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An application system is

[a]n integrated set of computer programs designed to serve a well-defined function and having specific input, processing, and output activities (e.g., general ledger, manufacturing resource planning, human resource management).[1]
[t]he use of information resources to satisfy a specific set of user requirements. Performs a certain type of work, including specific functions such as payroll, inventory control, accounting, and mission support. Depending on the work for which it was designed, an application system can manipulate text, numbers, graphics, or a combination of these elements.[2]
[a] software program that performs a specific function directly for a user and may be executed without access to system control, monitoring, or administrative privileges.[3]


  1. FFIEC, IT Examination Handbook Infobase, Glossary (full-text).
  2. Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual, at 557.
  3. 12 FAM 090 (full-text).

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