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Un. 8 Applications Programs

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Softwareis the word used to refer to programs(sets of computer instructions written in a computer language) and datathat is input, processed and output by a computer system. Applications programsare programs that allow the user to do various types of work on a computer e.g. wordprocessors, databases. A set of related applications programs is referred to as a package(or suite).Common applications programs include:

word processors for creating and editing texts
spreadsheets for performing calculations using formulae
databases for storing data so that it can be easily searched and sorted
graphics for drawing
games for playing fast action games
accounts for keeping business accounts
payroll for calculating salaries
presentation program for creating multimedia slide shows
email for sending electronic mail messages
PIM(personal information manager) for keeping track of appointments, address book, task list, etc.
DTP(desktop publishing program) for creating publications to be printed by a professional printer
small business tools for performing various business tasks
website editor for creating and editing webpages
image editor Jpr editing graphic images
developer tools for writing programs to add features to existing applications and creating integrated program systems

Mailmergingis a useful feature found in most office suites that combines a database with a wordprocessor document to automatically produce a copy of a standard letter for each record in the database.

A variety of computer hardwareis used in the doctors' practice in this unit including:


PC common name for an IBM compatible personal computer
network computers connected together
file server a powerful computer that stores and allows users access to data files on a network
laser printer a very high quality text and graphics printer that has a photosensitive drum that deposits toner powder on the paper
CD-ROM a compact disk read only memory storage device that is cheap to produce and suitable for storing large amounts of data

The Patient Browser program (GPASS)

discussed in this unit is a type of databasefor sorting and searching patient records. To search, you select different option screens by clicking on a tabwith a mouse and inputting the search criteria(details of what you are looking for) in text boxes known as criteria boxes.Different button iconscan be clicked to perform different operations e.g. the Find button. The default buttonis the option that is selected automatically.

Games Consoles(specialised computers designed for playing games), such as Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube and Sony Playstation, are available for playing a variety of computer games.

An ASP (application service provider)rents applications to users i.e. instead of buying software, the user pays for using applications as and when they need them. The ASP provides the software, manages the hardware and provides storage space, security controls and the physical links to customers. The ASP normally leases storage space for programs and data from data centres(facilities for storing large amounts of information) owned by data storage specialists.

The user is provided with remote access(access across a communications network) to a wide variety of programs including: generic applications such as email(electronic mail) and office suites, high-end(advanced) I packages including large, complex business

applications such as enterprise resource planning tools (e.g. SAP),business services, such as payroll and accounting systems, expensive specialist tools and e-commerceresources (electronic commerce - buying and selling on the Internet).

This gives the user more flexibility and saves them having to install and maintain programs, upgrade(install newer versions of programs), deal with viruses(programs that can reproduce themselves and are written with the purpose of causing damage or causing a computer to behave in an unusual way) and manage email systems(electronic mail systems).

Disadvantages of this system include: the need for a broadband(high bandwidth i.e. a connection with a high signal capacity) network connection or a leased line(a cable connection that is rented for use in a communications system) and dependence on the ASP to provide a secure, reliable, readily available service.

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