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Program Versus Software

Many people equate the term software with computer programs. Programs are developed by individuals for-their personal use. They are generally, small in size and have limited functionality. The author of a program himself uses and maintains his programs, these usually do not have good-user interface and lack proper documentation. Whereas, software products have multiple users and, therefore should have good user interface, proper operating procedures and good documentation support.

Software = program + good user interface + operating procedures + documentation

Since a software product has a large number of users, it must be properly designed, carefully implemented and properly tested.

Any program is a subset of software and it becomes software only if documentation and operating procedure manuals are prepared.

Program is a combination of source code and object code.

Documentation consists of different types of manuals as shown below:

List of documentation manuals

Operating procedures consists of instructions to setup and use the system and instructions on how to meet to system failure.

List of operating procedures manuals

Generally software products are too large and they cannot be developed by a single programmer. Therefore, software products are developed by a group of software engineers.

Software Engineers are concerned with developing a software product, whereas, programmers are concerned with writing programs. Development of a software product requires a well-defined and systematic methodology, without which a software development team would not be able to produce an appropriate software product.

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