Application Software

We spoke of computer applications and identified certain areas where computers are being used today. Software specially suited for specific applications is now available in the market. For example, software for billing systems, accounting software or software that enables the creation and storage of documents. Such software is called application software since it is designed for a specific application.

Application software that takes care of a variety of business and corporate needs can now be bought off the shelf. These are also called standard software packages. They are reasonably priced and can run on any standard PC.

Two popular standard software packages are Financial Accounting and Inventory Control packages.

In case a user is not satisfied with the available package, because it does not meet all the requirements, the package can be modified.

However, if the package cannot be modified, the user can opt for a customized software package. A customized package is developed for a user's specific needs and may not be relevant to any other user.

Though these packages are for very specific applications, there are general application softwares like database management systems (DBMS), spreadsheets and word processors.

Using a DBMS software, a user can maintain large volumes of data that can be modified, updated and queried.

A spreadsheet package allows a user to enter numeric data, specify formulae and perform calculations. Graphs can also be generated from the given data. The special feature of automatic recalculation allows changes made in any one item to reflect in all items dependent upon the first one.

A word processing package converts a PC into a sophisticated typewriting machine. It has the facility to perform spell checks, provide for synonyms, and allow changes or corrections in the document without having to re-type the entire document.