Monday, June 2, 2014

Application Software Comparison

This blog is to fulfill Research Task 2 – Critical Thinking Chapter 3 page 191 item 3 Research – Application Software Comparison

Web applications are becoming increasingly popular, and some people prefer the convenience of using a Web application instead of application software installed on their computer. For example, some prefer to use Google Docs (a Web application) to Microsoft Word. Your boss notices this trend, and asks you whether it will benefit the company to use Web applications instead of application software. Compare software installed on your computer with a comparable Web application. Are any security risks associated with using the application software? How do the features compare between a Web application and the application software? Would you recommend using a Web application to application software? Why?

Web applications have been extensively useful to me personally and professionally. Personally, I didn’t want to spend money on buying application software. I knew I would use a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, and database software, but spending hundreds of dollars for this software wasn’t in my budget. Professionally, I wanted to have students submit written work electronically to save paper and printer toner. It also allowed me to grade students work and give them feedback so they could edit their papers without having to print multiple versions. Another reason I liked the Web applications was so I could grade from my smartphone on the fly without need for my laptop. I was the co-worker that pushed for using Google Apps in Education at Battle Creek Academy. I ended up being the only teacher that used Google Apps in Education extensively because other teachers didn’t want to learn a new “software”. It is important to remember that Google Drive has similar functionality to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations like Microsoft Office Applications but they do not have the same creation features within each type of web application. pointed out that Google Drive “productivity tools may lack some of Office's advanced features” but what they do have is easier to use. This CNN article also pointed out three of Google’s main selling points - the service is free, it is accessible anywhere you have internet connections, and it supports significant sharing and collaboration between users. The biggest drawback for our school was the issues with institutional internet connections through Comcast that could from time to time disappear - then students couldn’t work on anything because there was not an offline option of Google Drive to use. This con is also changing as Google Drive continues to evolve.

There are inherent security risks with any digital file, but even more so with cloud based digital files like those on Google Drive. I would not put confidential material in Google Drive files because it is as simple as being logged into Google and a few clicks and I am into someone else’s Google Drive where I can access all their files says . There is also the sharing features of Google where you can give read or write access to different levels of individuals. Sharing digital files this easily puts those files at a security risk if there is confidential information or information that should be kept private. It is also important to consider that files uploaded to Google drive or created there may be “lost, stolen, exposed, made irretrievable, or obtained directly from a service provider with a court order” says .

I would recommend using a Web application if the file being created does not need to be private. I would recommend using a Web application because it allows users to collaborate and create content together in real time from anywhere with an internet connection. I would recommend using an offline application software for financial information and content that should be kept private.

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