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What is Application Software & Its Types

Computer software is basically programs and procedures intended to perform specific tasks on a system. From the lowest level assembly language to the high level languages, there are different types of application software. Computer software systems are classified into three major types namely system software, programming software and application software.

While system software comprises device drivers, OS, servers and software components, programming software helps in writing programs through tools such as editors, linkers, debuggers, compilers/interpreters and ore. Application software , in contrast to these two, is used for attaining specific tasks.

Application software uses the capacity of a computer directly for specific tasks and are used to manipulate text, graphics and numbers.

Types of Application Software

The different types of application software include the following:

There are various different types of application software such as licensed, sold, freeware, shareware,and open source.

Application software’s either need to be installed or can run online. Application software’s can also be distinguished on the basis of usage into the following:

  • Utility programs

  • Generic programs

  • Integrated programs

  • Specific software

  • Bespoke software

  • Word processing software

  • Desktop publishing software

  • Spreadsheet software

  • Database software

  • Presentation software

  • Internet Browsers

  • Email Programs

  • Graphic Programs (Pixel based)

  • Graphic Programs (vector based)

  • Communication software: Communication through audio, video or chat based means

I. Basic Software Application Types

Following are the software application types:

Word Processing Software: Flexible Tool

If the pen is mightier than the sword, the word processor is even better. Word processors create text based documents. This set of software tools are most flexible and widely used. Word processors are used for creating memos, faxes and letters. Word processors are also used to create reports and personalized pages on the Web.

Top 3 Word Processing Softwares: Microsoft Word, Lotus Word Pro and Corel WordPerfect

Word processors provide numerous features making entering, editing and formatting written documents quick and precise.

Basic Features: Word Processing Software

  • Word processors have word wrap which move the insertion point to the next line when the current line is complete. This saves time and effort.

  • Editing precision and efficiency is also offered by this software. Consider the Thesaurus which provides synonyms, antonyms and related words for chosen word or phrase. Find and replace feature enables users to scan and replace selected words or phrases.

  • There are inbuilt spelling and grammar checkers which make it easy to locate words with spelling issues or capitalization, sentence structure or punctuation problems.

  • AutoCorrect feature can be used to make corrections in a thrice of a second. AutoText inserts words or sentences into the document at the exact point one wants.

  • AutoComplete even ensures the user does not even have to type the complete word to include it in the document.

  • If looks matter, can your word processor be far behind? Numerous features within the word processor can improve the format or appearance of any document in seconds. This includes font appearance, font size, character effects such as bold, italic, colors and shadow, alignment and lists.

  • Allowing multiple users to edit the same document using a feature called collaboration is another beneficial feature of word processors.

  • Another feature is tracking changes which lets you identify modifications to an original document made by others, whereby their changes and comments are visible.

  • Word processing software involves creation of text based documents which can be stored, edited and formatted with ease.

  • Additional word processing features include WordArt to modify titles, hyphens, columns and text boxes for critical information

  • Most word processing software also generates reports and comes equipped with tools to create figure captions, tables, headers, footers,endnotes and more.

  • For web pages, word processors include predefined templates, hypertext links and support for Web pages.

Web Based Applications: The Miracle of Application Service Providers

Application programs were initially owned by organizations or individuals while users are owning and storing applications now using Web based apps.

How it Works: USP of ASPs

Special web sites referred to as application service providers or ASPs enable users to access their application programs. Access is generally provided for a nominal fee.

Web applications provide a collection of graphic illustrations including clip art drawings, diagrams and photos. One can also select items or portions of documents which can be removed from one item to another. From handwriting recognition to spelling checker and task panes, templates as well as Wizards for specific tasks and voice recognition, web based applications provide everything needed to make creating documents an easy process.

Precise, error free content is possible through spelling and grammar checkers.

The ASP downloads or sends across a copy or part of the application onto the user where it is stored in his or her hard disk drive ready to be run. Copy remains there for some time until the program is run and exited. There are even fee- free ASPs.

Web Based Applications: Making IT Work Well

Free general purpose applications can be accessed from any point in the globe. Another added benefit? You can access data files from any location. We based applications include notes, calendars and personal information managers as well as numerous games. Web based applications may even outperform traditional application software as time goes by. The only drawback? Well, privacy and security of personal data stored at the ASP is a concern. So is the rapid rate at which the Web changes. But an advantage is that users no longer need to upgrade software on hard disks with the availability of newer versions.

Spreadsheets: Organizing Digits in the Digital World

  1. Spreadsheets are used to create documents and perform calculations for example Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and more.

  2. Spreadsheets were initially only used by accountants; now they are used by marketing professionals, students, teachers and financial analysts.

  3. Most common spreadsheet programs used include Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel and Corel Quattro Pro.

Spreadsheet: IT Figures

  1. Spreadsheets organize, analyze and chart/graph numerical data such as financial reports and budgets.

  2. Spreadsheet programs are responsible for manipulation of data and creation of workbook files comprise one/more related worksheets

  3. A worksheet or spreadsheet is a rectangle grid of rows and columns intersecting to create cells

  4. Text entries or labels provide a structure to the worksheet through descriptions

  5. Numeric entries can be a number or a formula for calculating and processing information; functions are prewritten formulas to perform calculations.

  6. Spreadsheets involve ranges, text and numeric entries, functions, formulas, charts, calculations and what if analysis. There are different chart types including line, pie, column and bar which form part of the spreadsheet. They also provide other benefits like titles, legends and data labels.

Database: Relational Data

Database is a collection of relational data, which is an electronic equivalent of a filing cabinet.

A DBMS or database management system is a program for setting up or structuring database. Databases are used in offices, educational settings and organizations of different types. 3 of the most widely used DBMS designed for microcomputers include Corel Paradox, Microsoft Access and Lotus Approach. Relational database is used most widely as a database structure. Every field in the database is assigned a field size and data type. DBMS offers numerous tools to create and use databases such as filter or criteria.

Features include tools for sorting, filtering, creating forms, defining criteria and authoring reports. DBMS is able to bring information stored in separate tables through queries, forms and reports.

Query is a question or request for certain data contained in the database while queries are used for viewing data in differing ways to analyze and change existing data. Database forms replicate traditional print forms. DBMS are used chiefly for listing reports such as sales summaries, mailing labels and phone lists.

DBMS is created through a plan where you design the basic structure of the system and employees can create table structure through specification of fields, data types as well as primary key fields.

Presentation: Pixel Perfect Pictures

Information is presented visually through presentation graphics that combine numerous visual objects for creating interesting and attractive presentations. These tools are also used for communicating persuasive messages.

Slides are used for electronic presentation and there are layout, normal and slide show views. You can choose color schemes, slide layouts , special effects, animation, transitions and builds.

Integrated Packages: All in One Program

An integrated package provides the functionality of a word processor, database manager, spreadsheet and much more. The drawback is that capabilities of each function are not as extensive as individual programs. An integrated package is a single program and using and switching between functions is quite convenient. Most common integrated packages are Microsoft and Apple Works.

Software Suite: Application Software in a Group

  1. Software suite is a group of application programs and the 4 different types are productivity, specialized, utility and personal.

  2. Software suite is a collection of separate application programs bundled and sold as a group.

Business Matters: Productivity Suite

Productivity or business suites contain professional grade app programs such as spreadsheet, DBMS, word processors and more. Best known productivity suites are Lotus Smart Suite and Corel WordPerfect Office Suite.

Built for Home: Personal Suite

Personal or home suites contain personal software applications, programs intended for domestic or personal use. Some of the best known home suites include Microsoft Works Suite.

Specialized Suites: Specific Apps

These suites focus on specific applications including graphic suites, financial planning suites and much more.

Utility Suite: Making Computing Easier

This suites are designed to make computing safer. It includes the Norton Antivirus System and Norton Internet Security Suite.

Multimedia Software: One of a Kind

Multimedia software allow users to create images, audios and videos. Examples of these include Media Player.

II. Ownership Rights and Delivery Methods: Another Criteria for Distinguishing Application Software

  • Commercial Software: This has been installed in numerous computers by software vendors and providers. Only license is to be purchased for using it. Software is generally installed in more than one machine. Demo versions of software may also exist.

  • Shareware: This is either free of charge or a nominal fee is charged. This type of software can be downloaded from online sources Example: MP3 player.

III. The Many Different Wares: Where Application Software is Negative

Just like there are positive softwares, there are also negative forms of application software used for nefarious purposes. Applications software can carry the following hidden programs or utilities:

  • Malware: This stands for malicious software. Most common forms of malware are Trojan horses, worms and viruses.

  • Adware and Spyware: Adware and spyware are other common types of software. Adware includes sponsored freeware available when you register. Sometimes, adware tracks internet surfing habits to become intrusive and change into spyware. It then keeps a record of all the sites you have surfed and comes up with ads which it feels are relevant to you. Unlike adware, spyware has a negative connotation.

  • Greyware: This is a term used to categories all the software falling between malicious software and other codes including track-ware and spyware.

  • Nagware: This refers to software that comes in the form of pop ups asking users to register for a product or purchase an app

  • Bloatware: Software which has so many different features that it requires considerable disk space and memory resources to run

  • Slime ware: This refers to software which interfere with user experience by changing principal settings.

  • Abandonware: Software which is no longer sold or supported by publishers.

  • Dribble ware: Software which has too many updates and patches.


From numbers to text, this software has a wide scope of application. Action oriented application software carries out specific tasks intended to make the complex into something very simple. Application software comes in many types which will go on increasing as technology and users evolve. The different types of application software mirror the massive changes in computer technology and terminology that have come about. With changing technology, application software too has undergone modifications for the better. Application software involves performing virtual tasks to solve problems in the real world.



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