, most software is purchased and directly downloaded over the internet. The software can be found on vendor websites or application service provider websites.
Types of Software
Among the various categories of software, the most common types include the following:
The most common type of software, application software is a computer software package that performs a specific function for a user, or in some cases, for another application. An application can be self-contained, or it can be a group of programs that run the application for the user. Examples of modern applications include office suites, graphics software, databases and database management programs, web browsers, word processors, software development tools, image editors, and communication platforms.
These software programs are designed to run a computer’s application programs and hardware. System software coordinates the activities and functions of the hardware and software. In addition, it controls the operations of the computer hardware and provides an environment or platform for all the other types of software to work in. The OS is the best example of system software; it manages all the other computer programs. Other examples of system software include firmware, computer language translators, and system utilities.
Also known as device drivers, this software is often considered a type of system software. Device drivers control the devices and peripherals connected to a computer, enabling them to perform their specific tasks. Every device that is connected to a computer needs at least one device driver to function. Examples include software that comes with any nonstandard hardware, including special game controllers, as well as software that enables standard hardware, such as USB storage devices, keyboards, headphones, and printers.
The term middleware describes software that mediates between application and system software or between two different kinds of application software. For example, middleware enables Microsoft Windows to talk to Excel and Word. It is also used to send a remote work request from an application in a computer that has one kind of OS, to an application in a computer with a different OS. It also enables newer applications to work with legacy ones.
Computer programmers use programming software to write code. Programming software and programming tools enable developers to develop, write, test, and debug other software programs. Examples of programming software include assemblers, compilers, debuggers, and interpreters.
How does the software work?
All software provides the directions and data computers need to work and meet users’ needs. However, the two different types application software and system software work in distinctly different ways.
Application software consists of many programs that perform specific functions for end users, such as writing reports and navigating websites. Applications can also perform tasks for other applications. Applications on a computer cannot run on their own; they require a computer’s OS, along with other supporting system software programs, to work.
These desktop applications are installed on a user’s computer and use the computer memory to carry out tasks. They take up space on the computer’s hard drive and do not need an internet connection to work. However, desktop applications must adhere to the requirements of the hardware devices they run on.
How to maintain software quality
Software quality measures if the software meets both its functional and non-functional requirements.
Functional requirements identify what the software should do. They include technical details, data manipulation and processing, calculations, or any other specific function that specifies what an application aims to accomplish.
Non-functional requirements — also known as quality attributes — determine how the system should work. Non-functional requirements include portability, disaster recovery, security, privacy, and usability.
Software testing detects and solves technical issues in the software source code and assesses the overall usability, performance, security, and compatibility of the product to ensure it meets its requirements.
The dimensions of software quality include the following characteristics:
- The degree to which a diverse group of people, including individuals who require adaptive technologies such as voice recognition and screen magnifiers, can comfortably use the software.
- The suitability of the software for use in a variety of environments, such as with different OSes, devices, and browsers.
- The ability of the software to perform well without wasting energy, resources, effort, time, or money.
- Software’s ability to carry out its specified functions.
- The ability of the software to be installed in a specified environment.
- The various languages, time zones, and other such features a software can function in.
- How easily the software can be modified to add and improve features, fix bugs, etc?
- How fast the software performs under a specific load.
- The ability of the software to be easily transferred from one location to another.
- The software’s ability to perform a required function under specific conditions for a defined period of time without any errors.
- The measure of the software’s ability to increase or decrease performance in response to changes in its processing demands.
- The software’s ability to protect against unauthorized access, invasion of privacy, theft, data loss, malicious software, etc.
- How easy it is to test the software.
- How easy it is to use the software.