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English language: Utility and Tool (what are they mean?)

My native language is not English, so please help to understand, the words Utility and Tool are mean the same things or different?
When I can tell about the program that this is an utility and when that this is a tool?
Don Pedro Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
They are generic terms that say very little, but "utility" is normally used for accessory software (sort, disk scan...) and "tool" for software that helps to produce something (development tools, design tools, IDEs and so on).

Can I give you a marketing suggestion? (at least automating sales is our business): do not use neither "tool" not "utility"!

Use "solution"  instead: your user pays your license to solve a problem, is is quite more captivating, for example compare:  "a backup utility", with "
a backup solution" which one would you consider first?

Good luck!
Franco Graziosi Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
+1 to Franco for good advice, especially the "solution" aspect.
Scorpio Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
Thank you for the suggestion.
But i think the solution is too pompous word for small programs like "user login monitor" or something like this. It is more suitable for large or global projects. But maybe I'm wrong.
I need the website name for little apps and cannot understand the "user login monitor" is a tool or an utility? How do I need to name the website for similar programs? MyMonitoringTools or MyMonitoringUtilits?
Don Pedro Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
A tool is something that helps you do something.  A utility does something for you.

Regarding "solution":  if you were creating a product starting with the name, it would be a good idea to use "solution" and then build the product to live up to the name.  If you already have a product and need a name, then "solution" might not necessarily fit.
Dora Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
I agree with the sentiment of using 'solution' instead of utility or tool.
But I'm beginning to get a bit tired of the word solution.
It's overused.
It's on every second van on the road these days and some just look daft, like 'coffee solutions'.
just think of an appropriate name and explain what explain the problem it solves in clear language.
Drummer Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
I wish for an edit solution for this forum...
Drummer Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
IMO, "utility" implies some ongoing purpose, such as monitoring logins, whereas "tool" implies some one-time purpose, such as copying data from one DB to another. Just my opinion. Saludos!
GregT Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
I see the software definition of tool to be software used conjunction with a broader software package/set to simplify or extend existing tasks. I think most addons/plugins/macros fall into the tool category.

Utilities are standalone applications that have a single or simplified purpose. File compression software like the old pkzip software. A lot of the command line software.

Solutions are suites of utilities and/or tools part of a larger workflow to accomplish more complex tasks.

When I hear something called 'Solution', I'd think it does more than one thing.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013

Pardon,  maybe I expressed myself poorly. I am not suggesting using “solution” as part or your headline but the description, (“telling about it” in your question).

My suggestion is to use “solution” in your product description, not in the headline. In the headline I wouldn't use anything at all, except its function, for example “user tracker” or “access tracker” or “access logger” …

Using “utility”, “solution” or anything else in the headline would be redundant, like the word “book” in a book title: it is obviously a book!

Then the description could be “... it is a solution to....”.

This is also an exercise to identify which problem your application solves. Realistically, if you do not solve a problem it will be hard to sell it. The most associated adjective with “utility” or “tool”  (if you mine the Web) is “free”.
Franco Graziosi Send private email
Monday, August 19, 2013
swiss army knife - utility
butcher's knife - tool
alexandar Send private email
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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