14 Difference Between Program And Software In Software Engineering

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What Is A Computer Program?

A computer program is a collection of instructions that performs a specific task when executed by a computer. Most computer devices require programs to function properly. A computer program is usually written by a computer programmer in a programming language. Once it is written, the programmer uses a compiler to turn it into a language that the computer can understand.

A computer program is stored as a file on the computer’s hard drive. When the user runs the program, the file is read by the computer, and the processor reads the data in the file as a list of instructions. Then the computer does what the program tells it to do.

What You Need To Know About Program

  • Program is a set of instructions written in a programming language used to execute for a specific task or particular function.
  • A program does not have further categorization.
  • A program cannot be software.
  • A program consists of a set of instructions which are coded in a programming language like c, C++, PHP, Java etc.
  • Programs do not have a user interface.
  • A program is developed and used by either a single programmer or a group of programmers.
  • A program is compiled every time when we need to generate some output from it.
  • Program has limited functionality and less features.
  • Program functionality is dependent on compiler.
  • A program takes less time to build/make.
  • Program development approach is un-procedural, un-organized and unplanned.
  • The size of a program ranges from kilobytes (Kb) to megabytes (Mb).
  • Examples of computer programs include: Operating system, office suite, video games, malware, a web browser like Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

What Is A Computer Software?

Computer software popularly referred to as software, is a set of instructions, data or programs used to operate computers and execute specific tasks. It includes all programs on a computer such as applications and the operating system. Software is often divided into three categories:

  • Application software. This is intended to perform certain tasks. Examples of application software include office suites, gaming applications, database systems and educational software.
  • Programming Software. Programming software is a set of tools to aid developers in writing programs. The various tools available are compilers, linkers, debuggers, interpreters and text editors.
  • System Software. System software act as a base for application software. Examples include device drivers, operating systems, compilers, disk formatters, text editors and utilities helping the computer to operate more efficiently. System software is usually written in C programming language.

What You Need To Know About Software

  • Software is a collection of several programs and other procedures and documentation.
  • Software can be categorized into two categories: application software and system software.
  • Software can be a program.
  • Software consists of bundles of programs and data files. Programs in specific software use these data files to perform a dedicated type of tasks.
  • Every software has a dedicated user interface. The user interface of software may be in the form of a command prompt or in a graphical format.
  • Software is developed by either a single programmer or a group of programmers.
  • Whole software is compiled, tested and debugged during the development process.
  • Software has lots of functionality and features such as GUI, input/output data, process etc.
  • Software functionality is dependent on the operating system.
  • Software takes relatively more time to build/make when compared to program.
  • Software development approach is systematic, organized and very well planned.
  • The size of a software ranges from megabytes (Mb) to Gigabytes (Gb).
  • Examples of software include:  Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, VLC media player, Firefox, Adobe Reader, Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac etc.

Also Read: Difference Between Application Software And System Software

Difference Between Program And Software In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON PROGRAM SOFTWARE
Description Program is a set of instructions written in a programming language used to execute for a specific task or particular function.   Program is a set of instructions written in a programming language used to execute for a specific task or particular function.  
Categories A program does not have further categorization.   Software can be categorized into two categories: application software and system software.  
Flexibility A program cannot be software.   Software can be a program.  
Consists Of A program consists of a set of instructions which are coded in a programming language like c, C++, PHP, Java etc.   Software consists of bundles of programs and data files. Programs in specific software use these data files to perform a dedicated type of tasks.  
User Interface Programs do not have a user interface.   Every software has a dedicated user interface.
Development A program is developed and used by either a single programmer or a group of programmers.   Software is developed by either a single programmer or a group of programmers.  
Compilation A program is compiled every time when we need to generate some output from it.   Whole software is compiled, tested and debugged during the development process.  
Functionality & Features Program has limited functionality and less features.   Software has lots of functionality and features such as GUI, input/output data, process etc.  
Dependability Program functionality is dependent on compiler.   Software functionality is dependent on the operating system.  
Creation Time A program takes less time to build/make.   Software takes relatively more time to build/make when compared to program.  
Development Approach Program development approach is un-procedural, un-organized and unplanned.   Software development approach is systematic, organized and very well planned.  
Size The size of a program ranges from kilobytes (Kb) to megabytes (Mb).   The size of a software ranges from megabytes (Mb) to Gigabytes (Gb).  
Examples Operating system, office suite, video games, malware, a web browser like Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, VLC media player, Firefox, Adobe Reader, Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac etc.

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