Batch, Online & Real-Time Processing

These are ICT notes from my ICT teacher. GOD BLESS HER!! Thanks to her, i might actually pass GCSE ICT :P:P:P hope these help. i was feeling nice

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Processing: Batch, On-Line And Real-Time Processing
For the 2nd exam you need to be able to answer questions on 3 types of processing:
Real-time processing
On-line processing (also called transaction or interactive processing)
Batch processing
What type of processing a computer system uses depends on the purpose of the system:
Real-time processing
Imagine you are on an aeroplane that is being controlled by the onboard computer (the auto-pilot). There are a
number of sensors that continuously input information into the computer about the plane e.g. what height is it, how
close is it to other planes, what direction is it going etc. The computer processes the information it receives from the
sensors immediately (in real time) and immediately sends instructions to the plane's controls - it is essential it acts on
the information immediately, for example, if it is getting too low it is no good waiting an hour before the plane is
made to go higher because you will crash, instead the plane has to be made to go higher immediately so that it flies
at a safe height.
This is real-time processing.
Real-time processing is used for systems where the data must be kept up-to-date all the time and where an
immediate response is essential. Examples of systems that use real-time processing are:
Burglar Alarms (if someone has broken a window you want the alarm to ring immediately)
Central Heating System (if the temperature is too cold you immediately want the radiators to come on)
Greenhouse Control System (if the temperature is too cold you immediately want the heater to come
on/window to close etc)
Hospital Patient Monitoring Systems (if the machine monitoring a patient's heart shows it has stops beating
you want it to alert the nurse immediately)
Nuclear Power Station Systems (if the reactor has reached a danger level you want to switch it off
immediately before it causes a nuclear disaster)
On-line processing
Imagine you want to book a ticket to go and see the latest film at the cinema. You go on the internet to see if there
are any seats left and there is just 1 left so you input credit card details in order to book the ticket. If the film is
popular there might be several people all trying to book that same ticket at the same time as you, but clearly the
system must only allow the ticket to be booked by one person. To make sure the ticket is not double booked the
system uses on-line processing. As soon as you click the button on the screen that says you want to book the ticket
you start an interactive link between your computer and the cinema's computer. A write restriction is put on the
ticket you are in the middle of booking - this means no other computer is allowed to book it. This write restriction is
stopped when you have finished booking the ticket or if the connection between your computer & the cinema's
computer is broken. The write restriction makes sure 2 people don't end up booking the same ticket.
This is on-line processing. Examples of when on-line processing is used are:
Cinema booking system
Theatre booking system
Aeroplane seat booking system
Batch processing
Imagine you work in a shop and are paid £5 for every hour you work. Your boss doesn't appear every hour and give
you another £5; instead, at the end of each day, your boss inputs into the computer how many hours you've worked
that day. At the end of the week (or at the end of the month) the computer calculates how much pay you are owed
and then you are paid it (in most jobs nowadays, the computer pays it directly into your bank account which is
called EFT or Electronic Funds Transfer). This is called batch processing because the computer stores up a batch of
data (for example, the hours you and all your workmates work each day) and then processes all the data at the
same time in a batch (for example, at the end of each week).
Read through Pages 95 to 97 in your text book to find out more about Batch, On-Line and Real-Time Processing.

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Here are some examples of past exam questions:
1. Give two situations where real-time processing is used. [2]
2. An airline uses batch, on-line and real-time data processing.
a) Which type of data processing would be most appropriate for:
i) Reservations
ii) Payroll
iii) Automatic pilot [3]
b) Choose one of these data processing methods and explain how it works. [4]
3. A company uses batch processing to produce wage slips for its employees.…read more


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