Glossary term descrip­tion
  • Also known as
  • Application Program/
  • Application Software/
  • Software Application

An appli­ca­tion is a soft­ware pro­gram run­ning on a com­puter sys­tem or mobile device. It is designed to per­form a spe­cific func­tion for the user or other appli­ca­tions and called appli­ca­tion because it can be applied for a par­tic­u­lar pur­pose or use.

Appli­ca­tions can be text pro­cess­ing and spread­sheet soft­ware, email pro­grams, mes­sag­ing pro­grams, web browsers, games, etc.

An appli­ca­tion usu­ally runs on top of the ser­vices pro­vided by an oper­a­tion sys­tem, or another sys­tem soft­ware that runs in the back­ground and enables the appli­ca­tion to run.

In Microsoft Win­dows, appli­ca­tions may also be referred to as exe­cuta­bles or pro­grams. In other sys­tems as mobile devices, they often are sim­ply referred to as apps.