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Jan's Computer Basics:

Applications: Integrated & Suites

Integrated Software

With integrated software you start one program and get access to what looks like several programs. In the olden days of text-only interfaces, an integrated set of programs was a big help.

These days a set of integrated programs is usually designed as a 'starter' set for the beginning or casual user. Many advanced features are omitted that might be found in stand-alone products.

For example, the word processor in an integrated software package would not likely have a way to automatically generate a table of contents and would have fewer options on how to handle footnotes, headers, and footers.

Microsoft Works is an example of integrated software, but support for the last version ended 10/9/2012.

Google Docs and Apps and Office Online (formerly Office Web Apps) can be considered examples of integrated software since they can be accessed from a single interface - your browser and do not stand alone. They are completely online. Google saves to your Google Drive and Office Online saves to your OneDrive. The features available are not yet as powerful as what you can do with stand-alone programs but both Google and Microsoft are adding features along the way.

Integrated software: Google Docs Integrated Software: OneDrive

  • Providing easy access to several different 'programs'
  • Keeping things simple
Major Advantages:
  • Lower cost than buying separate programs.
    Online versions are currently free.
  • Reducing the learning curve for new users

software packaged as a suiteSuites

A software suite is a set of applications which can each stand alone. They can be packaged together for a lower price than if all were bought separately. There are often enhancements that help the applications communicate with each other. Suites are commonly available for office software and for graphics software.

Some popular suites of office software include MS Office, Lotus Smart Suite, WordPerfect Office, OpenOffice, and iWork (for Mac computers).

Office 365

Office 365

These include several programs, such as:

  • word processing
  • spreadsheet
  • presentations
  • e-mail client
  • address book
  • database
  • Simplifying purchasing

Major Advantages:

  • Reduced cost compared to buying all programs separately
  • Easier to communicate between programs with extra software that comes only with the suite