An application is software that is designed to be installed and managed by users.A service is software that is managed for users. This includes services such as APIs that users never use directly. It also includes services such as a website that people use but don't install and manage for themselves.
Application vs ServiceThe term application implies software that users install and manage. A user installs a tax program on a laptop to do their taxes. A user installs a mobile app on their phone to communicate with friends. A firm installs an office productivity tool on employee desktops.The term service implies software that is installed and managed without user involvement. This includes background services on an operating system, automated processes with no user interface and software-as-a-service that is managed by a vendor according to an SLA.
|Definition||Software that is installed, managed and used by users.||Software that is managed for users including systems that have no user interface but provide services to other software.|
|Example||A communication tool installed by a user on a mobile phone.||An ecommerce website that is accessed using a web browser.A network management service that runs as a background process on a phone.An API that provides market data services to financial institutions.|
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