Software utilities/ service programs.
These are system programs that provide a useful service to the user of the computer providing facilities for common tasks of a routine nature. Common types of utility programs are sort utilities, editors, file copying, dumping, file maintenance and tracing and debugging utilities.
Usefulness of utilities to a software engineer;
1. The software engineer could use a sort utility to sort transaction files into the sequence of a master file before carrying out updating.
2. Editors could be used to create and edit programs.
3. File-copying utilities could be used in back-up programs to copy files from hard disk to magnetic tape.
4. Tracing utilities could be used to dump (copy contents of main storage onto an output device) details of internal storage (e.g. the value of a variable) after obeying specified instructions so that the cycle of operations can be traced and errors located.
5. Debugging utilities could be used to assist the software engineer locate and eliminate errors from a program.