A software can be a few lines of code or a whole program with various features as per business requirements. Definition of Software in the opinion of the IBM Research is: “Software development refers to a set of computer science activities dedicated to the process of creating, designing, deploying and supporting software.” Examples of a software include: a website, mobile application, desktop applications, e-commerce solutions etc.

In today’s world, software holds a very significant position as it’s a game-changer for businesses across the globe. Through software, companies are able to expand their horizons and move towards a higher ROI and revenue.

Software Development - Overview, Types & Methodology
Software Development – Overview, Types & Methodology

To help companies grow and reach a broader consumer base, there are different classification of software products available. Some of the software is developed for personal use – such as individual users who may want to use spreadsheet software for performing data analysis from their homes.

Whereas a distributed database system software is a commercial product used by many company users within an organization. Each of the software types help in providing various features for a particular consumer segment.

Types of Software

The following are the various types of software for which the endeavor of the Software Application Development takes place.

  • System Software
  • Programming Software
  • Application Software
Types of Software
Types of Software

Let’s learn about these software types in detail now.

System Software

The primary objective of a system software is to help users interact with the hardware which makes the software like a middle layer between the hardware and the user. The most obvious example of a system software is like the Operating System which is the first thing you see once you turn on your laptop or computer.

Since it manages the entire system of your computer, it is called as the system software as it runs in the background and helps you run any basic to advanced level command on your machine. Examples of the system software include the following.

  • Operating Systems
  • Device Drivers
  • Firmware
  • Programming Language Translators
  • Utility Software such as antiviruses, disk cleanup & management tools, compression tools, defragmenters, etc.

Programming Software

Ever wondered how developers code? Before you get mentally transported into a world of bits and bytes and imagine matrix happening all over again. Let’s just give you the answer.

Developers use programming software to write code which in turn is all about creating a software for your specific need. So, in short a software is used for creating your software.

Some of the common examples of programming software are the following.

  • Source Code Editors
  • Compilers
  • Assemblers
  • Debuggers
  • Interpreters
  • IDEs

An integrated development environment (IDE) is a programming software that offers adequate facilities to assist programmers in their software development journey. An IDE comprises of a source code editor, a build automation tool, and a debugger; in its most simple form. NetBeans and Eclipse (high-level IDEs) also comprise compiler, interpreter, or both.

Some of the programming software, used for developing software are:

  • Visual Studio
  • NetBeans
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
  • Notepad++
  • Jenkins
  • Eclipse
  • UltraEdit
  • Brackets

Application Software

The application software are the programs that are used for performing various other tasks such as playing games, online research, designing graphics, spreadsheet analysis, creating a word document etc. Such application software is one layer above the system software and helps you perform additional tasks on your machine (computer, mobile and tablet or any other hardware device).

The application software is usually referred to as an app. Their existence in the hardware helps you perform a specific function. Without an app installed on your machine, the overall functioning of the system is not affected however the specific function that you can perform through it cannot be run.

Another interesting fact about application software is that some programs are exclusively used for designing other software, such as Meteor and Flutter. Application Development pertains to creating programs that can perform certain useful tasks.

Some examples of application software include:

  • Word Processors
  • Multimedia Software
  • Education and Reference Software
  • Graphics Software
  • Web Browsers

Breaking Down the Types of Application Software

There are various ways of classifying application software on basis of their availability and share-ability.

  • Freeware
  • Shareware
  • Open Source
  • Closed Source Software
Breaking Down the Types of Application Software
Breaking Down the Types of Application Software

Let’s elaborate these categories of application software briefly.


Just as the name suggests, Freeware has no cost and can be downloaded from the Internet without any charges. However, free means there are certain limitations associated with such type of software where there is little room for modifying or customizing it.

Some examples of freeware software include:

  • Adobe Reader
  • Audacity
  • Skype
  • Team Viewer
  • Yahoo Messenger


This is a software that can be used on a trial basis. Once the time limit of shareware expires, the user is asked to pay for continuation of the services.

Some examples of shareware software include:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Getright
  • PHP Debugger
  • WinZip

Open Source

The open source software is available to user with the source code. This implies that the users can freely distribute and modify the software. You can even add additional features to the software. Open-source software is mostly distributed on a free basis. But some applications require some fee on account of licensing charges.

The examples of open source software include:

  • Apache Web Server
  • GNU Compiler Collection
  • Moodle
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Thunderbird

Closed Source Software

These types of applications are usually paid and have intellectual property rights or patents over the source code. The use of closed source software is very restricted and usually, the source code is preserved and kept as a secret. Some of the common examples of such software include as custom software development applications that are developed with a particular business requirement and limited audience in mind.

Methodology of Software Development

In order to pursue application development, there has to be a format, standard, or a way of going through development which is usually called as the software development methodology or the software development life cycle model. Traditionally, the waterfall model has been extensively used in software engineering (or software analysis & design) throughout decades of software evolution. In this model, the following steps were followed.

Software Development Methodology
Software Development Methodology

Analysis => Design => Development => Testing => Deployment => Release

However, the typical waterfall model can be a risky path to follow where there is uncertainty of requirements and pressure of releasing features is high with very little time to launch your product in the market. It also has high risk in developing a software that may not conform with the requirements, or there is rapid evolution of requirements in the existing market.

As a result, an alternative came into spotlight known as the Agile methodology. Just as the name suggests, the Agile methodology is about rapid turnaround of requirements which are split into shorter iterations or sprints. The advantage of this model is that is allows development of requirements as you go along the project with quick delivery of requirements in milestones. This is the newest way in the industry as it allows extensive development and release of features in little amount of time.

There is also room for automation of business processes through Agile as many manual and repetitive features/functions/processes within the company can also be automated by applying the Agile principles.


In today’s high-paced IT industry, there is high demand for software that complies to regulations while maintaining efficiency, speed and accuracy in giving out the required results. The whole world is your consumer base which is tech-savvy. Companies want to create software which can be used as a service and an aid in producing desired results for a higher revenue.

Do you want to make a top performing Software?
Do you want to make a top performing Software?

Are you looking for help in creating a top-selling software? Talk to Techliance today for specialized Software Development services, at affordable cost. We have experienced software developers and IT consultants at our disposal.