Batch and Online
Input and Processing


The information system cycle involving a transaction can be broken down into two phases:

Input includes converting the data from human form into computer form. The original transactions are then entered into the computer system. Some minor functions may be done at this phase. Examples include rearranging transactions in files and databases and computing a sales total at a point of sale terminal. These functions however, do not constitute processing.

Processing occurs in the second stage. Examples include updating file balances, summarizing information, and creating exception reports. Note that reports that list transactions do not constitute processing.

These two phases can occur independent of one another including at different times and different geographic locations. For example a POS system may capture input in a retail establishment, but just store the transaction data. Later the data is sent to another computer system where it is processed.

Batch input occurs when transactions are grouped and entered as a group. It is common, but not necessary for them to be written down prior to input.

Online input occurs when transactions are entered into the computer as they happen, one at a time.

Batch processing occurs when transactions are processed in a group.

Online processing occurs when each transaction is processed individually, as it is input.

Combinations of input and processing are:

    Batch input with batch processing

    Online input with batch processing

    Online input with online processing

    By definition it is NOT possible to do batch input and online processing.

- R. S. Kulzick -

- 01/09/00 -


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Copyright 1999-2000 Raymond S. Kulzick - Last modified: September 13, 2008