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Chapter 4:. Software: Systems and Application Software. Summary Slide. What is Software Overview of Software Operating Systems Popular Operating Systems Utility Programs Types of Application Software Proprietary Application Software Off-the-shelf Application Software

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4:

Software: Systems and Application Software

Summary slide
Summary Slide

  • What is Software

  • Overview of Software

  • Operating Systems

  • Popular Operating Systems

  • Utility Programs

  • Types of Application Software

  • Proprietary Application Software

  • Off-the-shelf Application Software

  • Standard Off-the-shelf Application Software

  • Software Issues and Trends

What is software
What is Software

  • Software consists of computer programs that control the workings of the computer hardware (statements to the computer) and program documentation used to explain the programs to the user.

Overview of software
Overview of Software

There are two basic types of software:

  • SystemsSoftware is a set of programs that support the computer system by coordinating the activities of the hardware and the applications. Systems software is written for a specific set of hardware, most particularly the CPU.

  • ApplicationSoftware is a set of programs that solve specific user-oriented problems.

Operating systems
Operating Systems

  • An Operating System is a set of computer programs that control the computer hardware and act as an interface with application programs.

  • Operating System Activities:

    • Perform common computer hardware functions like storing data on disk

    • Provide the user interface like the Windows XP Graphical User Interface

    • Provide hardware independence by serving as the interface between the application program and the hardware

    • Manage system memory to control how memory is accessed and used

    • Manage processing tasks like enabling the user to run more than one application (multitasking)

    • Provide network capability to link users

    • Control access to system resources by providing functions like password protection

    • Manage files tracking where each file is stored and where is located

Popular operating systems
Popular Operating Systems

  • Consumer Appliance Operating Systems

    • Windows CE.Net/Windows XP/Handheld PC/Pocket PC

    • Palm OS

  • PC Operating Systems

    • MS Windows 95/98/2000/XP

    • Mac OS X

    • Linux

  • Network (workgroup) Operating Systems

    • Windows 2000 Server

    • Unix

    • Netware

    • Linux

    • Mac OS X Server

  • Enterprise Operating Systems

    • MVS/OS 390

    • Linux

Utility programs
Utility Programs

  • Utilityprograms are used to perform important functions like merging and sorting sets of data, keeping track of computer jobs and compressing files before they are stored.

  • Examples of Utility programs:

    • DriveSpace compresses your hard drive increasing its storage capacity (Windows 95/98).

    • Disk Defragmenter speeds up disk access by rearranging the files and free space on your computer (Windows 95/98)

    • DFSORT sorts and merges data files (MVS)

    • TestDrive allows you to try software before you purchase it and deletes the software from your hard drive after the trial period.

    • Screen Saver

    • Virus Detection

Proprietary application software
Proprietary Application Software

  • ApplicationSoftware gives organizations the ability to solve problems and perform specific activities and tasks.

  • Proprietary application software solves a unique or specific problem.

  • Proprietary application software can be In-house developed or developed by external vendors in which case is called contract software.

  • Advantages of proprietary application software:

    • Software usually meets the user requirements

    • Provides flexibility in making modifications

    • Offers more control over the results

  • Disadvantages of proprietary application software:

    • Can take a long time and significant resources to develop (costly)

    • Has more risk concerning the features and performance

Off the shelf application software
Off-the-shelf Application Software

  • Off-the-shelf application software may be purchased, leased, or rented from a software company. Off-the-shelf application software can be customized to better fit company specific needs.

  • Advantages of Off-the-shelf application software:

    • Lower initial cost

    • Lower risk that the software will fail

    • Higher quality usually without bugs and well tested

  • Disadvantages Off-the-shelf application software:

    • May pay for features never used

    • May lack important features

    • May not match current work processes

Application software
Application Software

Horizontal-Market Applications Software

  • Horizontal-market application software provides capabilities common across all organizations and industries.

    • Word processor, graphics programs, spreadsheets, and all presentation programs are all horizontal-market application software.

      Vertical-Market Applications Software

  • Vertical-market application software serves the needs of a specific industry.

    Examples of such programs are:

    • Those used by dental offices to schedule appointments and bill patients

    • Those used by auto mechanics to keep track of customer data and customers’ automobile repairs

    • Those used by parts warehouses to track inventory, purchases, and sales

Standard off the shelf application software
Standard Off-the-shelf Application Software

  • Personal Application Software

    • Word processing

    • Spreadsheet analysis

    • Database applications

    • Graphics programs

    • On-line information services

    • Software suites

  • Workgroup Application Software

    • Lotus Notes

    • Group scheduling

  • Enterprise Application Software


  • Firmware is computer software that is installed into devices like printers, print servers, and various types of communication devices.

  • The software is coded just like other software, but it is installed into special, read-only memory of the printer or other device.

  • Users do not need to load firmware into device’s memory.

  • Firmware can be changed or upgraded, but this is normally a task for IS professionals.

Software issues and trends
Software Issues and Trends

  • Software bugs and the costs associated with them

  • Open Source Software can save you money but be aware of hidden costs

  • Software Licencing

    • Usage-based License

    • Capacity-based License

    • Subscription Licensing

  • Lack of tracking software licenses can cost you:

    • Software Publishers Association (SPA) can fine your organization $100,000 or more if you are caught with illegal software

  • Software upgrades should be carefully evaluated

  • Software support should be carefully evaluated

  • Shareware and Freeware can save you money:

    • Shareware is software where you are expected to pay the author a modest amount

    • Freeware is free software