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Software – Introduction and Its Characteristics | Software Engineering | BSc.CSIT 6th Sem

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software - introduction and its characteristicsSoftware Introduction | Characteristics of Software,
Software Engineering Notes | Sixth Semester,
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Software is computer programs and associated documentation. This definition clearly states that, the software is not a collection of programs, but includes all associated documentation.

Software system usually consists of a number of separate programs, configuration files: which are used to set up these programs, System documentation: which describes the structure of the system, and user documentation: which explains how to use the system and web sites for users to download recent product information.

Software characteristics
Like all engineering, software engineering is not just about producing product but involves producing products in a cost effective way. Given unlimited resources, the majority of software problems can probably be solved. The challenged for the software engineers is to produce high quality software with a finite amount of resources and to a predicted schedule. The software should deliver the required functionality and performance to the user and should be maintainable, dependable and usable. So maintainability, dependability, efficiency and usability as software characteristics are described below;

  • Maintainability: (Software must evolve to meet changing needs)
    Software should be written in such a way that it may evolve to meet the changing needs of customers. This is a critical attribute because software change is an inevitable consequence of a changing environment.
  • Dependability: (Software must be trustworthy)
    Software dependability has a range of characteristics, including reliability, security and safety. Dependable software should not cause physical or economic damage in the event of system failure.
  • Efficiency: (Software should not make wasteful use of system resources)
    System should not make wasteful use of system resources such as memory and processor cycles. Efficiency therefore includes responsiveness, processing time, and memory utilization.
  • Usability: (Software must be usable by the users for which it was designed)
    Software must be usable, without undue effort, by the type of user for whom it is designed. This means that it should have an appropriate user interface and adequate documentation.
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