Tag Archive for Software

Microsoft Office Vs Apache OpenOffice

It is important for any organization to have software to increase productivity and accuracy. Office suite is one such software that helps organizations like schools, hospitals, small businesses, public organizations and individuals in their work. Office suite provides its users with word processors, calculation spreadsheets, presentation tools and database managing tools.

In the present market there are many office suites available from different developers and among them Microsoft Office is the most popular office suite. But, due to its high cost, many free office suites are developed and shared for free on the Internet. Among such free office suites, Apache OpenOffice is a well-known office suite .

Let us compare some basic differences between Microsoft Office and Apache OpenOffice in this article.

Cost

  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office suite is a paid tool. The cost of Microsoft Office 2013, ranges from $50 to $450 (Rs 4,000 to Rs 35,000 in India) and moreover they work only on one computer. If you increase the number of computers, the cost multiplies. Updates are sometimes free, but for some updates you need to pay.
  • OpenOffice: This is an open source suite available for free and can be used on any number of computers and can be shared with any number of people. Updates are available for free on many forums, groups and related websites.

Usability

  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office suite is not easy to understand and work with. A person who does not have knowledge about it may need special training or support to work on Microsoft Office. Even the “super users” need to upgrade themselves with every update as the techniques they know may change with every update.
  • OpenOffice: OpenOffice is almost similar to Microsoft Office. The whole software is freely available for you to make changes or improve its functionality to meet your requirements.

Compatibility

  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is only compatible with Windows and Mac platforms (newest version, MS Office 2013 is just restricted to Windows 7 or later only). Also, it is not possible to open Microsoft Office 2003 documents (.doc format) in Microsoft Office suite after 2007 version (which supports .docx format). Upgrading the software is compulsory to make the software compatible.
  • OpenOffice: OpenOffice works on all platforms and it is capable of opening, reading and writing to any format and also the Microsoft Office documents.

Support

  • Microsoft Office: It is professionally supported and is officially provided by Microsoft to its licensed partners through call centers, books, documents and resources from the Internet.
  • OpenOffice: OpenOffice support is a community based support (not official) generally sharing information on forums and groups. Abundant resources like documentation and information are available on the Internet for free.

Security

  • Microsoft Office: It alerts the licensed user of any threats. It recommends its user to upgrade with latest updates and patches in order to protect the computer from possible threats and for securing critical information.
  • OpenOffice: Warnings are received from the forum or group members. Whoever detects them first will pass the information to their co-users (not official though).

Interfaces of both Microsoft Office and Apache OpenOffice are almost similar. Both work well with system specifications. (OpenOffice works well on older systems).

Some key features make Apache OpenOffice best suited to small, medium and non-profit organizations, and also for private use, as the software is free of cost and easy to learn.

Differences between Web Server and Application Server

Many people confuse when it comes a Web server and an application server. A Web server and an application server are different from each other although, they have some similarities. This article mentions some important differences between web server and the application server.

Web Servers

  • Web servers can only provide static page services to clients. (the page displayed is the same for all users)
  • website monitorWeb servers are capable of serving only Web based applications.
  • Web servers handle only Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It means clients send the request to a server with HTTP and server sends the service to client in HTTP only.
  • It is not possible to add any additional functionality later to the web server.
  • A Web server can be either a hardware device or a software application.
  • Web servers do not make use of databases.
  • Workload is not heavier in Web servers when compared to application servers.
  • In many cases, Web servers are used to create the front end for application servers. This is because, it displays different web pages which might be helpful for interacting with the business logic or the databases.
  • The user sends the request to the server through web browser. The Web browser converts the request to the special machine readable format and send it to the server. The server sends back the web page requested to the browser in the same machine readable format. Web browser then converts it to the use understandable format and displays the requested page.
  • Some examples of Web servers are Apache Tomcat, Microsoft IIS etc.

Application Servers

  • Unlike web servers, application servers are not just restricted to HTTP protocol, but can handle other protocols as well.
  • Application server provide dynamic content to the users. It means different pages to different users (example: user profiles) and different pages at different times.
  • Application servers are a software applications, which needs to be installed in a computer device to make it an application server. The application server is not available as hardware device.
  • Application server can serve clients with both web based applications and business based applications.
  • It is possible to add an extra functionality to the application server in the future.
  • An application server can have the web server functionality in it. In simple terms, application server is a superset of web server.
  • Workload in application servers is heavier than in web servers.
  • Application servers act as mediators between the front end (user) and the back end (databases). Application servers access business logic and the databases. They can use business logic and the databases to process request they receive from the user.
  • Some examples of application servers are Java application servers like JBOSS, JRUN, etc.

Both Web servers and application servers are useful for small businesses, as they host web pages and store huge number of files at a centralized location securely. Read more

How are Mainframes and PCs Similar

Mainframes can be termed as personal computers, but personal computers cannot be termed as mainframes. Mainframes are specifically designed for performing critical tasks that need massive amounts of data stored in disks. Large companies use mainframes to process applications such as payrolls, accounting, business proceedings, data retrieval, reservation of seats, computing calculations of scientific related researches. Mainframes are operated remotely with dumb terminals.

Whereas personal computers are designed for a single person to work at a time on it. It consists of several components such as CPU (containing 3 units – Arithmetic, logic, and integrated circuit), types of Memory elements, input/output devices – keyboard, display unit/monitor, printer, mouse etc.

For centralized environment, mainframes are used and users access mainframe through a workstation which is a dumb terminal, but real computing will done on mainframe. Large transactions are processed in batches by large organizations with the help of mainframes. Mainframe doesn’t allow any malicious attacks and thus they are more secure. Whereas PCs lead to virus attacks and crash when you try to work applications of large size. Multiple users can access data simultaneously using mainframes without any downtime at higher speed levels.

Personal computers evolved from mainframes, but these computers can be used to access information on mainframe for smaller portions. Both can perform calculations but their scalability levels differ. Personal computers fit for personal needs whereas mainframes fit for major businesses needs.

Speed, cost and reliability are the three factors that differentiate between the two types of computers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mainframe Systems

Mainframes are typically used by large-scale industries to perform/process their critical business applications. Earlier, these mainframes used to occupy more space and a separate cooling systems had to be provided to keep these mainframe systems cool. However, now a days, these computers are in smaller in size with capability of giving high computing performance. Based on the business requirements, mainframes have certain advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Mainframes can process massive amount of data at a reliable speed for years without any interruption.
  • They handle large volumes of data for storage as well as for processing.
  • All the applications and data are stored in a single mainframe such that it is easier for admin to administrate all applications.
  • Mainframes acts as a central computer that can alone finish the work of some hundreds of smaller PCs, that eventually helps in lowering the administrative and management costs.
  • Mainframes are more stable than other computers.
  • Multiple operating systems can run mainframes such that it allows organization to run multiple processes with a reliable speed, security and operating power.
  • Mainframes allow users to access data from remote terminal devices, that doesn’t have any processing capabilities.
  • You can also design web based applications with security features.

Disadvantages:

  • Mainframe computers are costlier.
  • Mainframes occupy more space as well as generate more heat and require cooling devices to keep mainframe computers cool.
  • Installation of mainframes is complex because of their devices are different from regular devices set up.
  • More attention is required while operating.

These advantages and disadvantages would help you decide whether mainframes are really needed for your business/firm or no.

Pros and Cons of Enterprise Software

It is common for any application or the software to have some advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, enterprise software also has some advantages and disadvantages. Some of the major advantages and disadvantages are discussed below in this article.

Benefits of Using Enterprise Software (ES)

There are many benefits of having an own enterprise software for a business. The benefits are

1. Better performance

  • As the software is developed for the functionality of the business, it is more efficient and suits the business better.
  • It does all the operations and functionality of the business.

2. Security

  • Confidential information, reports and resources of the company are stored securely in the software and are not accessible by others outside the business.
  • The business logic and the functionality is well protected.

3. Easy modifications/updates

  • Usually modifications and updates are done by the developers. They are well aware of the technologies used and hence, modifications are done easily by them.
  • The organization might need to pay the software company for doing this for the organization.

4. Sharing of resources

  • All the systems/users of the software are capable of sharing the resources within the business using the enterprise software.
  • This improves the co-ordination among the business and helps organization run effectively.

Limitations Of Enterprise Software (ES)

With benefits, enterprise software also has some limitations. Three common limitations of the enterprise software are

1. Cost

  • The cost for the development and installation of the business software in their server is pretty high.
  • Modifications and updates of the software also cost the business more because they have to pay for the modification, etc.

2. Training

  • It is required that the people working for the company need to be trained to utilize the software well and help the business grow. Sometimes this could be the on-site training, or training for a few weeks or months in the organization. This needs investment from the business/organization to pay for the training.

3. Restrictions

  • Enterprise software is limited to the business and performs all its functionality. When there is need for the extra technology of functionality, it is not possible. The enterprise software is restricted to that business only.
  • In need of added functionality, the business should either buy from the vendors or pay an extra money to the developers to add the functionality.

Advantages of enterprise software are more than its disadvantages. Although it has some disadvantages, in terms of initial investment and training, it helps improve long-term business productivity of the organization. Read more