Management Information Systems,
Sixth Edition
Chapter 5:
Business Software
Objectives
• Explain the difference between application
software and system software
• Enumerate the different generations of
programming languages and explain how they
differ
• Cite the latest major developments in application
and system software
• Identify and explain the roles of Web
programming languages
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Objectives (continued)
• Explain the types and uses of Web site design
tools
• Clarify the differences between proprietary
software and open source software
• List characteristics that are important in
evaluating packaged software applications for
business use
• Understand the problem of software piracy and
how it affects businesses and consumers
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Software: Instructions to the Hardware
• Applications: computer programs that
contribute to productivity
• Software: a series of instructions to a computer
to execute processes
• Two major categories of software:
– Application software: enables task completion
– System software:
• Enables applications to run on a computer
• Manages components and devices
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Programming Languages
and Software Development Tools
• Programs are needed for every computer
operation
• Programming: process of writing programs
• Machine language: the only language that
hardware understands
– Consists of long strings of 0s and 1s
• Assembly language: easier to program than
machine language because it uses words for
commands
• High-level programming languages: use
English-like statements
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Programming Languages and Software
Development Tools (continued)
• Software development tools: develop software
with little knowledge of programming languages
• Third-generation languages (3GLs): known as
“procedural” languages
– Programmer must detail logical procedure
– Includes languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN,
BASIC, RPG, Pascal, and C
– One 3GL statement = five to 10 assembly
language statements
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Programming Languages and Software
Development Tools (continued)
• Fourth-generation languages (4GLs): use
more English-like statements
–
–
–
–
Speed up the development process
Built around database management systems
Include many preprogrammed procedures
One 4GL statement = several 3GL statements
• Debugging: process of locating and fixing
program errors
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Programming Languages and Software
Development Tools (continued)
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Visual Programming
• Visual programming languages: create
graphical screen objects by selecting icons from
a palette
• Common visual programming languages include:
–
–
–
–
–
Microsoft Visual Basic
Borland Delphi
Micro Focus COBOL
ASNA Visual RPG
Visual C++
• Developer can still work at the code level
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Visual Programming (continued)
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Object-Oriented Programming
• Object-oriented programming (OOP): modular
approach to programming
• Advantages:
– Ease of maintenance
– Efficiency in application development
• Object: contains data elements (data members)
and the methods to manipulate that data
– Data members can only be accessed through the
object’s methods
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Object-Oriented Programming
(continued)
• Objects are reusable and are combined to create
complex programs
• Popular OOP languages include Smalltalk, C++,
Object Pascal, and Java
• Increasing amount of software developed for the
Web using languages such as Java, JavaScript,
J2EE, and PHP
• Applet: code produced by a Web programming
language
– Runs same way on different operating systems
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Object-Oriented Programming
(continued)
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Language Translation:
Compilers and Interpreters
• Source code: program as originally written by
the developer
• Object code: program in machine language that
can be run by the computer
• Procedural languages need programs to
translate source code to object code
• Two types of language translators:
– Compilers
– Interpreters
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Language Translation:
Compilers and Interpreters (continued)
• Compiler: translates entire source code to
object code but does not execute the code
– Scans for syntax errors
– Generates error messages if syntax errors found
• Interpreter: scans one statement at a time
– If error-free, interprets and executes the
statement
– Goes through the program until an error or end of
program is encountered
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Language Translation:
Compilers and Interpreters (continued)
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Application Software
• Application software allows nonprogrammers to
develop their own tools
• Application-specific software: programs
designed to perform specific jobs
• General-purpose application software:
programs that serve multiple purposes
– Usually comes as packaged software
• Packaged software: software that is ready to
install from external storage media such as CDs
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Office Productivity Applications
• Productivity tools: assist normal office work
– Include word processors, spreadsheets,
presentation tools, file/database software,
graphics programs, desktop publishing tools, and
project management applications
• Word processors: used to create text
documents
• Spreadsheets: store numbers and perform
complex mathematical, statistical, and financial
analysis functions
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Office Productivity Applications
(continued)
• Presentation tools: develop impressive
presentations quickly
• File/database management tools: create and
manipulate local or shared databases
• Graphics programs: create intricate graphical
images and manipulate digital photographs
• Desktop publishing tools: develop items for
publication, such as pamphlets, newsletters,
cards, calendars, etc.
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Office Productivity Applications
(continued)
• Project management tools: help plan projects
and track progress
• Suite: collection of various applications that
perform multiple interrelated functions
– Includes Microsoft Office, Lotus SmartSuite,
OpenOffice.org, ThinkFree
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Hypermedia and Multimedia
• Hypermedia: a feature that enables users to
access information by clicking text or graphics
• Web page authoring tools: enable hypermedia
features
– Often part of other applications such as word
processors and presentation tools
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Hypermedia and Multimedia (continued)
• Multimedia software: handles many different
types of data
• Often used in:
– Education: lessons presented in multimedia
– Training exercises
– Compiling and integrating data for business
situations
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Mashups
• Mashup: an integrated application containing
some or all features from several applications
– Provides enhanced features for the end user
• Web site design tools: used to change the
content of Web pages
– Includes FrontPage, SharePoint Designer,
Expression Web from Microsoft, Adobe
Dreamweaver, and GoLive
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Groupware
• Groupware: an application that enables workers
to collaborate in real time over Web
– Integration of multimedia technology and Web
technology
– Allows for remote collaboration
– Eliminates travel times and facilitates expression
and exchange of ideas
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Virtual Reality
• Virtual reality (VR): an application that mimics
sensory reality using software
– Simulates sight, hearing, and touch
– Uses equipment such as goggles, gloves,
earphones, and moving bases
• VR devices provide two elements:
– Immersion: user senses that she/he is
surrounded by the simulated environment
– Interaction: allows users to simulate changes in
the environment using VR devices
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Virtual Reality (continued)
• VR environment senses movement, responds to
signals, and provides feedback to user
• Businesses use VR to decrease cost of planning
buildings, machines, and vehicles
• Avatar: an imaginary figure used to represent
real person
• VR on the Web includes public gathering
applications
– Second Life: an imaginary world using avatars to
allow real people to meet and communicate
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3D Geographic Software
• Similar to virtual reality
• Used to develop three-dimensional models
of geographic locations
• Models are created from land and aerial
photographs
• Helps with navigation when tied to global
positioning system software
• Useful for city planners, service agencies,
tourism, and travel agencies
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System Software
• System software: deals with essential
operations between the user and computer such
as:
–
–
–
–
Loading, copying, and deleting files
Managing memory resources
Operating peripheral equipment
Encompasses compilers and interpreters
• Applications must be compatible with system
software
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Operating Systems
• Operating system (OS): most important
program on the computer
–
–
–
–
–
Recognizes input from keyboard and mouse
Sends output to computer display
Keeps track of files and directories
Runs applications
Manages memory
• Usually developed using low-level programming
languages such as assembly languages
• Also known as “platforms”
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Operating Systems (continued)
• Application program interfaces (APIs):
software included in the OS that can be used by
application program developers
• Utilities: perform other OS functions such as:
– Hardware diagnostics
– Disk check
– File sorting
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Operating Systems (continued)
• OS’s position in logical operation of the
computer:
– User interacts with user interface using menus,
icons, and application commands
– Application converts user input into OS
commands
– OS commands the CPU to carry out the operation
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Operating Systems (continued)
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Operating Systems (continued)
• OS must manage the system by allocating
hardware resources to applications
• OS provides several services, including:
– User interface
– Memory allocation, including the use of virtual
memory (hard disk used as an extension of
RAM)
– Plug-and-play (PnP): recognize and run a device
as soon as it is physically attached
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Operating Systems (continued)
• Driver: software that enables OS to control a
device
• Additional OS services include:
– Database management
– Networking
– Security
• Different computers and types of
microprocessors use different OSs
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Operating Systems (continued)
• Popular PC operating systems
– Windows XP and Windows Vista
– Linux
– Mac OS
• Popular network OSs that are compatible with
DOS, Windows, and MAC clients include:
– Netware
– Windows Server
• Linux: a free OS based on UNIX
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Operating Systems (continued)
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Other System Software
• Other types of system software include:
–
–
–
–
Compilers and interpreters
Communications software
Utilities
Database management systems
• Communications software: supports
transmission and reception of data across
computer networks
• Utilities include antivirus programs, firewalls, and
antispyware/antiadware programs
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Open Source Software
• Proprietary software: sold/licensed for profit
– Source code is private and not available
– Developer retains all rights to the software; user
purchases a license to use the software
• Open source software: free source code
– Developed through voluntary collaboration of
programmers
– Fewer bugs because many programmers review
the code
• Popular open source software includes Mozilla
Firefox, Thunderbird, MySQL, and PERL
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Open Source Software (continued)
• Not all free software is open source
– Microsoft Internet Explorer is free but proprietary
• Linux: best known open source OS
– Includes free versions and versions that charge
for support and additional features
– Popular because of its versatility, but has limited
number of applications that run on it
– Runs on mainframes, PCs, handhelds, and
electronic devices
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Software Licensing
• Software is usually licensed
• Licensed software: provides limited permission
to use the software
– Time-limited license requires annual fees
• Several licensing models
– Permissive model: anyone can use and sell
modified versions of the software
– General public license (GPL): anyone can use
and make modified versions, but cannot sell
modified versions for profit
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Considerations for Packaged Software
• Many goals and custom requirements are
considered during development process of inhouse software
• Factors when purchasing large software
packages are more complex, including:
–
–
–
–
Cost
Time to implement
Cost of interrupting operations
Modification costs to customize the software
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44
Summary
• Software: a collective term for computer
programs
• Two categories of software: system or application
• Programming languages and software
development tools are used to develop software
• Increasing amount of software is linked to the
Internet
• Code written in non-machine language must be
translated by compilers or interpreters
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Summary (continued)
• Some application programs are custom
designed, and many are packaged
• Office productivity tools such as word
processors and spreadsheets help improve
worker efficiency
• Hypermedia and multimedia technology are
useful for training, education, research, and
business
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Summary (continued)
• Groupware combines hypermedia and
multimedia with Web technologies for
collaboration
• Virtual reality tools help build models of products
and structures
• Three-dimensional geographic software helps
model maps and locations
• Many applications support Web services and
access to information on the Web
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Summary (continued)
• Most important system software is operating
system
• Open source software is distributed freely via the
Web
• Software is either purchased or licensed
• Purchase decisions should evaluate suitability,
ease of learning, ease of use, vendor reputation,
expected quality of vendor support
• Software piracy is still a significant problem
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48
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Chapter 5