Software that processes data for the user. Except for "system software," which provides the infrastructure in the computer (operating system, utilities and related components), all software programs are application programs.
In the entertainment world, it refers to games (see gaming
). In the business world, it refers to the data entry, update, query and report programs that make up the company's bread and butter information systems (order entry, billing, inventory, human resources, payroll, manufacturing, etc.).
The term may also refer to a generic application, often called a "productivity program," such as a Web browser, spreadsheet, word processor, database or email program. For a list of major application software categories, see application software
. See productivity software
. Contrast with system program
This diagram shows the typical application programs that run in a desktop computer. It also shows the major components of the operating system.