Different Types of Application Software and What They Do

By David NaarLast Updated Feb 1, 2021 12:13:42 PM ET
Ulevb63vyjsm40ebo12yxdw3yadknk5kqrenmktiqik Mef5uk8jfcdljjksu2utkgalvjrdz86wjsf 31kmw W Edxnrb6zteerg5a6bd 9msdqqqlj8yn2j07dyt5tjx482vfw8l6mta9udw
Photo Courtesy: eclipse_images/Getty Images

While you likely use it on a regular basis, you're not alone if defining "application software," or explaining what it does, makes you pause. Simply put, application software is one of three different types of computer software. These types can be separated out into application, system, and programming software, and each one is designed to perform a different set of functions. Still have some questions? We'll give you a crash course.

Application Software vs. Other Software Types

System Software: This refers to a collection of programs that control your computer's internal functioning or provide a platform for another type of software. It can refer to software like macOS or GNU/Linux, which are the operating systems that make your computer work. Or it can refer to software like Microsoft Windows or game engines, which are platforms for other types of applications.

L6l5xpb2gxqwoeb010tsq Wxhf1yhwyaleplwcmpleleout62ohjvdwjmdmunukikpkzuo2dudfw 1hyp Eo20usyz1mm4cspl V2ezljty5ddzbhrn Wovzvzrlwg8vbiklj8d 49cepcsdhw
Photo Courtesy: alvarez/Getty Images

Programming Software: This one encompasses the tools that allow programmers to create, debug, write and maintain other computer programs and applications. Examples of programming software include Eclipse, Sublime Text, and Coda.

Application Software: This refers to different programs that you, as an average computer user, operate to make your computer perform a variety of different tasks. Application software is composed of a huge number of different programs that are designed to allow you to do everything from writing a report to navigating websites. Need some examples? We’ve got you covered.

Web Browsers

We'll start with a type of application software that you're using right now: web browsers. This software retrieves content, such as websites, from web servers. Web browsers then display the information you've requested on your screen so that you can read or interact with it. Some of the most common web browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari.

2h6uhvimxbakd7 Qthckxfsoeg Zlx Oxj Blez6rqlihpeglyubwuszmg9tmh Is41myxeg25h4nrxlffkc2vie V3rsxkfveghrfdcknpbwheridaz9ks8ykdo8oyhcfzaabqtai23q2alhg
Photo Courtesy: Henrik5000/Getty Images

Word Processing Software

Whenever you want to create a typed document, you likely turn to a word processor, which is another kind of application software. These are simply programs that allow you to create, edit and view documents. Most computer users have at least one word processing program on their devices, such as Microsoft Word or NotePad. Web-based word processors, like Google Docs or the Office Live version of Microsoft Word, are also classified as word processing software.

Emgq1w8vyir9vhlpazmpbjqeia9tjnmn4ujnsy Vw3i5rycaxaikfscg Ev Ympnv9zzqdrzhs0dm6kgkltyik32hca Bxr2ec4mit4n273xfm9exbuueildtvkhvmu8fpvwo2vcdqvky8muuw
Photo Courtesy: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Database Management Software

Application software also comes in handy when it comes to keeping businesses connected and organized. Database management software allows organizations and individuals to collect, store, manipulate, analyze and share large amounts of information. In the simplest possible terms, database management systems are sort of like digital, modern-day versions of old-fashion filing cabinets. Examples of popular database managers include Oracle and Microsoft Access.

Sktwzoepe5qkoeg0xszgjdu Drgbyhyltyyyeiswqym3a 8315u8w2heji7u6bsfw61mg8 Fsalop6uwedueiw4opcbsgl7ely9uedzcdia2onzba79d9gwlbwfyfal 2utv5sipa7awzjp7ja
Photo Courtesy: PeopleImages/Getty Images

Spreadsheet Software

If you've ever used a program to create a spreadsheet, then you're likely already familiar with spreadsheet software. It's used to organize, analyze and store data via a series of cells, rows and columns. Spreadsheets are most often used for accounting, budgeting, data sorting and producing graphs and charts. Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers are two examples of popular spreadsheet software applications.

Lv0zdsvmzalt9xuzyanaga8lbqux1rlcwaawjsyqjvdj2oprzyf Ec4aio6vkanatsopkocgffnt20uea4sbbvcxrmaihnehiinfrq2x0zbl0s1uq4pkr1nvx0k9d8k5aezcjj94zpfzq6vksa
Photo Courtesy: damircudic/E+/Getty Images

Multimedia Software

Multimedia programs are another form of application software designed to help users interact with photos, videos, music and other forms of digital media. Common examples include programs like iTunes and VLC media player, both of which allow users to download and access music and videos. Additionally, media editors, such as Picasa, Photoshop and Windows Moviemaker, are also popular forms of multimedia software. Software that allows users to record, play and edit music, like Apple Garageband and Adobe Audition, also falls into the multimedia program category.

Ztj29a7h7glvmqv9gradd0kgysmgh Nrqdkn Kpfy9h07z8veqd5ghcpgelqjc7a9hdt68sbnrsnopadxu Tiyunlwofikn78kthmgv3bgckn9ru Yi5qxlo5abhwx2iuwnyvvfawyadc55pow
Photo Courtesy: Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

Presentation Software

Presentation software is a type of application that gives users the ability to create and give presentations; Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote are popular examples of presentation software. Using presentation software, you can combine text, images, audio and video to create slides that help get your point across in a more clear, engaging way. Additionally, presentation software can be either desktop- or Cloud-based.

Bz9mrzimlkvcbrt3dxq Dmkptkrgw 3 Rpbvsz0ekgs9cu R2 Nuud Kxg6mxhbmgcu19cdzv Spsd8pwqdkdu72lt7ffim3yitxhqw05qye5a U2it Xwlbodx3iljwqmulhnf3hubfbc5xq
Photo Courtesy: lovro77/E+/Getty Images

Enterprise Software

Enterprise software — a.k.a. Enterprise Application Software (EAS) — refers to application software designed to perform a large number of functions for businesses or other large organizations. It can be used for things like processing online payments; marketing automation; accounting; and maintaining customer relationships. Enterprise software is vital to the efficiency of large organizations and helps maintain a direct line of communication between executives, employees and customers. Common examples of enterprise software include Stripe, Salesforce and DataPine.

Svz2wvzznpyctspjlj16cipztu Z1eq3jtmmf1a6a To6cz8cwa8 8nrc8ncwg 64j J5zvtzayc3yvb4 E4bqxy 8oqr8ovhx9v2xrwzmjhdqjk7wy3bxba7rblvjvpi9gqhgnozpwenatew
Photo Courtesy: Fiordaliso/Getty Images

Educational Software

As you may have guessed, educational software is a type of application software that's used for educational purposes. Some types of educational software, such as reference software and tutorials, are often used by students, while software that allows the user to create lesson tools or communicate with parents is utilized by educators. A few examples of educational software include Canvas, Duolingo, Encarta and ClassDojo.

Awge0wsms1l49xtlomldvklsr Jgpsfqcl8fxuiqfhuwk3gt8ercxgn3atdhf8sodnw9o8cn570z34sgv2oyqldckhadoalw4ou8c35e21b8gy7hwv4e3doedybihi Qdlg3d2qdiujuo 62ra
Photo Courtesy: Fatcamera/Getty Images

Application Software Suites

At times, you might hear a collection of different software applications referred to as an application software suite. This simply refers to a collection of computer programs that are usually designed to perform similar types of tasks. Generally, each has the ability to communicate and share data with the other programs in the suite. Microsoft Office is an example of a very popular software suite, which is composed of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Ikv4a1 Bjbjh2cvgfnbeoohwugxhkn5jh50ab8vxhgj9oocvpe3w8hap1bya5zhk77 L6vyoy80d3ii9ykeoc9xhf5lqge2e9ltbdipmq9kpdcszkx3vqnmczxzjar5 Y0uxch9smypizizgug
Photo Courtesy: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty Images