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Functional Categories of Computer Programs

Posted in Code, OS5 months ago • Written by Murtaxa3 Comments
Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Computer programs are categorized with along functional lines. The main functional categories are application software and system software. System software includes the operating system which couples computer hardware with application software. The purpose of the operating system is to provide an environment in which application software executes in a convenient and efficient manner. In addition to the operating system, system software includes embedded programs, boot programs, and micro programs. Application software designed for end users have a user interface. Application software not designed for the end user includes middleware, which couples one application with another. Application software also includes utility programs. The distinction between system software and application software is under debate.

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Application software

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

There are many types of application software:
  • The word app came to being in 21st century. It is a clipping of the word “application”. They have been designed for many platforms, but the word was first used for smaller mobile apps. Desktop apps are traditional computer programs that run on desktop computers. Mobile apps run on mobile devices.Web apps run inside a web browser. Both mobile and desktop apps may be downloaded from the developers’ website or purchased from app storessuch as Windows Store, Apple App Store, Mac App Store, Google Play or Intel AppUp.
  • An application suite consists of multiple applications bundled together. Examples include Microsoft Office, LibreOffice and iWork. They bundle a word processor, spreadsheet, and other applications.
  • Enterprise applications bundle accounting, personnel, customer, and vendor applications. Examples include enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain management software.
  • Enterprise infrastructure software supports the enterprise’s software systems. Examples include databases, email servers, and network servers.
  • Information worker software are designed for workers at the departmental level. Examples include time management, resource management, analytical, collaborative and documentation tools. Word processors, spreadsheets, email and blog clients, personal information system, and individual media editors may aid in multiple information worker tasks.
  • Media development software generates print and electronic media for others to consume, most often in a commercial or educational setting. These produce graphics, publications, animations, and videos.
  • Product engineering software is used to help develop large machines and other application software. Examples includes computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and integrated development environments.
  • Entertainment Software can refer to video games, movie recorders and players, and music recorders and players.

Utility programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Utility programs are application programs designed to aid system administrators and computer programmers.

Operating system

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

An operating system is a computer program that acts as an intermediary between a user of a computer and the computer hardware.

In the 1950s, the programmer, who was also the operator, would write a program and run it. After the program finished executing, the output may have been printed, or it may have been punched onto paper tape or cards for later processing. More often than not the program did not work.  The programmer then looked at the console lights and fiddled with the console switches. If less fortunate, a memory printout was made for further study. In the 1960s, programmers reduced the amount of wasted time by automating the operator’s job. A program called an operating system was kept in the computer at all times.

Originally, operating systems were programmed in assembly; however, modern operating systems are typically written in C.

See also: The Best 10 Programming Languages for Programmers in 2017

Boot program

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

A stored-program computer requires an initial computer program stored in its read-only memory to boot. The boot process is to identify and initialize all aspects of the system, from processor registers to device controllers to memory contents. Following the initialization process, this initial computer program loads the operating system and sets the program counter to begin normal operations.

Embedded programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Independent of the host computer, a hardware device might have embedded firmware to control its operation. Firmware is used when the computer program is rarely or never expected to change, or when the program must not be lost when the power is off.

Microcode programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Functional categories of Computer Programs

Microcode programs control some central processing units and some other hardware. This code moves data between the registers, buses, arithmetic logic units, and other functional units in the CPU. Unlike conventional programs, microcode is not usually written by, or even visible to, the end users of systems, and is usually provided by the manufacturer, and is considered internal to the device.
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