The most common peculiarity is probably the technical terminology each CAQDAS uses. For instance, the database, which holds (or links to) all files that belong to a particular project is called "project" in most programs, but the developers of ATLAS.ti insist on the label "hermeneutic unit," while HyperRESEARCH uses the term "study." Similarly, NVivo and N6 speak metaphorically of "nodes," where the mainstream of CAQDAS developers have opted for "codes."
Beyond these purely semantic differences and the different capabilities of the different programs in areas of multimedia and integration of statistical methodology, two programs offer particular functions, no other CAQDAS offer:
- QDA Miner, part of the Simstat Suite, allows for sophisticated quantitative analyses of textual data, which includes the visualizations of word maps. Alternative programs, such as Leximancer or AutoMap, might fulfill similar functions for other CAQDAS.
- Qualrus is the only program, which uses Artificial Intelligence technique to assist users with coding suggestions.1 It also is the program allows through a scripting language to automate recurring tasks, such as the automatic coding of open ended questions in surveys.
- N6 requires you to predefine the textual units you want to code. It offers a scripting language, which lets you automate tasks.