Purpose & Proper Use of Software | CompTIA IT Fundamentals FC0-U61 | 3.3

In this video you will learn about the purpose and proper use of software when it comes to productivity software, collaboration software, & business software.

Productivity Software

Productivity software is application software used for producing information (such as documents, presentations, worksheets, databases, charts, graphs, digital paintings, electronic music, and digital video).  Many of these apps are sold as suites, which are collections of productivity software from a single vendor that usually share similar menu systems, file types, and other features. A typical office productivity suite includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program, and might also include other apps.  Some apps are also available individually. The most popular office productivity software suite is Microsoft Office, which is also available in subscription form as Microsoft Office 365.

Word Processing Software

A word processor is software or a device that allows users to create, edit, and print documents.  It enables you to write text, store it electronically, display it on a screen, modify it by entering commands and characters from the keyboard, and print it.  Word processing programs can also apply text formatting (such as bold, italic, and different fonts and font sizes), change layouts, mail-merge with external data, and save files that can be used with the same or other word processing or other apps.  Proofing, research, markup, macro creation, and other features are often included. Support for plug-ins (small programs that add additional features) enables word processing programs to perform more tasks. Microsoft Word is an example of a word processing software.

Microsoft Word

Spreadsheet Software

Spreadsheet software is defined as a type of computer program that helps a user perform numerical functions and analyze numbers through a computerized version of an accounting worksheet. A spreadsheet program enables the user to enter numeric or text data and formulas into cells.  Cells can be formatted in a variety of ways. The data in cells can also be used to create various types of charts.  By altering data, various scenarios can be tested. Spreadsheet files can also be used as databases or sources for mail-merging and can be filtered to find information that matches user-defined criteria. An example of spreadsheet software is Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Excel

Presentation Software

Presentation software is a software package used to display information in the form of a slide show. It has three major functions: an editor that allows text to be inserted and formatted, a method for inserting and manipulating graphic images, and a slide-show system to display the content. Microsoft PowerPoint is an example of presentation software.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Web Browser

A web browser is a software program that allows a user to locate, access, and display web pages.  Browsers are used primarily for displaying and accessing websites on the internet, as well as other content created using languages such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Extensible Markup Language (XML).  Browsers translate web pages and websites delivered using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) into human-readable content. They also have the ability to display other protocols and prefixes, such as secure HTTP (HTTPS), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), email handling (mailto:), and files (file:).  There are more than 1.3 billion websites on the internet, the “network of networks”. They host billions of web pages offering information, contests, social media connections, shopping, banking, and unfortunately, malware.

Web browsers are included in Microsoft Windows (Edge & Internet Explorer), macOS (Safari), and Linux distributions that include a GUI (varies) as well as Android and iOS mobile operating systems.  Many third-party browsers are also available such as: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, & Opera; all of them work with Windows, macOS, & Linux. There are also many variations based on Firefox that are available for desktop and mobile operating systems.

Visual Diagramming Software

Visual diagramming software allows users to create detailed diagrams out of data and images. If you need to create a flowchart, network diagram, electrical diagram, floor layout, or organizational chart, you will have a much easier time using a specialized diagramming program than trying to use a conventional paint or draw program such as Microsoft Paint.  Visual diagramming programs include predefined shape libraries and templates, automatic connections between shapes, and connections to external data sources. Some are designed for use online. Some visual diagramming software products include Microsoft Visio, Cinergix Creately, & Gliffy.

Visual Diagramming Software

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software or groupware is application software designed to help people working on a common task to attain their goals. Collaboration software enables the sharing, processing and management of files, documents and other data types among several users and/or systems.  Whether you work with just a handful of people or hundreds, collaboration software enables you and your coworkers to stay in touch with face-to-face, voice, or text exchanges.

Email Client

Email client is a desktop application that enables configuring one or more email addresses to receive, read, compose and send emails from that email address(s) through the desktop interface.  It provides a central interface for receiving, composing and sending emails of configured email address(s). Email client is also known as email reader or mail user agent (MUA). Although most email services can be used with a web browser, using only a web browser for email means that backups, encryption, and filtering are more limited or aren’t available.  Most email services now enable you to use both web-based email and an email client program so you can stay in touch while online and enjoy the extra benefits of an email client. To keep you protected from harmful emails, many clients today also feature protection functions that block harmful messages and protect your system from questionable attachments. Email clients use protocols such as SMTP, POP3, and IMAP to send and receive mail.  Some popular email clients include Microsoft Outlook & Windows 10 Mail.

Conferencing Software

Conferencing software is a tool used by two or more parties to communicate via video and audio using an internet connection. It enables the parties to initiate and conduct live conferences and remote meetings by transmitting audio, video, and text. Conferencing software typically combines live text chat, live video, shared desktops, and shared programs. Some conferencing programs also support webcasts, in which the presentation is streamed to thousands of viewers and is also recorded for future viewing.  A webinar, on the other hand, is for a smaller group of viewers and has similar interactive features to a conference. The vast majority of conferencing programs are commercial products using proprietary technology. Most of them support Windows, macOS, and Linux, and a large number have mobile apps for iOS and Android.  Some examples: GotoMeeting & Webex.

Instant Messaging Software

Instant messaging (IM) is a message directly sent from one person to another.  IM software was designed for text chats originally but can receive files, perform video chats with audio, and allow multiple users to chat with each other at the same time.  Examples are Skype and WhatsApp. Organizations that allow users to “bring your own app” (BYOA) for instant messaging can be exposed to security risks if unauthorized data or information is transmitted.  Adopting a corporate IM standard app combined with guidelines and data protection settings can help avoid IM problems.

Online Workspace

An online workspace is exactly as the name suggests, it is a centralized environment, which can be found through the internet, to be used by groups of users that need access to the same content. An online workspace allows users to work together by providing shared access to tasks, calendars, file storage, feedback, org charts, email, and other features.  This is a relatively new category made possible by widespread broadband internet access. Examples are: Bitrix24 & GlassCubes.

Document Sharing

Before document sharing services, organizations relied upon email for sending and receiving documents, but email often has limits on file size and mailbox size, and if a document needs to be accessed by more than one person, the email must be sent and resent, making version management difficult.  Organizations now use document sharing services. Some of these services provide a limited amount of cloud-based storage for free, offer subscriptions for additional space, and provide easy access for different users to specific folders. Most use a simple drag-and-drop method for transferring files and can be integrated with the file management utility in the operating system. Popular document sharing services that offer free and subscription based services are:  Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, & Google Docs.

Business Software

Business software is software that is used for business purposes.  The term is often used more specifically for software that helps a business to accomplish goals through the applied principles that the software supports.  Types of business software include database software, project management software, business-specific applications, and accounting software.

Database Software

Database software is a software program or utility used for creating, editing and maintaining database files and records.  This type of software allows users to store data in the form of structured fields, tables and columns, which can then be retrieved directly and/or through programmatic access.  Database software is also known as database management software (DBMS), although the terms are not exact synonyms. Office suites including database software include Apache OpenOffice (Base), LibreOffice (Base), Microsoft Office Professional (Access), Corel WordPerfect Office Professional (Paradox), and some editions of Microsoft Office 365 (Access).

Project Management Software

Project management software is software used for project planning, scheduling, resource allocation and change management.  It allows project managers (PMs), stakeholders and users to control costs and manage budgeting, quality management and documentation and also may be used as an administration system.  Project management software is also used for collaboration and communication between project stakeholders.

Gantt Chart

Business-Specific Applications

Business-specific applications are software programs written to meet the specific requirements of a specific type of business.  Examples are:

  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software:  manages patient records as well as tracks treatments, medical history, prescriptions, etc.  Apps include Epic & McKesson EMR.
  • Document Management:  Converts paper documents into electronic records as well as provides search and retrieval tools.  Apps include OnlyOffice & Microsoft SharePoint Online.
  • Employee Scheduling:  Enables efficient use of employee resources, vacation management, and staffing to meet demand.  Typical output includes calendars. Apps include OpenSimSim & TSheets.
  • Resource Management:  Enables organizations to match and manage resources to meet specific needs.  Similar in some ways to project management. Apps include Float & LiquidPlanner.
  • Supply Chain Management:  Enables organizations to track the transformation of raw material into finished goods.  Apps include Oracle NetSuite & Unleashed.
  • Point-of-Sale (POS) System:  Enables organizations to handle retail payments electronically and interface with accounting and inventory management software.  Apps include AIMsi & Korona.

Accounting Software

Accounting software describes a type of application software that records and processes accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, journal, general ledger, payroll, and trial balance. It functions as an accounting information system. Examples of accounting apps for small & medium business include QuickBooks & LedgerSMB.