Application Software 101: Types, Functions & Examples
The right application software for your business or personal needs can improve efficiency and performance to a great extent. And, not only does it improve the overall function but also the scalability. However, if you do not understand your available options, your business will not grow. In the worst-case scenario, it may reduce productivity while increasing costs and resource utilization.
But, if you have the know-how of application software and the types of application software available, your evaluation will become much more manageable. As a result, you’ll be able to make an informed decision, whether it comes to selecting ready-made software or custom software applications.
What is application software? Let’s get started with its definition.
What is Application Software?
A type of computer program that performs a specific personal, educational, or business function is known as application software. Each application is intended to help end users complete a variety of tasks related to productivity, creativity, or communication. Besides, app software is also known as productivity software or end-user software.
Unlike system software, application software is focused on a single function and completes the task for which it was designed. The vast majority of apps on our smartphones are examples of application software.
Common Application Software Functions
Now that you know what application software is, let’s explore its functions. Typically, application software programs are built to perform a wide range of tasks. The functions are not restricted but rather depend on the needs of the user. Below we’ve mentioned some of the major functions of application software.
- Managing information
- Manipulating data and images
- Calculating expenses and figures
- Developing websites
- Writing reports
- Keeping records
- Organizing resources
- Creating spreadsheets, etc.
Examples of Application Software
Some common software applications examples are those computer programs that we use for various purposes in our daily lives.
- Internet search browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
- Microsoft products including Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Office, and others
- Online communication software like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet
- Music application software like Spotify and Pandora
- Multimedia software for instance VLC Media Player
- Team collaboration tools like Slack and Google Workspace
In short, every application that you use is an example of application software. They’re all used by millions of people every day to assist with specific tasks, simplify workflows, and improve team communication. If you intend to build application software, get in touch with a web development company with the expertise to uniquely design products as per your needs.
Types of Application Software in 2023
The types of software you require depend on your requirements. Here is a list of the many popular types of application software in 2023.
1. Word Processing Software
Word processing software is used to format, beautify, and edit text. It supports functions such as synonyms and antonyms. Besides, the word art feature allows to quickly and conveniently change fonts, colors, and styles. Apart from that, additional features such as spell check and grammatical error checking options are also available in it. One good example of word processing software is Microsoft Word.
2. Spreadsheet Software
Spreadsheet software lets you store and manage a massive amount of data in table format and do calculations. And, given the intersecting cells, various fields of information such as time, date, text, and numbers can be kept and managed appropriately. With its use, users can apply formulas and functions for calculations in real-time. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are the two best examples of spreadsheet software out there.
3. Presentation Software
As the name suggests, this application software allows you to display the information in the form of slides. In short, presentation software lets you present your ideas and thoughts as pieces of visual data. Besides, you may add videos, words, charts, graphs, and photographs to your presentations to make them more engaging and educational. Microsoft PowerPoint is the top presentation software example.
4. Multimedia Software
With multimedia software, users can record and play audio and video files. It is a broad term that covers everything from video editing to web design. Besides, it is an essential element in many other software applications. Sound, text, graphics, animation, and video—all are an integral part of this software. VLC Player, MX Player, etc. are common examples.
5. Web Browsers
A web browser or an internet browser is simply software for accessing the World Wide Web or a local website. It provides a way to browse and interact with information present on the web. You can locate and retrieve data including web pages, images, and videos. The most commonly used web browsers today are Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
6. Educational Software
Also known as academic software, educational software is designed specifically to facilitate the learning process. It incorporates language learning as well as classroom management tools. EDX, MindPlay, and Kid Pix are a few educational software that enhances learning.
7. Graphics Software
Graphics software can manipulate images and models visually on a computer. Users can edit visual data, images, backgrounds, clip art, logos, and animation. Also, it incorporates various editorial software. Besides, from simple line art apps to powerful 3D graphics editors, it includes both. For instance, Adobe Photoshop, Unity 3D, and more.
The name pretty much says it all. This type of application software is offered at no cost. They can be utilized for desktop, mobile, and web-based utilities. Users may download it for free but they cannot make changes to its source code. Examples include Skype, and Adobe Reader, among others.
Shareware is a type of application software that is distributed to users for free on a trial basis. It is done so with the understanding that if the user likes it and would want to continue using it, then they have to pay for it. Users get access to complete and updated features after the payment. An example of this software is WinZip.
10. Simulation Software
Simulation is a decision analysis and support tool. In other words, it is a monitoring program that lets users observe an operation without having to perform it. It is useful especially when the existing system is not quite accurate, predictable, or dangerous. Common applications include robotics, forecasting, testing, video gaming, engineering, flight systems, and more. MATLAB and AnyLogic are popular examples.
11. Open Source
Open source software is code that is designed to be accessible by all. This means that any person can inspect, modify, enhance, and distribute the code as they see fit. It is developed in a decentralized and collaborative way. Moreover, it is available for free and only a few are paid.
12. Closed Source
This software is the complete opposite of open source software. Users can’t modify any part of it as the source code is kept safe and encrypted. They are paid and come with several terms and conditions. Closed source software examples include Skype, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, etc.
Top Business Application Software
A subset of application software, business application software are programs built to ease certain business functions and improve the accuracy and effectiveness of operations while saving time and enhancing productivity. Today, almost every fast-growing business utilizes business application software. Below are some popularly implemented ones.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Application Software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a technology that incorporates a combination of strategies and practices that companies use to manage and interact with existing/potential customers. It has one main goal: to improve business relationships. CRM helps streamlines processes and improve profitability.
2. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Application Software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) manages a company’s core functions. It simplifies and automates various business activities including project management, risk management, compliance, sales quoting, recruiting, and accounting, among others. In short, ERP is known for offering complete visibility into core business processes.
3. Project Management Application Software
It is an application software commonly used by businesses of all sorts to enhance project planning, scheduling, and resource allocation. Apart from that, project management software enables managers and team members to manage their budget and costs, assign tasks, report results, and document progress throughout the project.
4. Business Process Management (BPM) Application Software
Business process management (BPM) is a software solution built to optimize an organization’s growth. It is a tool that defines, reports, and automates repetitive tasks, and manages to handle process logic. In simple words, BPM is an automated workflow of tasks to process the information.
5. Database Management System (DBMS)
Often known as database software, DBMS is utilized to store, retrieve, and run data queries. It serves as an interface between a database and an end-user allowing them to create, read, update, or delete data. These types of software help with data security, integrity, concurrency, and administration procedures.
6. Resource Management Application Software
Resource management or resource planning is a type of application software. It is a tool to control the human capital and schedule of an organization. It aids in allocating and assigning multiple projects to ensure everything is completed in real-time. Requires insight into the data thus it is utilized in association with project management software for optimal utilization of resources.
7. Productivity Software
Productivity software, as the name suggests, allows users to perform their allocated tasks effectively and also on time. It is a category of application programs with which users can produce documents, graphs, worksheets, databases, etc. Other than that, it is widely used by organizations to improve collaboration, time management, database management, in short, overall productivity.
8. Custom Developed Software
A custom-developed software is one developed for businesses to cater to their individual/organizational needs. It is among the most widely used application software for businesses. The custom software development process entails designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining software for a narrowly defined set of requirements. For businesses with a long-term aim, custom-developed software is the best option.
9. Time Management Application Software
Time management or time tracking software is a software app that enables users to manage time. By using this software, you can allot tasks to various employees and set a timeframe to track the time they spend working on each task. As a result, you’ll gain a good idea of where the time goes and so improve productivity.
How to Choose an Application Software for Your Business?
Do you think it’s time to invest in application software for your business? The hunt to choose the perfect one isn’t always easy and you may wonder where to begin. Before you choose the right solution, there are several important factors to consider.
Not only should you analyze your current business needs but also what you might need in the future. Select software that will future-proof your business, enabling you to stay competitive in the fast-paced world. You need to carry out a need assessment that will help inform your choices when it comes to new business software. Moreover, you can also take feedback from your colleagues or software providers.
Or, contact the best software development company for a custom-made high-quality solution for you. Apart from that, some general steps to choosing the right software are mentioned below.
- Look at the big picture to create a simple plan
- Review your processes, prioritize your needs, and set your budget
- Take time to research your options
- Shortlist software solutions
- Get the right advice
- Make the decision
We hope you got all your questions answered in this blog. The secret to realizing your potential may lie in selecting new software. So, make the effort to do it well, and your investment will pay out in more advanced capabilities and increased output.