Reviewed by Aug 27, 2020| Updated on
Batch processing is the mechanism by which a computer completes batches of tasks in non-stop, sequential order, often simultaneously. It's also an order that ensures large jobs are measured for output in small parts during the debugging process.
There are many names to this order, including Workload Automation (WLA) and Job Scheduling. As with most programming tasks, it has evolved over time.
Depending on your age, you may know this as either one or the other. But the improvements have made the processing of batch jobs sophisticated and more effective. It's a necessary component of their everyday success for many businesses.
History of Batch Processing
Earlier, computers could run only one program at a time. Over a predetermined period of time, each user had full control of the computer. They would arrive with software and data on the machine, often on punched paper cards and magnetic or paper tape, and load their software, run and debug it, and, when completed, take their output off.
As computers grew, the setup and downtime became a greater percentage of the machine time available. Programs called monitors, the precursors of operating systems, were created that could process a sequence, or batch, of programs, mostly prepared offline from magnetic tape.
Advantages of Batch Processing
Since batch processing does not require data entry clerks to support its operation, it helps to reduce the operational costs that businesses spend on labour. This also needs no external hardware to run, outside of a computer.
Batch processes are performed in the most effective way possible, without the risk of user error. The effect is fast and precise processing. Batch processing systems operate offline, meaning that batch processes are already running in the background when the operating day ends for most people in an enterprise.
Managers have plenty to do without logging in to test their batches at any hour. Modern batch processing software's exceptionally based on the notification system, making it easy for managers to do their job without thinking about whether their software is running well and whether batches are being completed.
There is some degree of training involved in managing those systems, as with any new technology. Unfamiliar managers will have to understand, among other things, what triggers a batch, how to schedule it, and what exception notifications mean.
If a mistake happens, administrators need to still correct it. Batch processing systems can be complex for debugging. When there is no one in your company who has a thorough knowledge of these processes, an expert may be required to assist.
Although most businesses save money on labour and equipment when they move to batch processing, some businesses need to start with no data entry clerks or costly equipment. Batch processing systems may seem like an unfeasible expense to these businesses.