Command Driven

What Does Command Driven Mean?

The term “command driven” refers to programs and software applications that take specific words or letters as commands for performing a task. These programs use a command-line interface, which is devoid of graphical components and user interface elements found in other types of interfaces such as menu-driven and graphics-based user interfaces. Command-driven programs are more efficient but can be difficult to learn how to use. Many early computing systems and operating systems were command-driven systems, and even today, many programmers still use command-driven compilers and interfaces owing to their efficiency.


Techopedia Explains Command Driven

Command-driven systems are applications and programs that have a simple interface that accepts textual commands as the input from the user and performs the corresponding tasks.

The textual commands entered by the user may be a whole word, an abbreviation or a single character.

These systems avoid the need for navigation through the various menu layers found in a menu-driven system and are hence quicker than the other types of user interfaces. Novice users may find it difficult to make use of a command-driven system as they have to memorize the various unique commands and the prescribed syntax required to carry out a particular task. These systems, however, are often used by computer professionals since the commands allow them direct access to the OS functions and eliminate the heavy processes involved in a graphical user interface.

Some well-known command-driven applications include the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS), the command prompt installed in Windows systems, the Unix shell and certain SQL query interpreters.

Most command-driven interfaces consist of a black screen, a single title bar on the top, a scroll bar and a blinking cursor.

Although graphical interfaces have become the most popular way for user interaction, users can also make use of applications like the Command Prompt (Windows) and Terminals (Mac) for accessing the system’s command line function and performing advanced tasks.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.