Application Software


John Hassler
Professor C. Mason
Computer Information systems 204
September 13, 1996

Computer systems contain both hard and software. Hardware is any
tangible item in a computer system, like the system unit, keyboard, or printer.
Software, or a computer program, is the set of instruction that direct the
computer to perform a task. Software falls into one of two categories: system
software and application software. System software controls the operation of
the computer hardware; whereas, application software enables a user to perform
tasks. Three major types of application software on the market today for
personal computers are word processors, electronic spreadsheets, and database
management systems (Little and Benson 10-42).
A word processing program allows a user to efficiently and economically
create professional looking documents such as memoranda, letters, reports, and
resumes. With a word processor, one can easily revise a document. To improve
the accuracy of one\'s writing, word processors can check the spelling and the
grammar in a document. They also provide a thesaurus to enable a user to add
variety and precision to his or her writing. Many word processing programs also
provide desktop publishing features to create brochures, advertisements, and
newsletters.
An electronic spreadsheet enables a user to organize data in a fashion
similar to a paper spreadsheet. The difference is the user does not have to
perform calculations manually; electronic spreadsheets can be instructed to
perform any computation desired. The contents of an electronic spreadsheet can
be easily modified by the user. Once the data is modified, all calculations in
the spreadsheet are recomputed automatically. Many electronic spreadsheet
packages also enable a user to graph the data in his or her spreadsheet
(Wakefield 98-110).
A database management system (DBMS) is a software program that allows a
user to efficiently store a large amount of data in a centralized location.
Data is one of the most valuable resources to any organization. For this reason,
user desire data be organized and readily accessible in a variety of formats.
With aDBMS, a user can then easily store data, retrieve data, modify data,
analyze data, and create a variety of reports from the data(Aldrin 25-37).
Many organizations today have all three of these types of application
software packages installed on their personal computers. Word processors,
electronic spreadsheets, and database management systems make users\' tasks more
efficient. When users are more efficient, the company as a whole operates more
economically and efficiently.

Works Cited

Aldrin, James F. “A Discussion of Database Management Systems.” Database Monthly
May 1995: 25-37. Little, Karen A. And Jeffrey W. Benson. Word Processors.
Boston: Boyd Publishing Company,
1995. Wakefield, Sheila A. “What Can An Electronic Spreadsheet Do For
You,” PC Analyzer Apr.
1995: 98-110.

Category: Technology