Software procedures and documentation

Software is a general term used to describe a collection of computer programs, procedures and documentation that perform some tasks on an operating system.


The term includes:
Application software such as word processors which perform productive tasks for users.

Multimedia applications for playing multimedia.

Firmware which is software programmed resident to electrically programmable memory devices on board mainboards or other types of integrated hardware carriers.

Middleware which controls and co-ordinates distributed systems.

Software includes websites, programs, video games etc. that are coded by programming languages like C, C++, etc.

System software such as operating systems, which interface with hardware to provide the necessary services for application software.

Testware which is an umbrella term or container term for all utilities and application software that serve in combination for testing a software package but not necessarily may optionally contribute to operational purposes. As such, testware is not a standing configuration but merely a working environment for application software or subsets thereof.

"Software" is sometimes used in a broader context to mean anything which is not hardware but which is used with hardware, such as film, tapes and records.

Updated Terminology

The term is now being used to include those that are non PC based like smartphones, palm OS, etc due to the proliferation of the mobile industry based on Symbian and Windows platforms.

"Software" is sometimes used in a broader context to mean anything which is not hardware but which is used with hardware, such as film, tapes and records.

Business software

Business software is generally any software program that helps a business increase productivity or measure their productivity. The term covers a large variation of uses within the business environment, and can be categorized by using a small, medium and large matrix:

The small business market generally consists of home accounting software, and office suites such as Microsoft Office and

The medium size, or SME, has a broader range of software applications, ranging from accounting, groupware, customer relationship management, human resources software, outsourcing relationship management, loan origination software, shopping cart software, field service software, and other productivity enhancing applications.

The last segment covers enterprise level software applications, such as those in the fields of enterprise resource planning, enterprise content management (ECM), business process management and product lifecycle management. These applications are extensive in scope, and often come with modules that either add native functions, or incorporate the functionality of third-party software programs.

Now, technologies that have previously only existed in peer-to-peer software applications, like Kazaa and Napster, are starting to feature within business applications. JXTA is an open source platform that enables the creation of machine and language neutral applications.

Peer based applications will be especially useful for aggregating the information at the edge of the network that currently resides in the neurons of the users themselves.

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