Applied software: types, purpose, examples. Application Software Classification

Every school student or adult who somehow uses a computer in everyday life is confronted with such a concept as “application software”. Some users naively refer to this category absolutely all programs installed on the computer. This is an obvious misconception, since only well-defined applications that correspond to some basic features are included in the application software. We will try to give a brief description of the software of this type.

Computer Science: Application Software

Modern software can be divided into several types, one of which is the software of this category. How to distinguish application programs from other types of applications? Very simple.


Most of the tasks of the application software are strictly defined by some framework. In other words, all software is conditionally oriented to perform only one or several similar tasks. That's just need to make the difference between application software and application programs. Application software is a group that unites absolutely all applications (either in a general sense, or in any one selected area), while application programs are specific applications oriented to a particular direction in use or created for one or more actions to achieve the goal.

application software includes

You can consider the simplest situation. Take the Microsoft Office suite. This is application software (examples can be cited on other similar collections, but everyone knows “Office”, so this looks more convenient). All the applications that are part of the Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Access, etc.) are already application programs.

Purpose of application software

Since this type of software is focused on performing well-defined tasks, in a certain sense it can be (quite conditionally) divided into programs,intended solely for one common task and whole software systems that combine the capabilities to perform both the main and related tasks.

In this perspective, and you can consider the application software. Examples are best based on text-based applications. For example, many users constantly confuse the terms “text editor” and “word processor”.

application software classification

Although there is much in common in such applications, the difference between them is significant.

application software examples

A text editor is designed to view and edit text with a minimal set of tools (WordPad), and a word processor (MS Word), in addition to performing basic tasks, allows for a lot of additional actions. Again, the division is very conditional.

types of application

But the standard Notepad, available on any Windows system, is more likely a hybrid application. Along with text editing, it can be used as a programming tool, since it supports the syntax of most of the currently known programming languages.

General classification of application software

It is becoming more and more difficult for software applications to be categorized as new programs appear relatively quickly, and their scope is constantly expanding. It is not surprising that today there is simply no single adopted system for the separation of programs.

However, as one of the options, you can bring the most common division of applications by type and scope of use. Both categories are quite voluminous, so some types of application software should be considered separately. Only this can give a complete understanding of the overall picture.

Separation by type

Classification of programs by type is primarily focused on the type of task being executed.

application software assignment

So for ease of understanding almost all applications can be combined into several large groups:

  • General purpose software;
  • entertainment software;
  • Special purpose software;
  • professional software;
  • user application programs.

General purpose software

The structure of this category includes applications and software packages that any user of a modern computer knows about. These include the following components:

  • text editors and processors;
  • Spreadsheet tools
  • packages for working with databases (DBMS);
  • graphic editor;
  • publishing software packages (computer layout);
  • Internet browsers and downloaders.

Naturally, this list can be added for as long as you wish. Only a brief classification is given, so to speak, for a general understanding of the subject matter.

Entertainment Software

This category, as is already clear from the name, includes everything that provides our leisure. The entertainment industry has a lot of areas, but in relation to computer technology, we will single out only the main components.

application software tasks

In this category, the application software includes the following applications and software packages:

  • computer games;
  • all kinds of media players;
  • programs for watching television and listening to the radio (including their Internet counterparts);
  • software products of a sports nature;
  • geographical, literary, culinary, and other applets of a cognitive nature, etc.

As you can see, absolutely all aspects related to leisure are simply impossible to list.

Special purpose software

As for software of this type, it is not difficult to guess that the application software of this category includes programs that have a very narrow focus.

computer science application software

Among the variety of software packages and applications separately, the following components can be distinguished:

  • expert systems (logic programs for solving problem situations or making certain decisions);
  • hypertext systems (electronic libraries, dictionaries, reference systems, encyclopedias);
  • translators (converters of programs written in a specific programming language into object files);
  • content management systems (sharing, editing, etc.);
  • multimedia processing packages (audio, video editors, Text-to-Speech applications, sequencers, virtual music studios).

Professional software

With the section of professional software, the situation is somewhat more complicated. This category is very large, and the program, in her inbox, ordinary users almost never use.

varieties of application software

However, the following packages can be distinguished in this group:

  • computer-aided design systems;
  • automated control systems;
  • software and hardware automation systems of the workplace;
  • process control systems;
  • automated systems for scientific research;
  • billing systems;
  • geographic information systems;
  • warehouse management programs;
  • customer relationship management systems;
  • support systems for global trading processes;
  • analytics systems;
  • workflow automation;
  • enterprise management systems (planning of funds and resources, marketing management, organization of production management and repairs);
  • automated banking systems;
  • programs for remote management of banking services and customer service, etc.

Again, it is very difficult to list all categories of professional-purpose programs, and this list is provided solely for the purpose of understanding software products included in it.

User Applications

With this group, everything is simple. For the most part, these are applications created by the user himself using the toolkit he has,in a particular computing environment in accordance with the capabilities of the environment itself and the operating system in which it operates.

Split by scope

The classification of application software for this feature also contains very extensive information. Among the most priority areas we mention the most common:

  • Software for enterprises and organizations;
  • Software for user interaction with all elements of the computer system;
  • organization of enterprise infrastructure;
  • toolkit information (office) employee;
  • content management and sharing systems;
  • educational interactive software;
  • imitation software for research and forecasts;
  • instrumental systems in the field of media;
  • design and engineering, engineering software, etc.


As it was already possible to notice all of the above, application software is one of the largest groups in the separation of programs and applications. It is clear that it is impossible to physically mention absolutely all types of programs, directions in solving the set tasks or the scope of such software products.Nevertheless, even the exemplary classification allows you to immediately understand the differences, for example, from the system software and management or service utilities.

Finally it remains to highlight the most important property of the application software. The programs of this type cannot directly interact with the user, and also have no direct ability to access computer resources. Such interaction is possible only through the means of the installed operating system, which in this case plays the role of a certain layer between the program, some computer components and the end user.

As for the separation of software according to some characteristic features, today you can find quite a lot of classification options, and the given example is not the only and a priori correct. If you follow some specific standards adopted and valid in different countries, you can find other forms of separating applications and software packages into classes. For example, it was possible to include division into paid, free and shareware programs here.However, such a criterion can correspond not only to application software, but also to other types of software products. If you carefully study the standards of some states, you can find many more criteria that can meet this type of software. And that is why today there is no single adopted system that could with certainty attribute a software product to only one category. Moreover, even in the application software itself one can find quite a few, so to speak, hybrid applications that could equally belong to different classes of software. But, if you look at the question a little more broadly, even according to the above characteristics, it is very likely to say that a particular program belongs to the application type, and not to some other category.

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