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Application software - Capabilities and characteristics of hardware - Introduction to Information Technology
Information Technology - Application software
Application software allows the user to interact with the information
system with ease. It provides in general a GUI (graphical user interface)
that gives users an easy mouse driven graphical environment. Users, through
efficient use of this software, can ensure relevant, timely, accurate,
concise and complete information.
The main general usage types of application software include:
* This is the most widely used software type. It allows users to type
documents, save them, and edit them or reuse them as required. Text can be
presented in an attractive format incorporating graphics and many other
enhancement features, assisting in creating clear, readable and informative
Spreadsheets: allow the manipulation of primarily numerical data, it
incorporates the use of formula, the user can then change or modify data
without redoing calculations. Spreadsheets are particularly useful when
wanting to do regular calculations such as monthly reports where only the
data changes not the method of analysing it.
* This type of software is heavily utilised by organisations with a
large number of members, clients, employees etc. It provides structure for
storing data about one item, whether that is employees' personal details or
the details of a newly purchased video. Data is stored in fields, each item
forms a record and a collection of records forms a database table. The data
type of field can be specified, that is as numeric, text, graphic, date
etc, and can include set rules or validation of the possible content, for
example only a number between 1 and 10. Record can be sorted and searched
to provide data to management.
Desktop Publishing/Presentation: This provide users with more features
than a word processor to allow the layout of documents such as brochures,
pamphlets and posters. It has in some cases sophisticated features to
improve layout. Presentation software also allows the incorporation of
animation to produce interactive publications.
Web browsers: This software is now standard on all PCs. It provides
access to Internet web sites, if the computer has the ability to be online.
Web browsers read and interpret HTML documents and display them as the
* Most users now have access to e-mail software that provides them with
the ability to send electronic mail within the organisation or worldwide.
It not only allows text letters to be sent but attachments may also be sent
with the message. These attachments can be of any file type, for example
graphics or word processing.
There are also a range of other software types that are more specialised.
Various forms of software are available to provide easier use of data.
- This allows the in-depth planning of projects; users allocate
resources and time to tasks, and monitor the project as it progresses.
- A range of web development tools exist, all providing a range of
features so that users may create web pages from the simple to the more
- All software is created by using a programming language, it is these
programming statements that the computer interrupts before displaying
anything on screen. In some cases the software that is available on the
shelf is not suitable for an organisation's need so they employ a
programmer to develop a piece of software specific to their needs. The
programmer uses a programming environment to create a solution to the