What is a Software Distribution?
A software distribution is the process of delivering software to users, customers or clients. This process is responsible for the creation, testing, packaging, and distribution of software applications to end-users.
The primary objective of software distribution is to simplify the process of installing and updating software. In general, when software is created, it needs to be packaged into a format that is compatible with the end user’s device. The distribution process assists in customising this process to ensure smooth functionality of the software.
Software companies use a variety of methods to distribute their software. Some of the common methods include distribution of disk images in physical media, downloading from the web, Software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, and cloud hosting.
Disk images in physical media, such as CD or DVD are an old-fashioned way of distributing software. This method is still used for niche markets where internet connectivity is poor or limited.
Downloading software from the web has become the primary process of software distribution. Customers can access the software by visiting the company’s website and downloading the software. This is an easy-to-use and efficient method of software distribution, and also allows for easier tracking and logging of users.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is becoming increasingly popular. Cloud-based solutions are hosted by the software vendor and are easily accessed through the web. The user pays for the software on a subscription basis and accesses the software from the vendor’s servers. This model allows for automatic updates and ensures the latest version of the software is always available.
Cloud hosting is also an emerging method of software distribution, with the software available through a cloud-based infrastructure. The software does not need to be installed on individual devices, and storage and maintenance of the software is done by the vendor.
In conclusion, software distribution is an integral part of the software development lifecycle. The main purpose of software distribution is to get the software into the hands of the end-user as efficiently and effectively as possible. With the internet being the primary method for software distribution today, software vendors must ensure the software is secure and reliable, while also being user-friendly.