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20 Types Of Software

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Software is a collection of instructions for computers. This ranges from a simple test program designed to print out a few words to large scale systems with complex structures and millions of lines of code. The following are common types of software.


Software designed to be used by people. Perhaps the single largest category of software that includes countless subcategories including most business software.


Applications designed specifically for mobile devices.

Office Productivity

Tools for developing knowledge materials such as a spreadsheet or text document.


Software for automating work such as business processes or manufacturing tasks.


Software for autonomous machines. Although robots have a physical form, most of the work of developing a robot is software.


Systems that implement controls. For example, safety controls on a high speed train such as automatic breaking when an earthquake is detected.

Decision Support

Applications that support decision making processes such as strategic planning. For example, business analytics tools that visualize patterns, correlations and trends in sales data.

Knowledge & Media

Tools for organizing information that is meaningful to people such as documents, photographs, sound and video. For example, content management systems, document management and media publishing tools.


Computer generated environments and activities designed to be entertaining and engaging.

Ecommerce & Markets

Software designed for commercial transactions such as a stock exchange or ecommerce website.


Software designed for marketing such as a digital advertising platform.


A generic term for software that solves a problem. Implies a rigorous design based on the best known solution to a problem or original research and development.

Artificial Intelligence

Software that learns and self improves.

Software Development

Software for developing other software.


Software that is primarily intended to provide services to other software.


Systems for managing and accessing data.


Systems that integrate systems, processes and data.

Operating Systems

Systems for managing the resources of a computer and providing a user interface.

Libraries & APIs

Software that acts as a building block for other software.


Software for operating a device such as a network card or sensor.
Overview: Software
A structured set of instructions for operating a computer.
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