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What Is the Best Method for Scheduling a Batch Job?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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A batch job is a computer program that runs on a scheduled interval. The best way of scheduling a batch job is to link the process to the task management system of the computer. This varies for each operating system (OS) and is typically used for maintenance type tasks.

The best way to run batch job in a UNIX®-based operating systems is by using the cron task manager. Cron is the default job scheduler program within UNIX®. This program allows the scheduling of a batch job at specific times.

Windows® operating systems typically use the task scheduler program to run batch jobs. This program has several configuration options, which include time and date settings for each job to run. The task scheduler program is the primary tool used in Windows® for scheduling a batch job.

Both Windows® and UNIX® operating systems have a special administrative screen that manages the scheduling of a batch job. These programs can be accessed from the administrative console of the operating system. It provides an easy-to-use scheduler program that lists all scheduled jobs in the operating system.

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Linux® operating systems use both “At” and “Batch” commands as the tool for scheduling a batch job. These commands allow the user to specify a particular date and time to execute the batch program. The primary difference between these two commands is that the “Batch” command is designed to run the job as soon as the system resources are available, whereas the “At” command is based on a specific time.

Scheduling a batch job to run on a repetitive basis requires a more complex scheduler than standard batch jobs. By using the cron and task scheduler programs, a developer can write scripts that run daily. These programs are unique to the operating system and are checked each minute throughout the day.

Batch programs are typically used for maintenance operations including daily backups and disk-cleaning utilities. These maintenance programs are best run during off-peak times when the system is idle and network traffic is lower. Scheduling a batch job to run during the early morning or late evening ensures that the computer system resources will be available during peak business hours.

Most batch jobs run for several hours. These programs require high-speed processing power and typically use additional computer resources. Many sophisticated scheduling programs can run batch jobs with the available resources within the computer. Once the resources become overloaded, the batch job will be placed on hold until additional processing power becomes available.

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