Initially, UNIX was thought to b e for Scientific Application Developmentand research work, but with is great power, it was extended for business application development i.e., the UNIX become suitable for all purpose application friendly, rather than user friendly, is preferred as the application development. Even than user friendly, is preferred as the Application Development Platform. Let us look at various applications of the UNIX operating system. We can categorize the applications of the UNIX as under:
Application in Business Environment and Application in Academic and Scientific Environment
Applications in Business Environment
As the business environment is a multi user environment, where more than one user uses the computer system. The applications are basically data oriented as well documentation and word processing. Therefore, there us a requirement for the central system, which is accessed by different users, thus UNIX acts as a very good platform for Business environment some of the Typical Applications of UNIX for business environment is:
Word processing, communication network, accounting software, automation of the office, Graphics, Database management etc.
Applications of UNIX in Academic and Scientific Environment
As UNIX a very powerful environment to work, it is preferred for research and testing of various new software developments. The typical applications of UNIX in this environment are:
Operating system Research: Unix can be taken as a case study for operating system research, where one can study how an operating systems works, as well testing of various Features of an Operating System.
Prime Operating System for conducting Research: UNIX acts as a very good platform for conducting research on operating system development, enhancements to the existing operating systems, new operating system design etc.
The strong communication and net working capability of the UNIX can be used for the development of applications so that there is more flexibility for High Speed Data Transfer between Systems.
Features of UNIX Operating System
Multi User/Time Sharing/Multitasking Capacity
UNIX operating system can be used by more than one user at a given instance of time. Various users can log on to the system from different terminals and give commands for getting their work done. When users give commands, they are executed by the UNIX System of the time sharing basis, where every user program is given a time slot, known as time slice, after the time slice of a program elapses then the next program gets chance to be executed by the UNIX system.
Multitasking feature of the UNIX allows a user to initiate more than one task from the same terminal.
Modularity: Modularity feature of UNIX operating system makes it a unique operating system. UNIX Operating System is composed of modules, which can be added or removed by the users to fit their needs, without affecting the working of the system. This is very helpful when there are constraints for memory.
File Structure: UNIX follows a hierarchical file structure, which is quite similar to an inverted tree, having the root directory at the top and under it are the files, which expand dynamically. There is no restriction for the number of files, or the file size. Hierarchical structure of the file system gives flexibility for the grouping and retrieving files.
Consistent Peripheral Interface: UNIX treats all the peripheral like keyboard, monitor, printer etc. as files, exactly as same as any other files. All the Peripheral Devices are treated as special devices files. As all the files treat the data as the stream of bytes which are unformatted, so are the device files which also work the same way as any other files.
Security: Being a multi user system, there should be special consideration for the Security of the Data. UNIX provides with different levels of security so that the users need not worry about their data. The security has external and internal levels. At External levels it maintains security by maintaining the list of the authorized users and their passwords, so that only authorized users can log on to the system. On the internal front it maintains the security by setting permissions for the access of the Files and Directions.
Redirection of Input-Output and Pipes
All the UNIX commands are such that they take input from the standard input device (key board) and give output to the standard output device (monitor). A user can change the default source of input as well as the default output device; this process is known as redirection of input and output. There is a provision that a commands, which is done by using pipes.
Portability: This is the ability of the software, which makes it work on different types of machines and platform. UNIX is very portable as it is developed using “C”, a high level language. Only that part of the Operating System which depends on the hardware has to be manipulated, so that it works on any other computer with different architecture.
Communication and Networking: UNIX comes with great power for the Communication and Net Working Facility. There are several in-built programs, which enable different users to communicate with each other by sending and receiving messages to and from different terminals. There is also provision for interactive conversations. Use of LAN (Local Area Net Work) between the UNIX machines is very popular.
Utilities and Software Development Tools: UNIX comes with more than two hundred utilities, which aid user by providing various facilities like processing text, sorting data, searching etc. one need not write new programs for accomplishing tasks to a great extent.
UNIX comes with several tools that help application developers for Developing Various Software. These tools include ‘C’ compiler, version control systems. Library management, file processing and syntax analyzer, Debugger, Micro processor etc.
Above all, the UNIX comes with a unique feature which makes it still popular, it is immune to viruses i.e., it is not effected by viruses. Thus UNIX, no doubt is a Popular Operating System.