What Does Output Mean?

Output is the products of computing or software were hardware activity, where input is defined as the data that are put into IT systems.


Techopedia Explains Output

Taken together, the idea of input/output (I/O) has driven the emergence of computing technology from its very first beginnings in systems such as ENIAC, the first real computer pioneered in the 1940s.

Input and output are very critical pieces of the computing puzzle, which is based on the use of information to produce information. The earliest computers had physical methods of I/O, where today’s machines rely on digital standards.

Because output is such a broad idea, one helpful distinction is between two categories of output – physical and code.

Physical output includes things like: a print out from a computer or a final sum from a database program.

Code output is useful to developers. In complex code, different functions and procedures work on an array of variables and values. When one of these is passed from one function to another, code modules will often return a result which could be called the ‘output’ of that function or module.

This is not always output to the end-user can see or accept directly; instead, the output of one code function or procedure is used in additional functions or procedures to generate final computing results.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…