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11.4 Nature & Types of Software. www.ICT-Teacher.com. Describe the distinction between systems software and applications software. Describe the purposes of operating systems. Describe the nature of package software, generic and specific, and of bespoke software.

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Describe the distinction between systems software and applications software.
  • Describe the purposes of operating systems.
  • Describe the nature of package software, generic and specific, and of bespoke software.
  • Describe the general characteristics of generic packages and the integration of objects and facilities for processing data protocols and standards.
  • Describe the functionality offered by software which provides access to the Internet.
  • There are two types of software:
  • Systems software: the operating system.
  • Applications software: the programs we use.
  • Systems software is the control software that operates the hardware and allows the applications to run.
operating systems
Operating Systems
  • Operating Systems run in the background without the users being aware of it.
  • It controls the inputs, outputs, interrupts, and storage of files as requested by the applications software.
efficient management of the computer resources
Efficient Management of the Computer Resources.
  • Managing memory, i.e. allocating memory to more than one program running simultaneously. Some files may get moved to the hard drive temporarily. The place on the hard drive is stored in a directory for fast access when needed again.
  • Interrupts, for Enter, Printer out of paper, or a hardware or software malfunction.
  • Diagnostic checks on the system on Boot up, sending error messages where necessary.
  • Selecting and controlling peripheral devices through small Driver programs.
utility programs
Utility Programs
  • Systems software include other utility programs.
  • Virus checking and cleaning.
  • Security using identification and passwords.
  • File and hard disk management for efficiency and storage.
  • Customising the computer to the users requirements, i.e. short cut menus from mouse click.
  • Setting peripheral devices to the users requirements, i.e. setting the monitor resolution.
popular operating systems
Popular Operating Systems
  • Windows XP – home and business
  • Windows 2000 – business network use
  • Mac Operating System – GUI, graphics
  • OS/2 Warp – commercial work
  • UNIX – general purpose, mainframe
  • Linux – alternative to Windows
  • Dos – command driven
types of operating systems
Types of Operating Systems
  • Command driven: DOS.
    • the user has to type in the command
    • it has to be in the correct syntax, errors were common
    • more adaptable than Windows when used by an experienced user.
  • Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull down menus.
    • originally developed by Apple for the Macintosh
    • later developed by Microsoft for Windows 3.1.
    • uses a mouse to click onto an icon to navigate to programs and files.
programming language compilers interpreters that transfer a program into a computer readable form
Programming language compilers / interpreters that transfer a program into a computer readable form.
applications software
Applications Software
  • Used for a specific purpose or application.
    • Word processing;
    • Numerical analysis and storage;
    • Recording of data;
    • Designing and graphics;
    • Image processing;
    • Presentations;
    • Desk top publishing;
    • Web design.
three groups
Three Groups
  • Generic:
    • general purpose for business;
    • most common applications are Word Processing, Spreadsheet & Database.
  • Bespoke:
    • tailor made, specifically written for a specific application.
  • Specific Task:
    • particular tasks for business;
    • most common are payroll, CAD, and stock control.
  • Most generic software for business comes in an integrated package such as: Microsoft Office, Lotus Smart-Suite, Coral Draw.
  • The cost of the integrated package is much less than the sum of the separate applications.
  • Microsoft Office is the most popular package used in business, it contains the applications: Word, Excel, Access, Power-Point, Front-Page.
  • Software that is specially written for an application.
  • An expensive but a perfect solution to a requirement when there is no suitable package available.
  • Often a one off piece of software written for a large organisation as a perfect match to their needs.

Air Traffic Control Software

is an example of Bespoke


Advantages of Integrated Packages:
    • Cheaper to buy than separate packages.
    • All the software programs integrate together well, i.e. mail merge, or importing a graph into a word processor.
    • Consistency in the programs, menus, help, etc, making them easier to learn to use.
  • Disadvantages of Integrated Packages:
    • Cheaper packages may have weaker features than the separate packages, and may not need all of them. Some features may also be left out.
    • Use large amounts of disk space, may need extra resources i.e. memory to have more than one application open.
appropriate software packages
Appropriate Software Packages

In business the software needs are most important and the hardware is purchased to accommodate the applications.

If the hardware is already in place, the software has to be able to run on it.

Is the cost within budget?

Should it be evaluated for appropriate use?

What problems did other users have?

Does it contain any known bugs?

Is it easy to install and get up and running?

What technical support comes with it, is any training available, is there good documentation?

What are the details of the licence agreement?