As per definition, software is a collected works of computer data and programs, which are devised and drafted for proffering instructions to the computer for performing a specific task. Software is ethereal and intangible and cannot be touched like hardware. Software is created for enabling a computer or a device to function in a specific manner. Your computer functions the way it does, because of the various computer software installed in it. Without these predefined instructions, a computer will not be able work properly and as it should be.

The following are the software present in a computer, which are essential for its proper functioning: Application software, middleware, programming language, system software, test ware, firm ware, device drivers and programming tools. There are different types of software that are important for you to be aware of for being able to get in-depth knowledge about software. Computer software is divided in three categories:

· System software

· Programming software

· Application software

System software's function is to run the computer system and hardware. Programming software proffers devices for helping a programmer write programs, using different programming language. Application software basically allows the computer to operate specific applications.

System software consists of the following components: Device drivers, servers, utilities, window systems, and operating systems.

Programming software has the following devices or tools which assists the programmer: Debuggers, compilers, linkers, text editors, and interpreters.

Today, the usage and installation of various software is not limited to computers and laptops, but has extended to mobile phones as well. For ensuring secured and proper functioning of software, it is essential to buy the ones which have authorized certifications. Faulty and defective software can even crash a computer, which ultimately leads to loss of important data. It is thus imperative for you to buy software of high quality.

For manufacturing or creating a software product, there is a definite mechanism that is followed. This mechanism for software development is called a software life cycle or software development process. Under this process, there are varied models for developing a specific type of software. A few of them are:

· Waterfall model

· Spiral model

· Iterative and incremental development

· Agile software development

There is set mechanism which is followed for software development. It includes the following steps, in the same order:

  1. Requirements
  2. Design
  3. Implementation
  4. Verification
  5. Maintenance