Alex Hoffman

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May 2005 - Posts

Definitions and "Application"

Ralf Westphal has been pondering the meaning of the term "application".  I always find definitions important because all too often I find myself talking at cross purposes with others, because we are actually talking about different things.  Part of the problem is that one really needs to clarify the perspective or audience the definition is addressing.  For example to a .NET developer, a component might be "an object that implements IComponent", whereas, to a general audience a component might be "something that is a part of a larger system or structure".

Ralf proposes that ... a software "application" is (or is part of) what we produce as a response to a customer requesting a "software solution".  He goes on to say that an application will always consist of an "application host" together with application code which runs in that host.

I find that interesting and his post thought provoking, but without specifying a particular perspective or audience, I prefer a more classic general definition ...

A software application is a computer program designed to perform a function or task.

Posted Sunday, May 1, 2005 9:50 AM by Alex Hoffman | with no comments

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