What are system software and application software?
What is the difference between system software and application software?
Answer: System Software | Application Software
Computer software is the set of programs that makes the hardware perform a set of tasks in a particular order. Hardware and software are complementary to each other. Both have to work together to produce meaningful results. Computer software is classified into two broad categories, system software and application software.
1. System software:
System software comprises a group of programs that control the operations of computer equipment including functions like managing memory, managing peripherals, loading, storing, and is an interface between the application programs and the computer. MS DOS (Microsoft’s disk operating system), UNIX are examples of system software.
It divides the system software into 3 types.
(i) Operating system software
(ii) Language translator
(iii) Utility software
(i) Operating system software (OS):
An operating system is a program designed to run other programs on a computer. The various an operating system is:
- General-purpose operating system
- Special purpose operating system
- Batch processing operating system
- Multi‐user operating system
- Multiprogramming operating system
- Real-time operating system
- Embedded operating system
(ii) Language translator :
It is another system software that converts high-level language to machine-level language for machine understanding.
There are 3 types of a language translator, they are:
Compiler: A compiler is a program that translates a source program written in a high-level programming language into machine code.
Interpreter: An interpreter is a program that can analyze and execute a program line by line.
Assembler: An assembler is a program for converting instructions written in low-level symbolic code into machine code.
(iii) Utility software:
Utility software is a kind of system software designed to help, analyze, configure, optimize and maintain the computer. A single piece of utility software is usually called a utility or tool. Some of the utility software are:
- Memory tester
2. Application software:
Software that can perform a specific task for the user, such as word processing, accounting, budgeting, or payroll, falls under the category of application software.
Word processors, spreadsheets, database management systems are all examples of general-purpose application software.
Types of application software are:
(a) Word processing software: The major purpose of this software is to produce documents. MS‐Word, Word Pad, Notepad, and some other text editors are some examples of word processing software.
(b) Database software: Database is a collection of related data. This software organizes and manages data. The advantage of this software is that you can change the way data is stored and displayed. MS Access, dBase, FoxPro, paradox, and oracle are some of the examples of database software.
(c) Spreadsheet software: The spreadsheet software is used to maintain budgets, financial statements, grade sheets, and sales records. The purpose of this software is to organize numbers. It also allows the users to perform simple or complex calculations on the numbers entered in rows and columns. MS‐excel is one of the examples of spreadsheet software.
(d) Presentation software: This software is used to display the information in the slide’s form show. The three major functions of presentation software are editing that allows insertion and formatting of text, including graphics in the text, and executing the slide shows. The best example of this type of application software is Microsoft PowerPoint.
(e) Multimedia software: Media players and real players are examples of multimedia software. This software will allow the user to create audio and videos. The different multimedia software is audio converters, players, burners, video encoders, and decoders.
Difference between system software and application software:
- System software runs the system.
- System software is a program that runs and controls the hardware units of the system.
- System programs are written using .dll, .exe files for windows, and .rpm files for Linux.
- System software is used for general purposes.
- System software is essential for computers.
- The number of system software is less than compared to application software.
- System software includes programs such as compilers, debuggers, drivers, assemblers.
- System software can run independently.
- An application system runs over the system software.
- Application software does not control any hardware units.
- Application software is developed because of .dll and .exe files.
- Application software is used for a specific purpose.
- Application software is not essential for computers.
- The number of application software is more than compared to system software.
- Application software includes programs such as media players, word processors, and spreadsheet programs.
- Application software cannot run independently.