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Online vs Batch Program

Batch Processing System:

An Batch processing system handles large amounts of data which processed on a routine schedule. Processing occurs when the after the economic event occurs and recorded. It requires fewer programming, hardware, and training resources. In this system programs are scheduled through jobs. It allows sharing of programs and files.


Examples includes Inventory query, website shopping transaction, e-Banking account withdrawal etc.


  • Manages large repeated work easily.

  • Repeated jobs are done fast.

  • Batch systems can work offline.


  • Difficult to debug batch systems

  • Sometimes costly

  • Waits for unknown time if error occurs with any job

Online Processing System:

An online processing system handles transactions in real time and provides the output instantly. When any economic event takes place then the processing occurs. It requires more number of dedicated hardware resources, processing elements are required. In this system programs are initiated through transactions. It does not allow sharing of programs and files.


Examples includes are month end tax calculation, data transformation, data analysis, data transformation etc.


  • Useful for online money transactions

  • Useful in online shopping

  • Support and stability


  • Millions of requests sometimes becomes difficult to handle

  • lots of staff required to maintain inventory

  • Hardware problems create big trouble

How Online programs differs from batch programs?

Batch SystemOnline System
Input Data from card, tape, disk. In Batch, Sequential, Scheduled. E.g. Keypunch, Data Coding. Data from terminal. Random, concurrent. Can be entered as data arrive.
Update Of file Reserved during a job. Other jobs have to wait. Concurrent. Instant.
File Input/Output Input/Output must be in sequence Input/Output can be concurrent
Output Printed reports, output files Messages thrown to console, Updated files System log, Reports.
Start of job Operator (or OS) initiates job Entering Trans-ID triggers the transaction
Process mode Single task & thread Priority in job scheduling Multitask & Multithread Priority processing
End of job Each job Each transaction
Turn-around Usually much longer Almost Instantaneous
Resources Less Usage More Usage
Application Monthly Sales Report Airline Reservation

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