Bbusiness software is likely to be developed specifically for a business and therefore is not easily transferable to a different commercial enterprise, unless its nature and operation is identical. This is due to the unique requirements of each business that off-the-shelf software in unlikely to completely address. However, where an on-the-shelf solution is necessary, due to time or monetary considerations, some level of customization is likely to be required. Exceptions do exist, depending on the business in question, and thorough research is always required before committing to bespoke or off-the-shelf.
Some business applications are interactive, i.e., they have a graphical user interface or user interface and users can query/modify/input data and view results instantaneously. They can also run reports instantaneously. Some business applications run in batch mode i.e. they are set up to run based on a predetermined event/time and business user does not need to initiate them or monitor them.
Some business applications are built in-house and some are bought from vendors (off the shelf software products). These business applications either are installed on desktops or on big servers. Prior to the introduction of COBOL (a universal compiler) in 1965, businesses developed their own unique machine language.. RCA's language consisted of a 12 position instruction. For example, to read a record into memory,the first two digits would be the instruction (action) code. The next . four positions of the instruction (A address) would be the exact leftmost memory location where you want the readable character to be placed. Four positions (B address) of the instruction would note the very rightmost memory location where you want the last character of the record to be located. A two digit B address also allowed a modification of any instruction. Instruction codes and memory designations excluded the use of 8's or 9's. The first RCA business application was implemented in 1962 on a 4k RCA 301.The RCA 301, mid frame 501, and large frame 601 began their marketing in early 1960.
The term covers a large variation of users within the business environment, and can be categorized by using a small, medium and large matrix:
Most methodologies share some combination of the following stages of software development:
- The small business market generally consists of home accounting software, and office suites such as OpenOffice.org or Microsoft Office.
- The medium size, or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), has a broader range of software applications, ranging from accounting, groupware, customer relationship management, human resource management systems, outsourcing relationship management, loan origination software, shopping cart software, field service software, and other productivity enhancing applications.
- The last segment covers enterprise level software applications, such as those in the fields of enterprise resource planning, enterprise content management (ECM), business process management (BPM) and product lifecycle management. These applications are extensive in scope, and often come with modules that either add native functions, or incorporate the functionality of third-party computer programs.>
Technologies that previously only existed in peer-to-peer software applications, like Kazaa and Napster, are starting to feature within business applications
Types of business tools
- Enterprise application software (EAS)
- Resource Management
- Digital dashboards - Also known as business intelligence dashboards, enterprise dashboards, or executive dashboards, these are visually based summaries of business data that show at-a-glance understanding of conditions through metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). A very popular BI tool that has arisen in the last few years.
- Online analytical processing, commonly known as OLAP (including HOLAP, ROLAP and MOLAP) - a capability of some management, decision support, and executive information systems that supports interactive examination of large amounts of data from many perspectives.
- Reporting software generates aggregated views of data to keep the management informed about the state of their business.
- Procurement software is business software that helps to automate the purchasing function of organizations.
- Data mining - extraction of consumer information from a database by utilizing software that can isolate and identify previously unknown patterns or trends in large amounts of data. There are a variety of data mining techniques that reveal different types of patterns. Some of the techniques that belong here are statistical methods (particularly business statistics) and neural networks as very advanced means of analysing data.
- Business performance management (BPM)
- Document management - made for organizing and management of multiple documents of various types. Some of them have storage functions for security and back-up of valuable business information.
- Employee scheduling software- used for creating and distributing employee schedules, as well as tracking employee hours.