Also known simply as a DSL, a definitive software library is a repository for software programs that are considered essential for the operation of a network. The library is sometimes located somewhere on the network file server, with a secondary copy of the collection of software programs housed on a backup server, or even on remote storage devices. Whether saved as physical media on a CD or other storage device, or stored away on a network server, the library will include copies of purchased software, or proprietary software designed by the business, that can be called upon when and as needed.
It is important to note that a definitive software library is not the same as backup repositories that are copies of active programs that are updated from time to time. Repositories of this type are also essential to the ongoing operation of a business, as they make it possible to accessed copies of data that are complete up to the date of the last save. They also may be housed somewhere on a backup server or a remote storage device, and are very helpful when something happens to the data stored on the main server. By contrast, the DSL does not contain regular updates on active software, but is simply the basic software itself as it was originally purchased or created, without any of the stored data included.
Companies that manufacture software for sale to consumers will maintain a definitive software library that includes the master copies of all the products made available to customers. These master copies serve as the means of maintaining the functionality and quality standards for all copies that are manufactured and ultimately sold. Making use of the master copies in the DSL make it much easier to make sure the quality of each copy sold is the same, something that would be harder to manage if copies were routinely made from other copies.
Even a business that does not actually manufacture software may maintain a definitive software library. With this application, the DSL holds purchased software, as well as any software developed for proprietary use in-house. In the event that the business opens a new location, the master copies contained in the definitive software library can be used to set up the local network for that location prior to the connection with the main company network. This approach helps to maintain uniformity among the systems used at each location, and thus increase the efficiency of the system usage overall.