application program


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Related to application program: Application Program Interface

application program

[‚ap·lə′kā·shən ‚prō·grəm]
(computer science)
A program written to solve a specific problem, produce a specific report, or update a specific file.

application program

(programming, operating system)
(Or "application", "app") A complete, self-contained program that performs a specific function directly for the user. This is in contrast to system software such as the operating system kernel, server processes, libraries which exists to support application programs and utility programs.

Editors for various kinds of documents, spreadsheets, and text formatters are common examples of applications. Network applications include clients such as those for FTP, electronic mail, telnet and WWW.

The term is used fairly loosely, for instance, some might say that a client and server together form a distributed application, others might argue that editors and compilers were not applications but utility programs for building applications.

One distinction between an application program and the operating system is that applications always run in user mode (or "non-privileged mode"), while operating systems and related utilities may run in supervisor mode (or "privileged mode").

The term may also be used to distinguish programs which communicate via a graphical user interface from those which are executed from the command line.

application program

Software that processes data for the user. Except for "system software," which provides the infrastructure in the computer (operating system, utilities and related components), all software programs are application programs.

In the entertainment world, it refers to games (see gaming). In the business world, it refers to the data entry, update, query and report programs that make up the company's bread and butter information systems (order entry, billing, inventory, human resources, payroll, manufacturing, etc.).

The term may also refer to a generic application, often called a "productivity program," such as a Web browser, spreadsheet, word processor, database or email program. For a list of major application software categories, see application software. See productivity software, application, program and software. Contrast with system program.


Application Programs
This diagram shows the typical application programs that run in a desktop computer. It also shows the major components of the operating system.
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Certainly, combining the application program with these toolkits can destroy the modularity.
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An application program interface, or API, provides the building blocks for developing software applications using familiar user interfaces.
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And that's a critical advantage because one of the key attributes of Windows is its ability to load and simultaneously run multiple application programs, such as a word processor, spreadsheet and database.

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