Application software may be defined as the set of programs necessary to carry out operations for a specified application. For example, application software for the school system maintains the record of students. An application software requires a specific environment for execution. This implies that an application requires specific hardware and system software (operating system) for proper functioning. These are the programs written by programmers to enable computers to accomplish specific tasks such as financial accounting, medical accounting, railway reservation, inventory control, result preparation, etc. Application software can be categorized into general-purpose application software and specific-purpose application software.
General-Purpose Application Software:
This type of application software performs common information-processing tasks for end users. These kinds of software are popular with microcomputer users for home, education, business, science, and many other purposes. General-Purpose Application Software is also called productive packages because they significantly increase the productivity of end users.
Some of the commonly used general-purpose application software are:
- Word Processors.
- Presentation Applications.
- Database Management Systems.
- Communication Software.
- Graphics Packages.
- Desktop Publishing Software.
Word Processors- Word processor is computer software to create, edit, manipulate, transmit, store, retrieve and print electronic documents. A word processor helps to improve the readability and presentation of the text and includes other features such as checking grammatical errors and spelling, pictures, graphs, charts, and so on. Word processors also allow changes in margins, fonts, and colors to create visually impressive documents. This is possible by using various built-in formatting features such as aligning text, changing text size, color, style, and so on. The familiar word processing packages are Microsoft Word, WPS Word, WordPro, OpenOffice Writer, Notepad, etc.
Spreadsheets- A spreadsheet is a table of values arranged in rows and columns. Each value can have a predefined relationship to the other values. If you change one value, therefore, you may need to change other values as well.
Spreadsheet applications are computer programs that let you create and manipulate spreadsheets electronically. In a spreadsheet application, each value sits in a cell. You can define what type of data is in each cell and how different cells depend on one another. The relationships between cells are called formulas, and the names of the cells are called labels.
Once you have defined the cells and the formulas for linking them together, you can enter your data. You can then modify selected values to see how all the other values change accordingly. This enables you to study various what-if scenarios.
Spreadsheets are mainly used to maintain attendance and salary-related information by various organizations. It will also allow you to create visually impressive charts, graphs, and tables quickly. Some common examples of spreadsheets are Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel, etc.
Presentation Applications- A presentation application is a computer software package used to show information, in the form of a slide show. It is used to create presentations, quizzes, e-learning packages, and multimedia products. Most presentation software packages will create your multimedia product using a series of slides. Text, images, video, animations, links, and sound can be combined on each slide to create a final product. Some common examples of presentation applications are Microsoft PowerPoint, Macromedia Director, Freelance Graphics, Apple’s Keynote, etc.
Database Management Systems- Database Management System is a package that allows users to define data items, place these items in specified records, combine these records into designated files, and then manipulate and retrieve the stored data to fulfill the user’s requirements. It permits users to search and query database contents to extract solutions to unplanned and non-recurring problems. The users can use this package to assemble the needed data items from a common database and get solutions to their queries. It is a very flexible and easy-to-use package. It provides features such as avoiding repetition (duplication of entries) and security of information. Some common examples of database management systems are MS-Access, Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, FoxPro, etc.
Communication Software- With the evolution of the Internet, communication has acquired new meanings and standards. Computers offer faster and more reliable forms of communication through networks. Now, organizations are no longer using conventional letters to communicate with their clients; rather they use electronic modes of communication. We have sophisticated software that is used for sending and receiving data in electronic form. E-mail is the electronic form of a letter that can reach to any location from any location within seconds. An E-mail has become has an integral part of the daily life of people where they rapidly communicate ideas with each other. These are specially designed to send and receive data through e-mails. Microsoft Outlook is a widely used e-mail assistant that keeps track of sent and received emails for an individual or an organization.
Graphics Packages- Computer-accessible data can readily be converted to graphic form on the screen as well as on paper using dot matrix printers or plotters. With plotters, it is possible to have different colors. Typical graphics software enables data to be plotted as a line chart, bar chart, and pie chart.
Desktop Publishing Software- These are used for typesetting and designing purposes. The book you are studying, the calendars you see, the diaries, book titles, newspapers, magazines, etc., all are designed by using desktop publishing software. These software are capable of drawing high-level graphical shapes, can include various fills and textures, and generally support various types of image formats. Some common examples of desktop publishing software are CorelDraw, Adobe PageMaker, etc.
Specific-Purpose Application Software:
Specific-Purpose Applications are tailor-made software that is developed according to the specific requirements of the user.
Some of the commonly used specific-purpose application software are:
- Accounting Management.
- Reservation System.
- HR Management.
- Attendance System.
- Payroll System.
- Inventory Management Software.
- School Inventory Control System.
- Billing System.
Accounting Management- Accounting software is an application that is used to maintain information and perform financial operations. This software package is a money management program that is generally used in banks to produce bank statements like a passbook. In addition, this software is used in different organizations to produce ledger entries about every purchase and sale of products, balance sheets, and so on. Some common examples of accounting management software are Tally, QuickBooks, Zoho Books, Xero, Sunrise, NeatBooks, etc.
Reservation System- With reservation software, you can have more control of the reservation system for your hotel, tickets, restaurant, etc., and avoid double bookings. This is possible because of the real-time update capabilities you will have with this program. For example- the railway reservation systems, airlines reservation systems, etc, offer the best facilities to serve people.
HR Management- It is a systematic way of storing data and information for each individual employee to aid planning, decision making and submitting of returns and reports to the external agencies. It is a method by which an organization collects, analyzes and reports the information about people and job. The function of human resources department involves tracking employee history, skills, abilities, salaries, and accomplishments.
Attendance System- The attendance system is based around to monitor and manage the time worked by employees of an organization. This system reduces the time needed to calculate the working hours of employees and also provides the required information to the payroll system. Almost all attendance systems facilitate producing reports on overtime or docking of employees. Its important functions are easily and efficiently tracking employee time; managing time and attendance data and employee profiles; eliminating friend punching; making employee scheduling gentle; tracking employee time from home, the worksite, multiple locations, and more; reducing the headaches and time associated with payroll.
Payroll System- This system makes the computation of employee salaries quite easy. With different payroll components along with taxes, it can calculate salaries with the leave management process and prepare the payroll every month. Since the system deals with the salaries of employees, careful planning and appropriate backup measures are necessary. In addition, it should be ensured that the latest tax deduction policies issued by the government should be incorporated while generating pay.
Inventory Management Software- It tracks, manages, and organizes inventory levels, orders, sales, and deliveries. The purpose of inventory management software is to maintain an optimal inventory level, track goods during transport between locations, receive new items, and manage warehouse processes.
School Inventory Control System- An inventory control system is a set of hardware and software-based tools that automate the process of tracking inventory. Modern inventory control systems are almost exclusively based on barcode technology. Keeping track of your school’s inventory is not an easy task. A good inventory software program, for schools, helps facilitate the management of the school assets.
Billing System- A billing system is used by companies to make it easier for their clients to pay bills. This system collects information from a client and facilitates payments. The main purpose of a billing system is to make life easier for a customer. It is a basic customer care tool that also ensures that the company obtains payments in time. With the help of the billing system, the time consumed in making calculations as well as the chances of mistakes in calculations are reduced to a great extent.