Why a business might choose special purpose software over a general purpose package


A business might consider a special purpose software because it is designed for unique business needs. This will help you achieve your business goals because the software is customized exclusively for your business. It is unique when it is sold.

Benefits Of Special Purpose Software

Some benefits you may be aware of:

  • Customized and exclusive to your business.
  • Highly scalable and secure.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Automate manual processes with easy integration of enterprise software.
  • Helps you achieve maximum business efficiency, reduced costs and increased profits.

General Purpose Software

As the name implies, general purpose software is designed for general use by the masses. Microsoft Office and Quicken are just a few examples. You don’t have to be particularly good at anything to use them, and with a little practice and some practical sense, you can get pretty good at them. When you open Word or Excel, you get a selection of templates that already do some of the work for you.

General purpose software is a software package that anyone can buy. Say, an accounting software or a marketing automation software. It remains the same whenever it is sold. E.g. Windows, Final Cut Pro, Oracle database.

Special Purpose Software

Specialty software is developed for a specific purpose: Tracking cars crossing a bridge in a given time period; calculating real-time coordinates of air traffic in a 100-mile radius; printing tax notices. They are usually developed specifically for an industry or even an industrial niche and are usually used by professionals to facilitate their work.

Differences Between Special Purpose Software and General Purpose Software

The difference is clearly in the names – general purpose application software can be used by a variety of people for a variety of purposes. It is “general purpose.” An example would be word processing programs such as Microsoft Word, Libre Office Writer, or Mac OSX Pages.

Special purpose application software is written to meet the particular needs of a limited group of users, and is really only useful to those users (or even a single user). For example, I have a Samsung smart TV that is able to store the channel order set by the user (me) on a flash drive. The only problem is that the information is stored in an encrypted, undocumented form, and I wanted a human readable display of the information. I ended up writing a small Python program with a Qt GUI to decrypt and display the required information. The point is that this is a program that is useful to me, but probably not to anyone else – it is specific to my needs, it is not generally useful to other people. It is a special or particular application software.



Leave an answer