Sure, you can use external programms directly in many cases instead of using modules. But in my mind, using of modules is better because there are many things which already done: error catching, additional functionality some validations etc and many people test they functionality.
In your case, you should do the same things (testing, error catching etc) in your application. So, no reasong do the same work.
It's only my opinion and it doesn't have pretensions of absoluteness!
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