In my company we refer to applications that we created as “in-house” or “enterprise” applications. I would like to refer to all applications a user could use… excluding in-house applications.
My first thought is “out-of-house applications”. However, this sounds silly. Is there a better term to use for this collection of applications?
In formal language, like a report to management or a committee, I would refer to “internal” and “non-internal” applications, because I like the symmetry, but “internal” and “external” would be equally acceptable. You could also call them “third-party applications”.
A company that doesn’t want to custom develop software internally, or in-house might out-source the software by hiring another firm to develop it to specification. Most software in used in business is
commercial, off-the-shelf software, or COTS, meaning generic software made by another company, like Microsoft Office. This is also called shrink-wrap software. Some externally developed software, especially some enterprise applications are vendor-provided and sold by the company that makes the software with the expectation the software or configuration will be customized.
Developed by the company itself: internally developed, internal, custom, in-house, in-sourced, home-grown
Bespoke developed by another company, to specifications: out-sourced
Already-made software purchased from a re-seller: COTS, off-the-shelf, shrink-wrap
Software purchased directly from the company that makes it: vendor-provided