Technology has become an essential part of the world including businesses, educational institutions, private sectors, households and individuals. Through the use of computers and software, many tasks have become easier and can be done over a less period of time. Due to this, majority of the work in offices and other work sites is done using computer applications and software. Here we will discuss about the many types of computer software and their uses.
Retail software is one of many computer softwares that can be installed on a personal computer. It can be bought under restricted licenses. Throughout the years extensive retailers have utilized this product to deal with their business and as of late even small retailers make utilization of this product to enable them to run their tasks and increment their productivity. This software can also be sold as a cloud based software via the internet in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.
Figure 1: Uses of retail software.
There are many types of retail software:
• Cloud-based software: the deliverance if this type of software is done through web-based applications via the internet to the user’s device
• OEM Pack – This is an authorized duplicate of programming which is conveyed to a PC producer by the product maker with the end goal to pre-introduce it on a computer that is being sold to a client.
• Box Pack – This is a licensed copy of programming that any client can purchase from an approved retail location. They are valued at a higher price than the OEM pack.
• Paper License – This sort of software is given to businesses or organizations who need to introduce numerous duplicates of specific software’s on different PCs situated inside a similar association.
• Retail software helps retailers to save and reduce inventory costs, manage their products by dividing them into categories, have better marketing strategies and help them achieve economies of scale.
Custom software is Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, developed for any user, individual or an organization, to fulfill their specific conditions, needs, expectations and preferences. Many large scale companies commonly use this software for specific functions and tasks such as customer management, HR management or to compensate other requirements which are not fulfilled with the already existing software packages.
Custom software is considered to be more expensive than off-the-shelf products.
There are many advantages of this software such as:
• It saves time
• Cost effective
• Easy to use
• Does not have unnecessary functions
An example of custom software is Microsoft office where the user can choose to purchase either the entire package, including multiple applications, or any specific application that they require.
Web-based application is a program that runs in a web browser. It is also client-based which means that the user can download a part of the program to their desktop; however the processing is done over the internet. These applications can be accessed over a network using HTTP. Web-based applications are known as web apps. Examples include Google Docs, Gmail, Netflix etc. Users can without much of a stretch access the application from any computer that is associated with the Web by means of a standard program as opposed to desktop applications, which are introduced on a nearby computer.
The different types of web applications:
• Static web applications
• Dynamic web applications
• E-commerce apps
• Portal web application
• Animated web application
• Content management systems
• Reduce business costs
• Secure and easy to backup.
• Quick and easy updates.
• Easily accessible globally
• Available 24/7
• Low spec PCs or smart phones can be used.
• Tasks can be completed at user’s own comfort.
• Direct access to latest information
• Always up-to-date.
• The speed of internet could be slow
• Internet not always available
• Can take longer to develop as they are more complex
• Have to support different browsers, and different versions
• Security risks
Figure 2: Web application software diagram.
A mobile application or portable application is software created to keep running on a cell phone, for example, advanced cells/smart phones, tablets or smart watch.
There are mainly three types of mobile apps:
• Native applications: built for a specific operating system. For example some applications might only work on iOS operating system and some might only work on Android based phones. These apps might not work on Windows as it is a different operating system.
• Web applications: in which the client runs in a web browser. It is delivered over the Internet through a browser. It isn’t necessarily designed for a specific type of device or an operating system.
• Hybrid applications: have the characteristic of both web applications and native applications.
Figure 3: Types of Mobile Apps.
MOBILE WEB APPLICATION
Mobile web applications typically use HTML and AJAX. These are applications on cell phones that just require an internet browser to be introduced on the gadget.
Mobile web access comes with some unique challenges. The mobile careen is an issue as developers have to adapt the web pages to look good on both computers and smaller devices.
Speed is also an issue as Wi-Fi is not really mobile and you need to have a connection and secondly not all parts of the world have 3G/4G network carriers.
Figure 4: The look of the mobile apps varies depending on the device
Open source software (OSS) is software with source code that can be modified, enhances and inspected by any user.
Computer programmers are required to sign a license in order to change it in any way such as altering it, fixing bugs, maintaining it and making any further modifications. However, not only programmers have access to it but even non-programmers can benefit from it.
This software is preferable to people because:
• it gives them control
• helps them become better at programming
• consider it more secure
• more stability for long-term projects
Figure 5: A screenshot of Linux Mint running.
Shareware is software that is available to users free of cost for a limited period of time. In order to use the software permanently, the user is required to purchase it.
An example of shareware is a demo program for which you have to pay in order to get a registration key that will unlock the software that is already in your use.
It allows the user to try out the program by using the free version and if they like it, they can purchase the full version which can unlock other features in the program.
Shareware is also known as trial ware or demoware.
Freeware is a restrictive programming that is accessible free of expense. The source code is unavailable which most unlike any other open source software. Redistribution of freeware is usually permitted by third-parties however; there is some portion of freeware which prohibits it.
Figure 6: Different types of freeware software.
Public domain is nay software that does not have any ownership and is available for anyone to use, alter, modify and commercialize. It is open source programming that can be changed with no limits or constraints. It is not protected by any laws such as copyright or trademark. Examples include LINUX, Firefox, OpenOffice etc.
Figure 7: Public Domain symbol.