Types of Processing

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ICT systems take data and process it to produce information.

Processing can be divided into the following three types:

- Batch Processing

- Transaction Processing

- Real-Time Processing

The Types of Processing

Processing of data can take place as the transactions (i.e., items of business) occur, or the data can be batched up in one go.

There are some systems where the processing needs to be immediate and even a small delay would result in danger. The type of processing chosen depends on the application.

Batch Processing

With batch processing, the details of the transactions which need to be processed are collected or batched together over a period of time, after which they are all processed together.

The main features of Batch Processing are:

- No human intervention during processing- once the input data has been entered, the processing takes place automatically.

- Input data is batched- the input data, usually in the form of input forms (e.g., cheques, marked documents such as questionnaires, answers to multiple choice questions), is all put into the reader in one go.

- There is a time gap between processing runs- data builds up over time and it is then processed periodically (e.g., every week, every month, etc).

- Processing is done during a time when processing power is not needed for interactive applications- usually processing occurs at night or during the weekend when the computer is not being used for other applications.

- Used for large volumes of transactions- transactions need to be all of the same type.

- Transactions are processed as a group- transactions are not processed individually.

- Control/hash and batch totals are used- these totals help ensure that all the data on the forms has been read into the computer correctly.

Batch Processing may seem dated, as the existing data goes out-of-date between the processing runs, but it is an ideal way of processing for certain applications. Ideal applications are those where the delay between processing runs is acceptable and there is a very large volume of processing done.

Examples of Batch Processing Systems

Batch processing is…


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