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packaged software

Ready-made application software. In the early days of computing, any software that manufacturers didn't provide as part of the computer had to be custom-built to order. In the 1980s, a new class of independent software vendors started to pre-build integrated software designed to fulfil a whole range of business functions, and these offerings became known as packaged software. The term today typically refers to upscale enterprise software suites, such as ERP or CRM, rather than the shrinkwrap packages sold through retail outlets. Packaged software, although ready-made, rarely comes ready-to-run. It typically requires weeks or months of configuration work to set it up for the specific needs of each individual business. This was an improvement on the previous generation of custom-built software, but today it is seen as inflexible, and an obstacle to integration between multiple applications.

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