Like nearly any software package, digital signage software is composed of both system software and application software. System software is created to govern the operations of computer hardware and create the parameters under which specific applications run. For this reason, system software is also known as an operating system or a software platform. Generally speaking, it’s not to be messed with. When a software program attempts to modify the system software, the user or software manager will receive all manner of messages and warnings. Application software is the specific programs and features that can be added and subtracted to accomplish various tasks for the user.
Many people readily understand the basic differences between system software and application software. The difference is not so clean-cut, however. Writing for Buzzle.com, Bhakti Satalkar notes that “making the distinction application software vs software programming is arbitrary and more often than not blurred…. It is the capability of both the application software and system software to interact with each other in ways that are beneficial to the user.” Nevertheless, it is useful to understand the conceptual differences when choosing a digital signage software package for your business or enterprise.
System Software: Reliability, Security, and Compatibility
System is largely, though not solely, responsible for creating a digital signage system that is reliable, security, and compatible. Superior system software will help ensure that your signage doesn’t experience glitches, error messages, and other breakdowns. This is of paramount importance for businesses whose reputation lies squarely within their ability to deliver dependable sources, and that’s about every business out there. System software is also the first line of defense against cyber-attacks and otherwise compromised software security. Finally, compatibility refers to the ability of system software to successfully operate and integrate any and all hardware functions and accessories. It’s important to consider each of these performance factors when choosing a digital signage solution.
Application Software: Capability and Usability
Application software will determine what your digital signage can do. Applications can be designed for specific functionality, such as wayfinding, information displays, and live data integration. Other applications can be designed for specific industries and business clients as is the case with a casino game finder application or a virtual concierge. Typically, a digital signage software package will include an array of applications that speak to general functionality and client-specific applications. Usability (or a user-friendly quality) is another important component of software applications, though this quality is determined by both system and application software. Too, with software applications, businesses need to know exactly what a software firm’s applications are and are not capable of, as well as its user-friendly qualities, although this is often already among the first questions businesses ask.