Saturday, February 7, 2009

Comparison of the Development Time of Utility, Application, and System Program

A utility program is specifically designed to help manage several components of the computer, both hardware and software. As opposed to application programs, which are only software suites or packages, a utility program would really take longer to develop since they include: (1) disk/file system utilities, (2) archive utilities that have encryption or compression capabilities, (3) network managers that check and monitor the computer’s network, log files, (4) system utilities, among others. Basically, utility programs are developed to monitor the computer system.

An application program, on the other hand, is closer to the user’s end, more like a user interface or frontend. They interact directly with the user. They only use the services of the system in order to cater to the user’s needs. While the utility programs and system programs generate the necessary services, the application program only harnesses these services and delivers them to the user in a form that the user can use for his work. Developing application programs is easier than developing utility or system programs. Examples of application programs are word processors, spreadsheets, among others. These are usually software suites or packages that provide various services to the users.

Meanwhile, developing a system program takes much longer than the other two because, compared to application programs that provides services to the users, system programs provide services to the computer hardware. This requires more hardware awareness. System programs are targeted more at the computer’s end, like the backend. And, I think, another reason that developing a system program takes longer is because it usually requires assembly languages or low-level languages to program.

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