About batch processing


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Note: Batch job processing is an optional feature of H2OS presently being developed and "Beta tested" at this time. Please contract H2OS Customer Support if you wish to participate with testing.


The concept of batch processing originated decades ago with mainframe systems. That the concept hasn't taken hold in Windows is very interesting, particularly since something like half of the processing workload on mainframes is batch processing, one would think it would be a requirement for Windows as well. We could understand better if batch processing was on the wane with mainframes, but batch is just as important today as it ever was in that arena. Two different mentalities, to say the least.


In any case, we do see the advantages to batch processing, such as making it possible to automate sending customer messages on a regularly scheduled basis without going through hoops, for example, and we wish to exploit and share these advantages with our customers.


The following describes our concept for implementing batch processing with H2OS. This development work is not completed and could change while the project is under way.


How does H2OS implement batch processing?

Batch processing is performed by a computer with H2OS installed started and configured to run in batch mode. While in this mode, H2OS periodically checks a job queue for newly submitted jobs that it then processes.


Batch jobs are represented in the form of control records in the BATCHQ database table that is stored on your LAN server.


The batch job schedule can be accessed by the Batch Manager screen. See starting H2OS in batch mode.


Jobs can be submitted for batch processing by any workstation that is running H2OS


When in batch mode and there are no jobs scheduled to be run, the batch machine will wait and check the schedule at regular intervals (you can set the interval)


Batch processing defined


As defined by http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/B/batch_processing.html



"Executing a series of non-interactive jobs all at one time. The term originated in the days when users entered programs on punch cards. They would give a batch of these programmed cards to the system operator, who would feed them into the computer.


Batch processing is particularly useful for operations that require the computer or a peripheral device for an extended period of time. Once a batch job begins, it continues until it is done or until an error occurs. Batch processing implies that there is no interaction with the operator  while the program is being executed.


The opposite of batch processing is transaction processing,  with the application responding  to commands as soon as you enter them.


Batch jobs can be processed on a LAN attached computer dedicated for this purpose, or on your standalone workstation in off hours or idle time.






In H2OS, batch processing consists of defining, scheduling, launching and tracking one or more pre-defined "jobs". Each job is setup to perform a prescribed operation.


Essentially, a batch job can do anything H2OS can do, within some parameters:



Because programs can do "anything", we typically create small custom programs that, when launched in the H2OS environment, can issue commands and call programs under the covers. Because many of H2OS's features are embodied in distinct programs for the purpose, a "driver" program can launch one or more internal processes in sequence in order to achieve a desired result.



Getting started with Batch Processing

This is typical a custom programming effort involving one or more of our engineers. Communications can take place using telephone, email and shared computer screens.


To get you started with batch processing, we will need to review and articulate your needs, then design, code, test and document whatever software support is needed. One or more batch job definitions will be created, which can be run at will and/or by schedule.



Devices, inputs and outputs must be available

Inputs to batch jobs must be available when the job is run or it will fail. Also all devices the job requires must be online and ready. Printers should have paper and toner as needed, and communications lines, e.g. to the Internet and/or LAN must be available if used by the job)