Application Software

Application software, also known as an application or an "app", is computer software designed to help the user to perform singular or multiple related specific tasks. It helps to solve problems in the real world. Examples include enterprise software, accounting software, office suites, graphics software, and media players.

Application software is contrasted with system software and middleware, which manage and integrate a computer's capabilities, but typically do not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user. A simple, if imperfect, analogy in the world of hardware would be the relationship of an electric light bulb (an application) to an electric power generation plant (a system). The power plant merely generates electricity, not itself of any real use until harnessed to an application like the electric light that performs a service that benefits the user.


In information technology, an application is a computer program designed to help people perform an activity. An application thus differs from an operating system (which runs a computer), a utility (which performs maintenance or general-purpose chores), and a programming language (with which computer programs are created). Depending on the activity for which it was designed, an application can manipulate text, numbers, graphics, or a combination of these elements.

Application software classification

An application suite consists of multiple applications bundled together. They usually have related functions, features and user interfaces, and may be able to interact with each other, e.g. open each other's files. Business applications often come in suites, e.g. Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, and iWork, which bundle together a word processor, a spreadsheet, etc.; but suites exist for other purposes, e.g. graphics or music.

Enterprise software addresses the needs of organization processes and data flow, often in a large distributed environment. (Examples include financial systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and supply-chain management software). Note that Departmental Software is a sub-type of Enterprise Software with a focus on smaller organizations or groups within a large organization. (Examples include Travel Expense Management and IT Helpdesk)

Educational software is related to content access software, but has the content and/or features adapted for use in by educators or students. For example, it may deliver evaluations (tests), track progress through material, or include collaborative capabilities.

Mobile applications run on hand-held devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and enterprise digital assistants: see mobile application development.

Product engineering software is used in developing hardware and software products. This includes computer aided design (CAD), computer aided engineering (CAE), computer language editing and compiling tools, Integrated Development Environments, and Application Programmer Interfaces. YUH ZEIT * A command-driven interface is one in which you type in commands to make the computer do something. You have to know the commands and what they do and they have to be typed correctly. DOS and UNIX are examples of command-driven interfaces.


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