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Requisites And Steps To Design A Computer Application

By Expert Author: MIT AOE

To get started with any computer system there are two main aspects to it, the hardware and the software. While the hardware part includes the physical device monitor, CPU,keyboard, mouse etc. the software is the program that runs on the computer system for any desired process. The specialisation needed for working with hardware and software can be non-overlapping or sometimes include both as in computer engineering.

To write a computer application there are few critical steps to follow to design it. By doing so, time is not wasted in writing a program that may not work or solve the problem and may not be worth to fix it later. With planning there are more chances that the computer program actually works and performs the task it was created for. The following are crucial steps to be followed when designing a computer program:
1. Identify the Problem: The first and foremost is to identify the objective of the program, which will help in designing the program. Most programs are aimed to help solve a problem or simplify or automate an existing system. The main aim of any program is to make a task easier, faster and more conveninient such as in money mangement program which simplifies organizing and paying bills instead of using paper and an adding machine.
2. Identify the User: The next to identify are the users who will be using the program. If the program is to be used by the developer/ single user then the program can be pretty much designed to be user specific the way the user wants it to look and work and serve the purpose. But if the program is aimed to be sold, it’s crtitical to know the users so that it’s liked by more people and used also. With this in mind there are more chances people use the program and buy a personal copy also.
3. Determine the target computer: The computer needed to run the program which could be Windows, Macintosh, mainframe, computer with Linux, supercomputer, handheld palm or smartphone. If it is known the type of computer the program will be run on can help determine the programming language to be used, the hardware which will be found and even the maximum size of the program. For example, a program designed to be run on a Macintosh computer has the advantage of its color, graphics, a large hard drive and plenty of memory which amy not be there if designed for a smartphone with its limited sound capability, much simpler graphics and limited amount of memory and storage. Any program is said to be portable if it can be used on other computer systems with little or less changes. The programming language used determines portability, C/C++ are widely used because of ease of converting in to other languages from C/C++.
4. Determine Programming skills: The programming language which will be used in writing the program and the skills of all the people working in writing the program. The idea of writing a program for a purpose may be great, but for a beginner with limited programming skills may take a lot of time and may also not complete the task out of frustration. Experienced programmers generally use C/C++ while beginners, novice programmers start with simple language such as Basic before they start using advanced language such as C/C++. There are many more advanced programming languages such as Perl, PHP etc. for complex computer programs.

The other things to decide upon are the editor which will be used to create the program and compiler which will be used for the computer to understand the program and run.

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