Information Technology

Application Software

Application software is used to perform various applications or tasks on the computer. Today. a wide variety of application software is available to meet any user need Individuals and hundreds of businesses use application software to perform tasks such as:

    • Writing letters
    • Making presentations
    • Managing finances
    • Managing business inventory
    • Preparing tax returns
    • Designing and editing images
    • Accessing the Web-based resources
    • Participating in videoconference
    • Playing games

Forms of Application Software

Application software is available in different forms.

Packaged Software

Packaged software or retail software IS copyrighted and available for different types of users. It iS not developed for a particular user or organization, Examples of packaged software are word processing and spreadsheet software. Many packaged software is also available on the Web.

Custom Software

Custom software is designed for a particular customer or organization. It is developed to meet the exact requirements of a particular customer or organization. The cost of customized software IS more than packaged software. Software that is developed for a particular university is an example of customized software. The software can be developed by a single programmer or a team of programmers.

Shareware

Shareware is copyrighted software that is available free of cost for a limited time period. The user needs to purchase it if he wants to use it after the trial period. The shareware software should be uninstalled from the computer if the user does not want to use it anymore. Normally, shareware software stops working properly when the time period is expired. It displays a message to the user to purchase it.

Software developers provide shareware software to the users to check and evaluate its performance. A large number of shareware software are available on Internet. Some examples of shareware are antivirus programs and computer games.

Freeware

Freeware is copyrighted software that iS available free of cost for an unlimited time period. Demo disks often come under this category. Many software programs are produced for educational purposes. These programs are available free of cost to all.

Public Domain Software

Public domain software is also free software. It is basically donated for public use. It has no copyright restrictions. Any person can use or distribute public domain software to others without any cost.

Open Source Software

Open source software is a type of software provided for use, modification and redistribution without any cost. The source code of open-source software is available to everyone Anyone can modify the instructions of software and redistribute it. Many programmers improve the open source software by adding more features and fixing its bugs. programmer
Open source software usually can be downloaded from the Internet (Some examples of open source software include Linux, OpenOffice, and FlightGear.

Web Applications

Web application or Web app is a type of software that is accessed with a Web browser. Most Web apps do not require any installation on local computers or handheld devices. The software typically runs on a remote computer connected to the Internet or network. The computer requires a Web browser and an Internet connection to use the Web apps. The user can visit the specific website and use the required Web app. Many Web apps are available free of cost whereas some require a fee to use. The use of Web-based software is growing rapidly. Many business software services are offered as SaaS like scheduling, customer service, accounting, project management etc. These applications require a subscription fee per user per month. The companies that deliver SaaS are called application service providers (ASPs). Web apps are examples of cloud computing. They are also known as Software as d Service (SaaS) or cloudware. Some popular Web apps include Hotmail, Google Docs, OneDrive, and Think Free Online.

Advantages
  • The web app can be accessed from any computer with a Web browser and an Internet
    connection.
  • Some Web apps can also be accessed via a mobile phone and other mobile devices.
  • The data is usually stored on the Web app’s website and can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Web apps are always up to date and the user does not have to install updates.
  • Web apps do not require local storage space.
Disadvantages
  • Web apps may become slow than applications stored on a local hard drive.
  • Web apps typically have fewer features than applications installed locally.
  • Many Web apps put a limit on the file size of the documents.
  • The user cannot access the Web app and stored data if the server goes down or if there is no Internet access.
  • The data may be more vulnerable to exposure or loss because it is out of user control

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are designed for handheld devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, or enhanced media player. They are generally small applications sold through an online app store. They are downloaded and installed on handheld devices. Many apps are available for free or at a very nominal fee. Different types of mobile apps are available today such as games, entertainment apps, business apps, calendars and communication apps, etc. Many banks also provide mobile apps for mobile banking.

Most handheld devices can use both Web apps and mobile apps. The difference is that Web apps run on a remote computer whereas mobile apps run from a handheld device. Games and entertainment seem to dominate mobile apps, whereas shopping and social apps dominate the Web apps category.

Installing Mobile Apps

Mobile apps can be installed on handheld devices by downloading the app store. For example, the apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch can be downloaded from the online Apple App Store. Most handheld devices have an icon to open the app store for the device. The user can select an app and pay for it if required. The installation process places the app’s program file on the storage device and creates an icon to launch the app.

Portable Software

Portable software is designed to run from removable storage devices such as a CD or USB flash drive. These programs do not need any installation and can be run on almost any computer. No configuration data is stored on the hard disk. There is no need to insert any entries In Windows Registry about the software. Much portable software is available including LibreOffice Portable, Thunderbird, Firefox, and FileZilla which are designed to run from USB flash drives

Software Installation, Upgrades, and Updates

Software installation is the process of placing a program into a computer so that it can be executed. Software for desktop computers can be purchased on CD/DVD or can be downloaded from the Internet. Mobile software is downloaded from an app store such as Apple’s App Store. In any case, the software is installed using its installation program. It becomes ready to use after installation.

Software Updates, Patches, and Service Packs

The software publishers periodically replace older versions of software products with a new version known as a software upgrade. Each upgrade is assigned a version number such as version 1.0 and version 2.0. Upgrading to a new version usually involves a fee but it is usually less costly than purchasing the new version.

A software update or software patch is a small section of program code that replaces part of the software currently installed. The term service pack is a set of updates related to an operating system. The updates and service packs are designed to correct problems and address security issues and are usually free. They are typically numbered using decimal places. For example, an update may change version 2.0 to version 2.01.

Many software applications allow the user to set preferences to receive notifications and updates. The user can also check for updates at the publisher’s Web site or use the software’s Automatic Update option that downloads and installs updates automatically. Most popular software can be configured to check an update and gives the option to download and install it. The updates and service packs should be installed when they become available.

Productivity Software

Productivity software helps users to work more effectively and efficiently to perform various tasks at home, school, business, etc. These programs can be stand-alone software packages or can be purchased as a bundle. Productivity software includes word processors, spreadsheets, databases, project management, personal information management, etc.

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