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AS 1.2.2 - Applications Generation

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systems software
software needed to run the computer's hardware and application programs
Library Programs
Examples of systems software
Utility Software
system software designed to optimise the performance of a computer or perform system tasks
Disk Defragmentation
a utility program that will reorganise a magnetic hard disk so that files which have been split up into blocks and stored all over the disk will be recombined in a single series of sequential blocks, making it quicker to read a file
Automatic Backup
a utility program that allows files to be backed up manually or automatically by specifying what to back up, where it is, how to back it up and when it should be backed up
Automatic Updating
a utility program that makes sure any software installed on the computer is up-to-date and then will download and install any updates that are available
Automatic Updating is especially good for firewalls and antivirus software as new viruses and threats are constantly being ...
Virus Checker
a utility program that checks your hard drive, and sometimes emails and internet downloads for viruses, and then removes them if any are found
Compression Software
a utility program (often has to be bought from independent suppliers) that makes files smaller in size, which optimises them for transmission over the internet
Applications Software
software that is designed for end users
general-purpose software
type of applications software that can be used for many different purposes, such as word-processors, spreadsheet software and graphics packages
specialist software
type of applications software that performs a single specific task or set of tasks, such as payroll and accounts packages, hotel booking systems and fingerprint scanning systems
bespoke software
type of applications software which is specially written by a team of programmers for a particular organisation to meet their needs
off-the-shelf software
type of applications software which is written by a team of programmers and sold on the market to anyone, being immediately available, tried and tested
later date
Advantage of Bespoke: features are customised to user requirements, so that they have all features they need and none they don't need, and other features can be added at a ...
document requirements
Disadvantage of Bespoke: more costly and requires expertise to analyse ...
immediate use
Disadvantage of Bespoke: may take a long time to develop and is not available for ...
straight away
Disadvantage of Bespoke: may contain errors which don't surface ...
buying it
Advantage of Off-the-Shelf: less expensive as the cost of producing the software is shared among everyone ...
Advantage of Off-the-Shelf: ready to be installed ...
free of errors
Advantage of Off-the-Shelf: the software is usually well-documented, well-tested and ...
disk space
Disadvantage of Off-the-Shelf: may not contain all the features needed by a user, and some features may be unwanted, thus unnecessarily taking up ...
open source software
software which must be distributed with the source code so that users can view and modify it, and where any modified code can be sold (but must also be open)
proprietary software
software which is sold in the form of having a licence to use it (which will often have time-based or user-number based restrictions) and the source code cannot be viewed or changed
Advantage of Open Source: can be modified to meet ...
Advantage of Open Source: the software is continuously being improved by the ...
Disadvantage of Open Source: code can be ...
learning curve
Disadvantage of Open Source: often due to a lack of documentation, to use the software, or in order to modify the code, there is a ...
Disadvantage of Open Source: there is a risk that the project will be ...
Advantage of Proprietary: as it is written by a company, there is usually a lot of ...
source code
Advantage of Proprietary: potentially can be more secure as no one can view the ...
locked in
Disadvantage of Proprietary: due to having to purchase the licences, it can become expensive and you could get ...
your hardware
Disadvantage of Proprietary: it may not be adapted for ...
assembly language
a low-level programming language using mnemonics, where each instruction translates into one machine code instruction
machine code
a computer programming language consisting of binary or hexadecimal instructions which a computer can respond to directly
a program which translates low-level programs (such as ones written in assembly language) into machine code for execution
source code
the code that is input into a translator
object code
the (machine) code that is output by a translator
instruction set
the machine code instructions that a particular computer can execute, which is completely dependent on hardware, meaning different computers use different machine code
a program that translates high-level languages into machine code, by scanning through the source code and performing different checks each time until it has all information to produce the final object code (which can be saved and run without needing translating again)
different compilers
As object code is hardware-specific, different hardware platforms will require ...
a program that translates high-level programming languages by checking each line individually for syntax errors and then translating and running it, before checking and translating the next line
intermediate representation of a program which has been compiled, and this can then be interpreted to be run
bytecode interpreter
executes bytecode by interpreting it; this also adds an extra layer of security as a program is run in this instead of directly on the computer, so can guard against program errors or malicious programs
platform independence
bytecode allows programmers to achieve ... , which means that the bytecode is converted into machine code for the computer it is running on, allowing for portability
Advantage of Compiler: object code can be saved to disk and run whenever without needing to be ...
Advantage of Compiler: object code can be distributed and executed without the user needing to have the ...
reverse engineering
Advantage of Compiler: code is more secure, as the source code cannot be read without a lot of ...
Disadvantage of Compiler: the whole program must be recompiled if the program is ...
Advantage of Interpreter: platform independence can be achieved as long as the machine has the appropriate interpreter ...
Advantage of Interpreter: quicker for software development as the whole program doesn't need to be recompiled every time an error is ...
Disadvantage of Interpreter: program may run more slowly as every statement must be interpreted every time it is performed (ie. in a ... )