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    Software is set of Computer programs associated with documentation & configuration data that is needed to make these programs operate correctly.

    A software system consists of :

    • a number of programs,
    • configuration files (used to set up programs ),
    * system documentation (describes the structure of the system, e.g. Design model etc. ) and
    • user documentation (explain how to use system e.g User manual etc. ).

    Software is not only computer program but the data which deals with program is also considered as a part of software. Documentation related to software is also considered as the part of software. So software comprises of three parts:

    Software = Program + Data + Documentation

    So the software is not just the code written in Cobol, Java, Fortran or C++. It also includes the data and all the documentation related to the program.


    Undoubtedly software is playing a vital role in all the field of life these days. We can see many software applications being operated around us in our daily routine.

    Some of the major areas in which software has played an important role are : 

    Business decision-making: Software systems have played a major role in businesses where you have to analyze your data and on the basis of that analysis you have to make business decisions. This process of data analysis and decision-making has become very accurate and easy by the use of software.

    Modern scientific investigation and engineering problem solving: Scientific investigations and engineering problem solving require an intensive amount of calculations and data analysis. The accuracy of these analyses is also very important in scientific applications. This process has become very easy and accurate by the use of software. For example software systems are becoming more involved in bioinformatics and the process of DNA decoding is only possible by the use of software systems. Similarly many astronomical observations are being recorded and analyzed by the software systems these days.

    Entertainment/Games: We see many computer games these days that interests people of all ages. All these games are drive through software systems.

    Embedded systems: These applications control and manage hardware devices. We see many kinds of gadgets being employed in our daily used things, like small microcontrollers used in our cars, televisions, microwave ovens etc.

    Similarly in many other fields like education, office automation, Internet applications etc, software is being used. Due to its central importance and massive use in many fields it is contributing a lot in terms of economic activity started by the software products. Billions and trillions of dollars are being invested in this field throughout the world every year.

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