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An independent software vendor (ISV) is an individual or business that builds, develops and sells consumer or enterprise software. Although ISV-provided software is consumed by end users, it remains the property of the vendor.
An ISV is also known as a software publisher.
ISVs build and provide software applications that run on some or all backend platforms, like Windows, Linux or Apple. Applications developed by an ISV range from basic utility or productivity applications to enterprise class business process applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and automation tools.
ISVs often specialize in building applications for a specific niche or business vertical, such as financial, marketing and educational software. In general, ISVs that build software for end users sell software as a retail product. However, end users are subject to software license limitations. Software code modification and distribution is prohibited.
ISVs differ from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) software developers, in that the former builds software applications for human use, while the latter primarily builds backend, system level applications.