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Application Software for Personal, Enterprise & Workgroup Objectives

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  • 0:05 Application Software
  • 1:03 Applications for Personal Use
  • 3:19 Workgroup Applications
  • 5:00 Enterprise Applications
  • 7:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Zandbergen

Paul has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and has taught Geographic Information Systems, statistics and computer programming for 15 years.

Application software is a computer program to carry out a specific task. Learn about the different types of applications at the individual, workgroup and enterprise level.

Application Software

Application software is a computer program used to carry out a specific task that goes beyond the functionality of the computer's operating system (OS). Examples are word processing software and Internet browsers. Application software can only be installed after the OS has been installed and your computer is up and running. Before installing applications, you need to check the compatibility with your computer OS and hardware.

Most application software programs are OS specific.
OS Specific Applications

Most applications come in OS specific form. This means that they will only run if it is designed for that particular OS. So, if you're buying software, you need to make sure you get the correct version. Many applications will have different versions for different operating systems, but some only work on one specific OS. Applications also have hardware requirements. For example, it may require a minimum amount of memory to run.

Applications for Personal Use

There are thousands of applications to choose from. Think of anything you might want to do on a computer, and someone has probably created application software for it. However, there are a number of general types of applications that most users have installed on their computer.

Internet browser software allows you to view the pages of websites on the Internet. Commonly referred to simply as a 'browser,' you use this software to find information, download files and access other applications. For example, many computers use their browser to access e-mail. Word processing software is used to manipulate a text document, such as a resume or report. You enter text by typing, and the software provides tools for copying, editing, deleting and various types of formatting.

Presentation software allows you to create slides for a presentation. Each slide can include text, numbers, tables, images and other elements. Typically, your slides are projected on a screen while you are giving a presentation. Spreadsheet software is used to work with numerical values. You enter numbers in a grid, and you use formulas to manipulate those numbers. A typical manipulation is to determine the sum of a list of numbers.

Productivity applications are often bundled together as a suite.
Application Software Bundle

Database software is used to organize data into a structure so that you can easily manipulate, modify, search and analyze the data. Most data are organized in the form of tables. Word processing, presentation, spreadsheet and database software are often bundled together in a collection of software referred to as an office suite, or productivity suite. Such software bundles make it easier for the applications to interact with each other.

Graphics software is used to create illustrations.
Graphics Software

Graphics software is used to work with various types of illustrations, while photo-editing software is used to manipulate digital photographs. Media players are used to play music or videos. Many players have built-in utilities to organize your media files.

Photo-editing software is used to manipulate digital photographs.
Photo Editing Software

Workgroup Applications

A workgroup is a collection of individuals working together on a task. Many personal applications extend into workgroup applications. For example, if everyone in a group is using the same online calendar to schedule their meetings, then shared access can be set up to create a common scheduling tool. However, there are also applications specifically developed for workgroups.

Workgroup software applications are also referred to as 'collaborative software,' or 'groupware.' There are several categories of workgroup applications, including electronic communications, electronic conferencing and scheduling and coordination tools.

Electronic communication applications send messages, documents and files between people on different computer systems. This includes tools like e-mail, voice mail, instant messaging and wikis. Electronic conferencing applications consist of software that makes it possible to have meetings in real-time without being physically in the same location. This includes audio conferencing, video conferencing and electronic meeting systems.

Scheduling and coordination tools facilitate scheduling meetings and other group activities. This includes tools such as electronic calendars, project management systems, online proofing and workflow systems. Increasingly, workgroup applications have become web-based, meaning you can access the applications using a web-browser. This makes it easier to work in groups of any size in geographically separate locations.

Enterprise Applications

An enterprise is an organization with a large number of employees, typically distributed over a number of offices that are geographically separate. Each individual employee will have personal software applications on his or her computer. Many activities in an organization, however, require that a large number of people work on the same computer system.

For example, consider a chain of supermarkets. Each supermarket needs new products delivered on a regular basis to keep the shelves filled. It would not be very efficient for each individual store to do this independently. Instead, a centralized purchasing and distribution unit within the organization will typically be responsible for this. Employees at this unit will work with their colleagues at each store to make sure the necessary products get ordered and delivered.

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