Different Types of Software

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There are so many types of software, which can be a little confusing for the uninitiated. Following is a brief definition of each type, and the differences between them.

Retail software: This type of software is sold off the shelves of retail stores. It includes expensive packaging designed to catch the eye of shoppers and, as such, is generally more expensive. An advantage of retail software is that it comes with printed manuals and installation instructions, missing in hard-copy form from virtually every other category of software. However, when hard-copy manuals and instructions are not required, a downloadable version off the Internet will be less expensive, if available.

OEM software: OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” and refers to software sold in bulk to resellers, designed to be bundled with hardware. For example, Microsoft has contracts with various companies including Dell Computers, Toshiba, Gateway and others. Microsoft sells its operating systems as OEM software at a reduced price, minus retail packaging, manuals and installation instructions. Resellers install the operating system before systems are sold and the OEM CD is supplied to the buyer. The “manual” consists of the Help menu built into the software itself. OEM software is not legal to buy unbundled from its original hardware system.

Shareware: This software is downloadable from the Internet. Licenses differ, but commonly the user is allowed to try the program for free, for a period stipulated in the license, usually thirty days. At the end of the trial period, the software must be purchased or uninstalled. Some shareware incorporates an internal clock that disables the program after the trial period unless a serial number is supplied. Other shareware designs continue to work with “nag” screens, encouraging the user to purchase the program.

Crippleware: This software is similar to shareware except that key features will cease to work after the trial period has ended. For example, the “save” function, the print function, or some other vital feature necessary to use the program effectively may become unusable. This “cripples” the program. Other types of crippleware incorporate crippled functions throughout the trial period. A purchase is necessary to unlock the crippled features.

Demo software: Demo software is not intended to be a functioning program, though it may allow partial functioning. It is mainly designed to demonstrate what a purchased version is capable of doing, and often works more like an automated tutorial. If a person wants to use the program, they must buy a fully functioning version.

Adware: This is free software that is supported by advertisements built into the program itself. Some adware requires a live Internet feed and uses constant bandwidth to upload new advertisements. The user must view these ads in the interface of the program. Disabling the ads is against the license agreement. Adware is not particularly popular.

Spyware: Spyware software is normally free, but can be shareware. It clandestinely “phones home” and sends data back to the creator of the spyware, most often without the user’s knowledge. For example, a multimedia player might profile what music and video files the software is called upon to play. This information can be stored with a unique identification tag associated with the specific program on a user’s machine, mapping a one-to-one relationship. The concept of spyware is very unpopular, and many programs that use spyware protocols were forced to disclose this to users and offer a means to turn off reporting functions. Other spyware programs divulge the protocols in their licenses, and make acceptance of the spyware feature a condition of agreement for using the software.

Freeware: Freeware is also downloadable off the Internet and free of charge. Often freeware is only free for personal use, while commercial use requires a paid license. Freeware does not contain spyware or adware. If it is found to contain either of these, it is reclassified as such.

Public domain software: This is free software, but unlike freeware, public domain software does not have a specific copyright owner or license restrictions. It is the only software that can be legally modified by the user for his or her own purposes.

Software Designer Responsibilities and Duties

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If you are considering a job as Software Designer here is a list of the most standard responsibilities and duties for the Software Designer position.

Design, develop and execute unit test plans, test designs, test cases and test strategies.

Design, develop and execute subsystem test plans, procedures and processes.

Document all test plans, test cases and strategies procedures and issues.

Design and implement test scripts on test tools and scripting languages.

Coordinate and collaborate with outside test partners.

Design, develop and implement program and process improvements.

Design and develop coding, code reviews, unit testing and release management.

Develop design specifications in accordance with business requirements and issues.

Recommend strategic improvements to optimize performances.

Perform analyses and interpretations of strategies and software applications.

Software Consultant Responsibilities and Duties

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If you are considering a job as Software Consultant here is a list of the most standard responsibilities and duties for the Software Consultant position.

Analyze and understand detailed business requirements.

Provide mapping requirements and software solutions.

Provide recommendations for software developments and implementations.

Document business requirements, gatherings and issues and updated business process flows.

Document results of software research tools and applications.

Execute program modifications and changes.

Interface with clients, software professionals and consultants to develop solutions applications.

Review and evaluate technical design and technical quality issues and processes.

Coordinate and collaborate workflow processes and issues in designing, programming and testing.

Develop highly functional qualitative modifications and system changes.

Software Architect Responsibilities and Duties

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If you are considering a job as Software Architect here is a list of the most standard responsibilities and duties for the Software Architect position.

Develop, leverage and architect technical solutions to scale business initiatives.

Develop roadmaps for subsystems in accordance with product related technologies.

Execute product related technologies, technology platforms, architects and design principles and advancements.

Design, develop and architect evolution applications across multi-generation product releases.

Generate business requirements, verify, validate and implement.

Architect all software development lifecycle including requirements gathering, designing, implementing, testing, and releasing.

Architect and implement appropriate technologies according to business requirements.

Assess and evaluate technology tradeoffs.

Select technologies to architect product roadmaps.

Develop and implement appropriate technologies to troubleshoot functional issues and risks.

Software Analyst Responsibilities and Duties

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If you are considering a job as Software Analyst here is a list of the most standard responsibilities and duties for the Software Analyst position.

Perform complex analysis, designing and programming to meet business requirements.

Maintain, manage and modify all software systems and applications.

Define specifications for complex software programming applications.

Interface with end-users and software consultants.

Develop, maintain and manage systems, software tools and applications.

Resolve complex issues relating to business requirements and objectives.

Coordinate and support software professionals in installing and analyzing applications and tools.

Analyze, develop and implement testing procedures, programming and documentation.

Train and develop other software analysts.

Analyze, design and develop modifications and changes to existing systems to enhance performance.

Software Engineer Responsibilities and Duties

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If you are considering a job as Software Engineer here is a list of the most standard responsibilities and duties for the Software Engineer position.

Design, develop and manage software projects for clients.

Analyze and evaluate user needs and develop software solutions.

Write supporting documents for projects developed and tested.

Develop Microsoft .net based web applications.

Develop MS SQL server applications like views, triggers and stored procedures.

Design and develop web user interfaces with back-end databases and other tools.

Recommend technical feasibilities and solutions.

Evaluate new technologies in the light of emerging trends and technologies.

Modify and update existing technologies improvise performances.

Troubleshoot and resolve difficult problems relating to software applications and programs.

Software Programmer Responsibilities and Duties

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If you are considering a job as Software Programmer here is a list of the most standard responsibilities and duties for the Software Programmer position.

Design and develop systems integration, related issues and processes.

Perform analysis, design and develop computer programs and applications.

Perform unit testing and maintain software programs and applications.

Perform coding data acquisition routines and access issues.

Develop custom reports for large data sets.

Assist and support in integration of GIS analysis applications.

Develop and deploy unit testing, load testing and tracking system software support.

Configure, maintain and support production databases.

Develop and implement application to application data feeds.

Configure and maintain multi-site data processes and issues including synchronization.