Software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for some purposes. In other words software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation. Program software performs the function of the program it implements, either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece of software. The term was coined to contrast the old term hardware (meaning physical devices).
Software performs the following functions:
Interfaces between the operator, peripheral components, and the control computer’s processor
Regulates the flow of information among the components and the central processing unit
Translates commands from the operator into specific hardware instructions
Allocates hardware resources for specific tasks
Indexes and cross-references
Produces workflow scripts for routing, document flow, and processing
Provides administration, statistics, and reports
CLASSES OF SOFTWARES
Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes system software, programming software and application software, although the distinction is arbitrary, and often blurred.
3.2.1 SYSTEM SOFTWARE
System software provides the basic functions for computer usage and helps run the computer hardware and system. It includes a combination of the following:
System software is responsible for managing a variety of independent hardware components, so that they can work together harmoniously. Its purpose is to unburden the application software programmer from the often complex details of the particular computer being used, including such accessories as communications devices, printers, device readers, displays and keyboards, and also to partition the computer’s resources such as memory and processor time in a safe and stable manner.
3.2.2 PROGRAMMING SOFTWARE
Programming software usually provides tools to assist a programmer in writing computer programs, and software using different programming languages in a more convenient way. The tools include:
An Integrated development environment (IDE) is a single application that attempts to manage all these functions.
3.3.3 APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Application software is developed to aid in any task that benefits from computation. It is a broad category, and encompasses software of many kinds, including the internet browser being used to display this page. This category includes:
- Business software
- Decision making software
- Educational software
- Image editing
- Industrial automation
- Mathematical softwareMedical software
- Molecular modelling software
- Quantum chemistry and solid state physics software
- Simulation software
- Telecommunications (i.e., the Internet and everything that flows on it)
- Video games
- Word processinge
SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
What is the significance of software in a multimedia computer system?
Software is in a way invisible, and therefore not recognized as important in an electronic imaging system. Software is just as important as hardware, however, because the hardware will not function without it. The “brains” of the system, software includes the instructions, procedures, and system supervisor in an electronic form.
In this unit, we considered the Software system. We equally looked at some functions of multimedia software .We also discovered that computer systems divide software systems into three major classes system software, programming software and application software.
6.0 TUTOR MARKED ASSIGNMENT
1). Explain the term “software”
2). Describe the different feature of the different classes of Software.
CIT 463 INTRODUCTION TO MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY
3). Discuss the functions of system software