Ch. 4 - Computer Software

Application Software

Programs that specify the information processing activities required for the completion of specific tasks of computer users. Examples are electronic spreadsheet and word processing programs or inventory or payroll programs.

Assembler Language

A programming language that utilizes symbols to represent operation codes and storage locations.

Desktop Publishing

The use of microcomputers, laser printers, and page makeup software to produce a variety of printed materials that were formerly produced only by professional printers.

Electronic Mail

Sending and receiving text messages between networked PCs over telecommunications networks. E-mail can also include data files, software, and multimedia messages and documents as attachments.

Fourth-Generation Languages (4GL)

Programming languages that are easier to use than high-level languages like BASIC, COBOL, or FORTRAN. They are also known as nonprocedural, natural, or very-high-level languages.

General Purpose Application Programs

Programs that can perform information processing jobs for users from all application areas. For example, word processing programs, electronic spreadsheet programs, and graphics programs can be used by individuals for home, education, business, scientific,


Software to support and enhance the communication, coordination, and collaboration among networked teams and workgroups, including software tools for electronic communications, electronic conferencing, and cooperative work management.

High-Level Language

A programming language that utilizes macro instructions and statements that closely resemble human language or mathematical notation to describe the problem to be solved or the procedure to be used. Also called a compiler language.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

A popular page description language for creating hypertext and hypermedia documents for World Wide Web and intranet Web sites.

Integrated Packages

Software that combines the ability to do several general-purpose applications (such as word processing, electronic spreadsheet, and graphics) into one program.


An object-oriented programming language designed for programming real-time, interactive, Web-based applications in the form of applets for use on clients and servers on the Internet, intranets, and extranets.

Language Translator Program

A program that converts the programming language instructions in a computer program into machine language code. Major types include assemblers, compilers, and interpreters.

Machine Language

A programming language in which instructions are expressed in the binary code of the computer.


Software that helps diverse software programs and networked computer systems work together, thus promoting their interoperability.


The concurrent use of the same computer to accomplish several different information processing tasks. Each task may require the use of a different program or the concurrent use of the same copy of a program by several users.

Natural Language

A programming language that is very close to human language. Also called very-high-level language.

Object-Oriented Language

An object-oriented programming (OOP) language used to develop programs that create and use objects to perform information processing tasks.

Operating System

The main control program of a computer system. It is a system of programs that controls the execution of computer programs and may provide scheduling, debugging, input/output control, system accounting, compilation, storage assignment, data management, an

Personal Information Manager (PIM)

A software package that helps end users store, organize, and retrieve text and numerical data in the form of notes, lists, memos, and a variety of other forms.

Presentation Graphics

Using computer-generated graphics to enhance the information presented in reports and other types of presentations.

Programming Language

A language used to develop the instructions in computer programs.

Software Suites

A combination of individual software packages that share a common graphical user interface and are designed for easy transfer of data between applications.

System Software

Programs that control and support operations of a computer system. System software includes a variety of programs, such as operating systems, database management systems, communications control programs, service and utility programs, and programming langu

User Interface

That part of an operating system or other program that allows users to communicate with it to load programs, access files, and accomplish other computing tasks.

Virtual Memory

The use of secondary storage devices as an extension of the primary storage of the computer, thus giving the appearance of a larger main memory than actually exists.

Web Browser

A software package that provides the user interface for accessing Internet, intranet, and extranet Web sites. Browsers are becoming multifunction universal clients for sending and receiving e-mail, downloading files, accessing Java applets, participating

Web Services

A collection of Web and object-oriented technologies for linking Web-based applications running on different hardware, software, database, or network platforms. For example, Web services could link key business functions within the applications a business

Word Processing

The automation of the transformation of ideas and information into a readable form of communication. It involves the use of computers to manipulate text data to produce office communications in the form of documents.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)

A Web document content description language that describes the content of Web pages by applying hidden identifying tags or contextual labels to the data in Web documents. By categorizing and classifying Web data this way, XML makes Web content easier to i