International Symposium on Software Composition

Independent software vendor

An independent software vendor (ISV), also known as a software publisher, is an organization specializing in making and selling software, as opposed to hardware, designed for mass or niche markets. This is in contrast to in-house software, which is developed by the organization that will use it, or custom software, which is designed or adapted for a single, specific third party. Although ISV-provided software is consumed by end users, it remains the property of the vendor.

The software products developed by ISV's serve a wide variety of purposes. Examples include software for real estate brokers, scheduling for healthcare personnel, barcode scanning, stock maintenance, gambling, retailing, energy exploration, vehicle fleet management, even child care management software.

An ISV makes and sells software products that run on one or more computer hardware or operating system platforms. Companies that make the platforms, such as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, Google, Oracle, Apple, SAP, Salesforce, Nutanix and ServiceNow encourage and lend support to ISVs, often with special "business partner" programs. These programs enable the platform provider and the ISV to leverage joint strengths and convert them into incremental business opportunities.