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Enterprise software, also known as enterprise application software (EAS), is purpose-designed computer software used to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than individual users. Such organizations can vary from businesses, schools, interest-based user groups and clubs, retailers, or governments. Enterprise software is an integral part of a (computer based) Information System, and as such includes web site software production.
Services provided by enterprise software are typically business-oriented tools such as online shopping and online payment processing, interactive product catalogue, automated billing systems, security, enterprise content management, IT service management, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, project management, collaboration, human resource management, manufacturing, enterprise application integration, and enterprise forms automation.
As enterprises have similar departments and systems in common, enterprise software is often available as a suite of customizable programs. Generally, the complexity of these tools requires specialist capabilities and specific knowledge.
Enterprise software describes a collection of computer programs with common business applications, tools for modeling how the entire organization works, and development tools for building applications unique to the organization. The software is intended to solve an enterprise-wide problem, rather than a departmental problem. Enterprise level software aims to improve the enterprise's productivity and efficiency by providing business logic support functionality.
According to Martin Fowler, "Enterprise applications are about the display, manipulation, and storage of large amounts of often complex data and the support or automation of business processes with that data."
Although there is no single, widely accepted list of enterprise software characteristics, they generally include performance, scalability, and robustness. Furthermore, enterprise software typically has interfaces to other enterprise software (for example LDAP to directory services) and is centrally managed (a single admin page, for example).
Enterprise application software performs business functions such as order processing, procurement, production scheduling, customer information management, energy management, and accounting. It is typically hosted on servers and provides simultaneous services to a large number of users, typically over a computer network. This is in contrast to a single-user application that is executed on a user's personal computer and serves only one user at a time.
Enterprise software can be categorized by business function. Each type of enterprise application can be considered a "system" due to the integration with a firm's business processes. Categories of enterprise software may overlap due to this systemic interpretation. For example, IBM's Business Intelligence platform (Cognos), integrates with a predictive analytics platform (SPSS) and can obtain records from its database packages (Infosphere, DB2). Blurred lines between package functions make delimitation difficult, and in many ways larger software companies define these somewhat arbitrary categories. Nevertheless, certain industry standard product categories have emerged, and these are shown below :
Major organizations in the enterprise software field include SAP, Google, Infor, IBM, BMC Software, HP Software Division, Redwood Software, IFS AB, QAD Inc, UC4 Software, JBoss/WildFly (Red Hat), Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Oracle Corporation and CA Technologies but there are thousands of competing vendors globally.
Businesses also use Enterprise Social Software sometimes known as Enterprise 2.0. Yammer Inc. which was sold to Microsoft is an example of such software.