What are the different types of software applications in vogue today?
- Definition of Software
- System Software and Types of System Software
- Application Software and Types of Application Software
- Functions of an Application Software
- Future of Software
Software program(s) is to a computer what an orchestra conductor is to a symphony. They tell the computer what to do and how to do it in perfect harmony. A computer needs different types of software to perform various tasks ranging from the simplest of tasks like greeting us when we switch on the system to running complex gaming systems that require some serious programming skills. System software can bring in business benefits including, increased productivity, informed decision-making, more reliable data, improved data security, enhanced analysis, better customer service, and increased sales potential.
We have all come a long way from the computers of old that had just one software, which was installed onto individual machines from floppy disks and CD ROMs. We now have multiple categories of application software to suit every need and purpose. While that is wonderful, it also places before us an array of choices. You may be wondering which of these categories of software fulfills the needs of your business. To help you with this, here is a detailed guide by Fingent, a top software development company to understand the types of software and categories of application software.
Let us begin by understanding the definition of what software is.
Definition of Software
Software is any computer program that enables you to perform certain specific tasks on your computer. It directs the function of all the peripheral devices of the computer, including your mouse, hard drive, monitor, and keyboard, etc. Without software, it would be impossible to operate the hardware. A software comprises two major categories: system software and application software.
System Software and Types of System Software
System software is the interface, or the intermediary. It lets you communicate between the other software and the hardware. There are five types of system software. These are intended to control and coordinate the functions and procedures of computer hardware and, thus, streamline the interaction between software, hardware, and the user.
Types of system software:
- Operating system (OS): It is a system software kernel that is installed first on the computer to allow applications and devices to be identified and become functional. Being the first layer of software, it is loaded into memory each time a computer is powered up. Some types of operating systems are real-time OS, single-user and single-task OS, network OS, and mobile OS.
- Device drivers: These bring computer devices and peripherals to life. Device drivers connect components and external add-ons so that they can perform their intended tasks. Without the driver, the operating system would not assign any duties. The mouse, keyboard, speakers, and printer are a few examples of devices that need drivers to function.
- Firmware: It is the operational software embedded within a ROM, flash, or EPROM memory chip for the operating system to identify it. It manages and controls all the activities of a single hardware directly. Firmware can be upgraded easily without swapping semiconductor chips.
- Programming language translators: These are intermediate programs used to translate high-level language source code to machine language code. Popular language translators include assemblers, compilers, and interpreters. They may be used to perform complete translation of program codes or they may translate each instruction one at a time.
- Utilities: It is intended for diagnostic and maintenance tasks for the computer. Their tasks may range from crucial data security to disk drive defragmentation.
Application Software and Types of Application Software
Application software is a computer program that performs a specific function, be it educational, personal, or business. It is also known as an end-user program or a productivity program. You can think of system software as a cake and the application software as the frosting on top of it. It is the application software (frosting) that you, the user, get to see upfront when you are working with that software.
Each of the computer application software programs is developed to assist you with a particular process that may be related to creativity, productivity, or better communication. It helps you in completing your tasks, be it jotting down notes, completing your online research, setting an alarm, keeping an account log, and even playing games. Unlike system software, computer application software programs are specific in their functionality and do the job that they are designed to do. For instance, a browser is an application used specifically for browsing the Internet. Similarly, MS PowerPoint is an application designed specifically for making presentations. Application software is also termed as a non-essential software. As we saw in the analogy of a cake and its frosting, its requirement is subjective and its absence does not affect the functioning of the system. All the apps that we see on our smartphones are examples of application software.
Picking up the right application for personal or business use can improve function and efficiency. If you do not learn about your options, you may end up with something that does not benefit your business, which will cost you time and resources and affect your productivity. Knowing what types of application software are available to you will help you make an informed decision.
The application software list includes:
- Word processors
- Graphics software
- Database software
- Spreadsheet software
- Presentation software
- Web browsers
- Enterprise software
- Information worker software
- Multimedia software
- Education and reference software
- Content access software
The categories of application software you are required to use depends on your needs, some of which are detailed below:
1. Presentation software:
Presentation software enables you to put forth your thoughts and ideas with ease and with good clarity by using visual information. It lets you display the information in the form of slides. You can make your slide more informative and more engrossing by adding text, images, graphs, and videos. It has three components:
- Text editor to input and format text
- Insert graphics, text, video, and multimedia files
- Slideshow to display the information
2. Web browsers:
These software applications are used to browse the Internet enabling you to locate and retrieve data across the web. The most popular ones are Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
3. Multimedia software:
This lets you create or record images, and create audio or video files. This software is extensively used in animation, graphics, image, and video editing. Popular examples are the VLC media player and Windows media player.
4. Education and reference software:
This application software, also termed as academic software, is specifically designed to facilitate the learning of a particular subject. Various kinds of tutorial software are included in this category. Some of these are JumpStart titles, MindPlay, and Kid Pix.
5. Graphics software:
Graphics software allows you to edit or make changes in visual data or images. It comprises illustration and picture editor software. Adobe Photoshop and PaintShop Pro are a few examples of graphics software.
6. Spreadsheet software:
Spreadsheet software is used to perform calculations. In this software, data is stored in a table format. The intersecting area, called cells, are separated to define fields such as text, date, time, and number. It allows users to provide formulas and functions to perform calculations. Microsoft Excel is one good example of spreadsheet software.
7. Database software:
Database software is used to create and manage a database. Also known as a DBMS (Database Management System), it helps you organize your data. So, when you run an application, data is fetched from the database, modified, and is stored back in the database. Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and IBM Db2 are some popular databases.
8. Word processing software:
It is used to format and manipulate text, thus, creating memos, letters, faxes, and documents. Word processing software is also used to format and beautify the text. It provides you a whole lot of features aside from thesaurus and synonyms and antonyms. Along with Word Art features, the font option lets you change font color, effect, and style as per your choice. Grammar and spell-check options are also available to check for errors.
9. Simulation software:
Simulation software is used in the fields of engineering, education, testing, and video games, etc. It is used where work on the actual system is unacceptable, inaccessible, or maybe dangerous. It is a program that lets you study or observe an operation, or phenomenon through simulation without actually doing that operation. The best examples of the simulation are in the field of robotics, flight systems, and weather forecast, etc.
Apart from these, there are several others in the category of application software that serve specific purposes.
However, application software can also be classified based on their shareability and availability. Some such categories are:
As the very name indicates, it is available free of cost. You can download it from the Internet and use it without any fee. However, this software does not allow you to modify it or charge a fee for distributing it. Adobe Reader and Skype are good examples of this software.
This is distributed freely to the users on a trial basis, usually with a limited time offer. The users are expected to pay if they want to continue to use the software. Some examples of shareware are WinZip and Adobe Acrobat.
12. Open source:
This type of software is available along with the source code that allows you to modify the software, and even add features to the software. These could either be free or paid. Moodle and Apache Web Server are some examples.
13. Closed source:
Most of the software packages that you use belong to this category. These are usually chargeable and have intellectual property rights or patents over the source code. It usually comes with restricted use.
Functions of an Application Software
Application software programs are designed to facilitate a large number of functions. Some of these include managing information, constructing visuals, manipulating data, coordinating resources, and calculating figures.
Future of Software
The world is becoming increasingly computerized. With that growth, different types of application software will continue to evolve. Several software applications are being created as it is a great financial option for the users as well as the creators. The demand for custom software development, tailored to the requirements of a business is increasing now more than ever before. From simple customizations to full-cycle software development, Fingent helps address all your specific business requirements, leveraging our software development capabilities.
If you have further questions or want to get started on choosing and implementing the right software for your business, give us a call and we will help you get there.
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Clutch Yet Again Rates Fingent As The Top Custom Software Development Company
As a dominant software development company, Fingent sets the bar high in building highly affordable products for companies small and large. We’ve become the trusted partner in enterprise solutions for some of the world’s leading businesses like Johnson & Johnson, Sony, and PwC. Our work and our strong leadership in technologies like .Net, NodeJS, AngularJS, AI enabled Chatbots and Microsoft, has once again caught the attention of Clutch.co, as they recently recognized us as Australia’s top B2B company.
Clutch, is a B2B rating and review platform located in Washington, DC. In their latest report that we were named in, their dedicated analysts evaluated technology sub-services based on their expertise, their portfolio of work, and their ability to deliver top-notch products for their clients. Their independent review process is meticulous and transparent, and we’re especially grateful to our clients for taking the time to leave a review or speak with Clutch analysts over the phone to provide feedback.[Tweet “Getting featured on Clutch consecutively and this time among Australia’s top B2B companies signify how our services have fared out remarkably well within the user community. @vsamuelfingent“] [Tweet “Surely, this puts further responsibility on our side to constantly improvise the solutions that we offer so that businesses that rely on our services are better off with efficiency improvements and deliver optimal customer experiences says @vsamuelfingent“]
Fingent CEO and MD, Varghese Samuel
Beyond the generous reviews left on Clutch, our success is also reflected on the company’s sister-sites: Visual Objects and The Manifest. Visual Objects showcases portfolios from various creative software developers, to aid prospective clients in visualizing a future project before hiring. The Manifest also helps prospective clients, through industry reports and how-to guides, that provide businesses with practical knowledge of the services and technologies used by the B2B companies. Here, we are listed and recognized for our abilities in NodeJS and AngularJS.
Our constant approach in redefining business with trending technologies like Microsoft and Artificial Intelligence have enabled us to rank amongst the top-rated custom software developing companies in Clutch, Visual Objects, and The Manifest. We have repeatedly been appreciated and recognized for our capabilities in AI-driven Chatbots for enhanced user experience.
Our motive to shape the future of industries with enhanced, custom software solutions has led us to where we are today. On behalf of Fingent, we would like to thank all of our clients that we have had the pleasure to work with, and Clutch for this prestigious recognition.
If you would like to learn more about our services, check out our profile in Clutch.
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The digital transformation wave that is transforming businesses across the world has had major influences on the way custom software development is treated by technology teams. Today software development is all about improving the experiences at multiple levels for businesses. Experiences include customer experiences from their end customers during a transaction journey and operational experience of staff who utilize technology solutions to drive more customer love. Technology is bound to change and business owners must be willing to meaningfully bring about changes in their custom software development concepts to incorporate the best solutions to run their business smoothly.
Reap your success in the digital age following these 5 custom software development trends
Let’s have a look at the changing trends in custom software development that warrants big attention from businesses across sectors. Following are our picks of the top 5 contenders in technology trends that every team engaged in custom software development must be aware of:
1. The growth of open source technology
A decade ago, you might not have found too many takers for open source technology. But, today only less than 3% of worldwide businesses do not use any form of open source software in their enterprise technology stack. In the initial days, it was largely seen as a playground for beginners in software development to try out building applications for free. Today the world’s biggest technology companies like Google and Facebook utilize open source software to run their most mission-critical systems. They also contribute significantly to the maintenance and growth of developer communities around these open source technologies. Take a look at all the leading application development technology available today like Java, PHP, Angular, React, Hadoop, etc. They are all open source and powers some of the world’s biggest enterprise and consumer-facing digital applications. If your business has frequent technology requirements, then this is a trend in custom software development that definitely needs to be on your top priority.
2. AI-ready software
AI is already a mainstream component of almost every digital platform that people use today. From e-commerce to movie streaming, companies are rolling out machine learning capability to help software learn more about its users and automatically provide them with great experiences. AI-powered chatbots are today serving queries of billions of people online and businesses are investing heavily in making these bots more intelligent by the minute. For software developers, it is essential to know the in and out of writing code that blends well with self-learning algorithms to provide optimal value for businesses utilizing applications that run this code. AI has a key role to play in the future when it comes to interacting with end customers directly. Hence custom software developers need to focus their skills on creating meaningful front-ends that can resonate AI actions, scalable back end engineering that can supplement complex AI algorithms and powerful databases that can deal with the huge volume of data that needs to be handled by AI systems to create meaningful experiences.
Related Reading: Find the top AI trends of 2019.
3. Cloud takes new dimensions
The world’s best run businesses today run their technology core on the cloud. From platforms to infrastructure, cloud computing has transformed the way enterprises use software applications. 73 % of the world’s businesses have at least one application or an infrastructure element on the cloud. From becoming more agile in terms of application engineering to saving fortunes by removing on-premise infrastructure costs, businesses are re-inventing themselves in the digital age. The benefits are endless – scalability on demand, global availability, top gun service providers in every niche, etc. With cloud computing, your technology workforce can be empowered with mobility i.e. the freedom to work wherever they want and with whatever resources they need. This is yet another trend that every business needs to take seriously to improve their ROI on technology investments.
Related Reading: Find how a cloud platform like INFINCE can untangle technology for business.
4. Security to be given a top priority
While the rise of cloud computing and the transition of on-premise software engineering to rich internet applications have created better digital experiences, they have opened new cans of worms for developers to deal with. In the US alone it was reported that there are over 130 large scale targeted breaches of confidential user data residing on enterprise applications of businesses. This figure is growing at an exponential rate of 27% every year as well. Security aspects cannot be overlooked now not even for the smallest of applications. Any vulnerability in your code will turn into a feasting ground for cyber threats in an increasingly internet dominated world. It’s not enough to write a great code but also to practice secure coding standards to enhance safety and ensure customer data is never compromised.
5. Customers are the heart of everything
Today it is not just your sales process or your customer relations team that needs to have end-consumer centric thinking on their operations. Even your custom software development team needs to have a work objective centered on a customer-first philosophy. Human behavior of your target digital audience needs to be modeled and referred to while creating applications. This is crucial for recommendation systems, lasting user experiences and above all improve brand loyalty by creating wonderful digital experiences. Feedback systems need to convey responses directly to core technology teams and they need to drill this feedback into the very depths of every implementation and every programming logic they use to achieve business goals.
These are our picks for the top 5 trends in custom software development that businesses of all sizes need to consider today. In an increasingly digital age where customers dictate the fate of every single of your investment, it is imperative for organizations to have a comprehensive look at how these trends can be incorporated into their technology roadmaps. Those failing to do so are in for massive repercussions as it doesn’t take decades for big corporations to fall to their heels for lack of innovation. The examples are right in front of you. Investing in the right technology with the right advisory is crucial for businesses to continuously innovate and stay relevant in changing times.[Custom Software Vs Off The Shelf – Fingent]
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In today’s digital age, a website is your business’ window to the world, irrespective of whether you are a brick and mortar establishment or an online entity. Similarly, the need for a dedicated website is not just limited to startups but is equally vital for established business. Even if your business is doing exceptionally well, investing in a well-designed and responsive website can help you reach out to a wider cross-section of the audience and increase your sales manifold.
Here is rundown on how custom website development services can turn the tide for your business:
Website Development and Its Advantages
Custom web development is one of the finest things you can do to guarantee the success of your business. In addition to improving your visibility, customized website development can help your business in the following ways:
- Customized website development boosts your credibility and adds a certain brand authority to your business.
- A professional-looking website can bring you big gains without an astronomical investment, thus, offering a higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional means of advertising.
- It does not matter whether you are a newbie or a seasoned market player, there is bound to be competition in your realm of trade. A dedicated website can assist you in leveling playing field and even beating your competitors.
- It boosts your advertising and marketing endeavors across different channels. Your social media marketing and email marketing campaigns are likely to resonate better with your audience if these lead them to a website.
- Custom designed websites are cross-browser well-matched.
- Custom developed websites also costs nearly same as of any template based solution. They may have little higher cost but offer numerous benefits and total control on each part and role of the website.
Specialized, clean, and well-organized online presence is essential for preserving your brand reputation. General designs can create a negative impression of the product or service quality, the reason being customers see you as no dissimilar from thousand other companies. The website represents your business in terms of superiority, quality, and individuality, so you need to have one developed skillfully.
Importance of Multiple-Channel Presence
At a time when smartphones and handheld gadgets rule the roost, the number of people accessing websites through a desktop computer is fast dwindling. Almost everyone likes to browse the internet on the go. Therefore, a website with a responsive design – that ensures your website is displayed correctly and uniformly across platforms, devices and screen sizes – is essential to stay relevant in the dynamic online landscape.
As per statistics, whopping 67 percent users are more likely to use an enlisted service or buy products on a website with a clean, responsive design. In contrast, 61 percent users are likely to exit a website with an unfriendly layout and design. The bottom line is – a potential user may bounce back from your website and move to that of your competitors if you don’t cater to a multiple-channel presence.
How Digital Marketing Can Help
Building a website from scratch is no big deal, given the user-friendly content management systems like WordPress. Even so, if you really want to make an impact with your web presence, it is advisable to use professional custom website development services because you don’t just need to build a carefully-strategized site but also work toward improving your search engine rankings to attract massive traffic. People will know that you exist, only when your website is visible in search engine results. A smart digital marketing campaign can help in bolstering your web presence to clock-in tangible gains.
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Enterprise software solutions are the backbone of an organization. Selecting one for your organization is a great responsibility as it requires detailed analysis at each and every step. The major challenge lies in understanding that every organization’s structure is different and cannot do with the same software that was used in your previous organization or is used at the competitor’s company. To make your task easy, here are 8 challenges to avoid before purchasing an Enterprise Software.
1. Change Management
One of the key understandings that should come with a new Enterprise Software is that there is a need for identifying the changes in the IT infrastructure beforehand and then implementing it. Know how much change is required and if it is possible to handle before purchasing the new software. Also, the employees need proper training for change management and to get them comfortable with the new system before it goes live on an organizational scale.
2. Physical Requirements
Before jumping into a purchase decision, figure out what is the current IT infrastructure landscape, if it fits well or requires changes. For a newer setup, choose the software wisely and then plan the landscape. But remember, the software you choose defines this landscape and should be thoroughly checked to avoid any unwanted changes in the future.
3. The load of migration
Data is the basis for every industry functioning in this day and age. Introducing newer software to the system means adding your current data to it for validation and future operations. Check the requirements of the new system you plan on incorporating and if the required is way too much. Remember data is imperative to the organization and correct migration will minimize errors.
4. What the vendor has to offer
Sometime Enterprise Software vendors are too enthusiastic to sell the product but lack a structure post-purchase. Figure out what are the key support promises that they offer and if they have a track of delivering them. A due diligence of the provider should not be skipped especially if the vendor is not a big company.
5. Readying the team
Internal challenges are one of the key points to consider for the purchase. You will have to understand the requirements of the enterprise software development company well along with the features required. Each department will offer a different list of features they need. The challenge is to create a project scope that encapsulates all these important points and uses it as a foundation to identify the right software.
6. Software scope
Considering any enterprise software, and its capabilities, it is quite hard to find one that has everything that a business needs. As organizations strive to meet individual customer demands, they rely on customization to align their strategic objectives with enterprise solutions. For instance, one of our leading real estate organizations wanted to add a document management function that enabled them to share documents easily with their field agents. However, this posed numerous regulatory constraints considering security and privacy. Our solutions experts realigned the software architecture and build processes to meet the client’s requirement.
7. Taking unwanted risks
The market has opened up for Enterprise Software like never before and every day a new solution surfaces that promises to offer the best of all worlds. New-age technology can be highly enticing but always look under the hood and see if it has been taken for a test drive. Check LinkedIn, job boards, or other forums to find out more about the seller and the software itself. Don’t elevate your risks by getting attracted to high-end technology or pricing.
8. No detailed analysis
One of the issues that hamper the procurement of the right enterprise software is the lack of understanding of your own system. Run the analysis several times and match it with what the software will provide. Keep in mind to not depend on what the next version update will feature, rely only on what the solution provides today.
9. Cutting the influences
Decision making in organizations sometimes doesn’t necessarily stay with the designated employees. It is directly or indirectly influenced by the owners or other people in important positions. No matter how well they know or what better deal is offered through a reference, ensure that the decision, in the end, comes keeping the organization in mind and not the influences.
10. Exploring all opportunities
Do not hesitate to look at third-party support alternatives as they might offer something similar or better than premium vendor support. Look at the maintenance rates that come with the software as it is something that your organization will incur on a regular basis.
Whether you are trying to set up a new system or replace an old one, an expert perspective can help reduce these risks and challenges.
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A niche business is no longer a term used often these days due to growing competition in every sector. In the world of startups and well-established enterprises, the companies that stand out clearly in front of their customers will only survive and succeed. Smartphones and fast data packs are beneficial to companies in terms of reaching out to their customers via desktop and mobile websites. But having such a front is a norm today and you will have to think of giving a little more to engage them. According to studies, business mobile apps have a higher rate of conversation when compared to desktop or mobile websites. You must be thinking how will a custom mobile application development help boost your business? Here’s how –
1. Better customer relationship
A custom business app offers customers a way to access your services and products directly. Especially, if you are a product-oriented company, you can have your products laid out better over the standard formats of e-retailers. Also, you can send offers, notifications, and even receive feedback from customers in real-time. You can even have a dedicated app team that offers support 24 x 7 and sorts query for customers with in-app emails and chat.
2. Creating and maintaining database
A custom app will give you the opportunity to access existing customer data and acquire new ones. Also, your app will have your own specialized security features that will safeguard your data against potential leaks and threats.
3. Integration with current services
If you are a software provider then a good way to offer more to your clients is by creating a custom app that syncs with your software. There can be reports, updates, and even a way to access information quickly and easily. To further improve client satisfaction, you can even hire a dedicated support team for app management. Such integration will definitely give your software some extra brownie points while marketing it.
4. Generate revenue
Apps are not just a great way to connect with your customers but can also work as a good revenue source for the business. You can charge customers a little extra for app services or an upgrade. Also, you can have in-app advertisements that add income to your kitty whenever your app is accessed by the customers.
5. Increase customer base
An app ensures that a customer is in your space and the only things they can surf around are your products and services. Having a custom app gives you a chance to put your case forward to new customers and even attract them with in-app offers. You can start giving them free trials and additional discounts via app downloads to add to your revenue. A custom app will define your uniqueness as it adds up to a brand identity for your business.
6. Project Management
Apart from seeking and retaining customers, your entire team can benefit from having an app that works for internal purposes only. Custom logins at each hierarchy can give them access to groups, documents, tasks, calendars, and more to run your business smoothly no matter where they are working from. This is beneficial especially if you have several teams working from different locations. Each team can receive updates regarding the project. Also, it helps in sending critical issues to all the personnel quickly.
Building a custom mobile app for your business is vital in this day and age of competition. Once you are clear about what you want, it’s a good idea to approach companies such as ours that build custom apps from the ground up.