In the computing, an application is a program (or software package) directly used by the user to perform a task, or a set of elementary tasks of the same domain or as a whole. Typically, a text editor, a web browser, a media player, a video game, are applications. The applications run using the operating system services to use the hardware resources.
The popular applications in business are office automation, word processing, spreadsheet, production management, operational management, information systems, project management, accounting and electronic document management. Personal accounting, tax returns, digital image galleries, geography, learning and education, and gambling are common applications in families.
Computer-aided design, desktop publishing, image editing, photo editing, or web page creation are common applications for image and sound manipulation. And email, web, voice over IP, videoconferencing, blog and instant messaging are common communication applications.
Playing is the main activity exercised by children with computers as well as consoles. According to studies conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom in 1990, children spend between 25 and 45 minutes a day on electronic games. Electronic games have existed since the 1950s, and have become a mass market since 1980. Like all games, electronic games have a purpose, obstacles, resources to help overcome obstacles, rewards, and penalties. Rewards are usually new resources, while sanctions are either loss of resources or new barriers. Electronic games are characterized by the presence of situations of competition, luck, altruism or extravagance.
Many games make use virtual reality techniques: The goal is to give the impression to a person that he is actually in an environment when it is imaginary, created artificially. This gives them the opportunity to see, feel and control what is happening in this environment. More and more popular, electronic games are often criticized or denigrated for sexism, gratuitous violence, anti-social and anti-educational aspects. In prevention, visual pictograms on the pockets of the games are used to indicate the potential dangers of these games. Electronic games are now an integral part of the “convergence” of modern media: the book becomes film and the film becomes electronic game, then the style of the game is used in music and graphic arts.
A database is a collection of related data from which the user can efficiently retrieve information. The data is stored in a central location and shared by different users. Database applications are widely used in many areas: booking travel, flight schedules, tracking accounts or borrowing, enrolling in courses, exam results, telephone directories, online stores, ticketing, medical consultations, purchasing, inventory, billing, digital libraries, product and customer lists, wage payments, holiday tracking, taxation, geographic information and computer-aided design.
In data mining applications, raw information is collected and placed in a giant database, and then analyzed and synthesized to extract potentially useful information. Data mining applications are used in health, commerce and banking to get answers to questions such as “what is the likelihood of obesity of an adult who rarely eats fruits and vegetables?” or “what are the factors that drive a customer to close their bank account?” or “what is the difference between the shopping basket of a city resident and a rural resident?”.
Database applications use engine software – the DBMS – to define, store, retrieve and manipulate database content, as well as controlling data redundancy, imposing consistency, and sharing information between several users. In this type of application, experienced users can manipulate the DBMS directly to respond to complex requests, while ordinary requests are made using the application and do not require technical knowledge.
Word processing is the use of a computer to write, correct and print written documents such as letters, press articles, invoices, contracts or advertising. Word processing is one of the most popular applications. In its simplest form, a program can do exactly what is done with a typewriter. More sophisticated programs allow you to add photos or drawings, as well as change the size and appearance of characters and check spelling. The documents thus created can then be printed as many times as necessary.
Spreadsheets are software used in many activities, including by company directors, managers, and representatives. The software presents a table with rows and columns in which the user can place explanations, figures and calculation formulas. The formulas can be used to calculate results on the basis of the figures elsewhere in the table. The result is recalculated automatically whenever the table is changed.
Spreadsheets are typically used when there are many calculations. Automatic calculation saves time, increases accuracy and reduces the risk of error. The calculation also makes it possible to modify the calculation data immediately and the spreadsheets are often used to present the results of the calculations in the form of diagrams.
Office automation is the use of computers to improve efficiency in office work. Work that involves making payments, scheduling appointments and negotiating contracts. Desktop systems use data-processing techniques to reduce the amount of text to be written, reduce the amount of paper used, streamline and structure office tasks. Office automation systems typically include word processing software and information systems, helping users to perform tasks related to the purchase of merchandise, human resources management, receipt of invoices or processing of claims .
Companies often use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to manage their business and production process – a process by which the company produces a good or service that adds value to the consumer. These applications coordinate the sales, marketing, production, distribution, human resources and accounting activities of a company. Integrated management software packages are in the form of a conglomerate of programs, each intended for one of the company’s sectors. All programs manipulate the same database, so information from one part of the enterprise is immediately available to other sectors.
These software tools help control the company’s financial situation, monitor its profitability, track sales, shipments and invoicing. They allow to monitor the payment of salaries, recruitments, absences and holidays, commodity arrivals, production planning, raw material requirements, materials purchased, materials in stock, quantities and their location. They also make it possible to preserve the technical data relating to the manufactured products.
Communities that have a large amount of electronic documents from word processing, paper and digital images use computerized means to create, acquire, transform, aggregate, classify, protect, control and publish that content. The content can be collected in its original electronic form, or paper documents will be digitized. Then an electronic form allows to associate keywords to each content and thus allow to classify it. Content can also be created using content management software.
The content will then be categorized by version, the software can verify which person reads or modifies the content and add a watermark to guarantee its authenticity. The content can then be made available for reading, printed or sent as an archive file.
Computer-aided design consists of using computer means to invent a technical solution that answers a practical problem. Design is an iterative process in which different ideas are synthesized, analyzed, optimized, and evaluated. In a design work, the problem is first defined: collection of characteristics, dimensions, harvesting of experiments and observations. Then, during a brainstorming different solutions are harvested and sketched. Then the sketches are transformed into a drawing, which makes it possible to determine the dimensions, the angles and the lengths. The product is then evaluated from a functional point of view, resistance, marketing and manufacturing.
The computer is used to create and modify the geometric representation of the solution, and then evaluate the product’s mechanical strength, heat dissipation, kinematics, frequency, velocity, acceleration and other parameters. Once the design work is completed, the computer is used to generate the technical drawings for manufacturing. The use of computers streamlines and accelerates design work, reduces the number of design errors, and provides much information needed for manufacturing.
World Wide Web
The world wide web, like WAIS, gopher and archie, is a means of information sharing: An information provider provides its information and a consumer can then explore the available information in order to find what he is looking for. The world wide web presents information in the form of documents, approximately the size of the screen, which may contain pointers to other documents. Documents are linked in a human way – by association of ideas, the consumer does not have to worry about the geographical position of the document and can thus navigate from country to country by visiting the documents linked by the pointers.
The fact that the information is linked by pointers irrespective of their geographical position avoids making copies and ensures that the information read by the consumer will always be topical. The information consulted does not necessarily come from a file, and may come from an imaginary document created on the fly from a database.
Translated from Wikipedia