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Application software

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Application software, often simply referred to as an ‘application,’ is a type of computer[1] program created to perform specific tasks or activities. This can range from text and number manipulation to graphics and audio handling. Applications can be individually written to satisfy unique needs, and they can also be portable, not confined to a single type of software. They can be broadly classified as either proprietary, with restricted usage rights, or free and open-source that allow unrestricted use, distribution, and modification. Applications can be general-purpose, like word processors, or industry-specific. They may be web-based, requiring internet[2] access, or native, designed for a specific computer type. The term ‘application’ is also used in various other tech concepts like APIs, application servers, and application lifecycle management, indicating its extensive reach beyond just software.

Terms definitions
1. computer. A computer is a sophisticated device that manipulates data or information according to a set of instructions, known as programs. By design, computers can perform a wide range of tasks, from simple arithmetic calculations to complex data processing and analysis. They have evolved over the years, starting from primitive counting tools like abacus to modern digital machines. The heart of a computer is its central processing unit (CPU), which includes an arithmetic logic unit (ALU) for performing mathematical operations and registers for storing data. Computers also have memory units, like ROM and RAM, for storing information. Other components include input/output (I/O) devices that allow interaction with the machine and integrated circuits that enhance the computer's functionality. Key historical innovations, like the invention of the first programmable computer by Charles Babbage and the development of the first automatic electronic digital computer, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC), have greatly contributed to their evolution. Today, computers power the Internet, linking billions of users worldwide and have become an essential tool in almost every industry.
2. internet. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use standardized communication protocols, primarily the TCP/IP, to link devices worldwide. Originating from the term 'internetted' used in 1849, the term 'Internet' was later used by the US War Department in 1945. Its development began with computer scientists creating time-sharing systems in the 1960s and further progressed with the establishment of ARPANET in 1969. The Internet is self-governed, without a central authority, and its principal name spaces are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It has significantly transformed traditional communication media and has grown exponentially over the years, with internet users increasing 20% to 50% annually. In 2019, over half of the world population used the Internet. The Internet protocol suite, which includes TCP/IP and four conceptual layers, guides internet packets to their destinations. Essential services like email and Internet telephony operate on the Internet. The World Wide Web, a global collection of interconnected documents, is a key component of the Internet.

An application program (software application, or application, or app for short) is a computer program designed to carry out a specific task other than one relating to the operation of the computer itself, typically to be used by end-users. Word processors, media players, and accounting software are examples. The collective noun "application software" refers to all applications collectively. The other principal classifications of software are system software, relating to the operation of the computer, and utility software ("utilities").

Applications may be bundled with the computer and its system software or published separately and may be coded as proprietary, open-source, or projects. The term "app" usually refers to applications for mobile devices such as phones.

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