A computer system is generally composed of hardware and software. Hardware make up the physical components. Software make up the set of instructions for the computer. Without software, the computer will not be able to perform the tasks that you would like it to do.


An application software (or end-user program) is a computer system (usually including multiple programs, modules) that is design to accomplish operational tasks or functions assisting a user to perform his/her work. It addresses the capacities of a computer widely and directly. Both the software itself, as well as its implementation are nominated by the term application.

Application Software - Different Types

One possible categorization for application software is by its sphere of influence at a:

  • personal level: word processors, databases, spreadsheets, graphics (personal usage)
  • workgroup level: email, group, scheduling, workflow, educational
  • enterprise level (business software): finance management (accounting, expense management), human resources, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management software, cash flow analysis, manufacturing control, sales ordering, check processing, supply chain management.

Another possible categorization for application software is by its utility or task related:

  • data processing (data recovery, database systems (DBMS), backup software, files archiving)
  • internet related (email clients, file sharing, ftp, html editing, chat rooms, web browsers)
  • product engineering (compiler tools, debuggers, API's, IDEs – integrated development environments – for different languages as Java, C#, Pascal, Basic and a lot more, embedded software , versions management, documents generators, installers and uninstallers) and also specialized engineering design software (as Computer-Aided Software Engineering - CASE tools) and standards for the format, such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML).
  • enterprise software (see before – in first categorization)
  • multimedia software (images, photos, video/audio, 3D and vector graphics editors + media players software)
  • security (antivirus software, cryptographic software, firewalls, intrusion detection system - IDS, spyware remover, password recovery)
  • simulation software (in the fields of electronic circuits, systems, set of instructions, logic, networks or processes – just to name a few)
  • input method editors - IMEs
  • games