Saturday, October 16, 2010
What is a Batch file?
In DOS, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows, a batch file is a text file containing a series of commands intended to be executed by the command interpreter. Similar to job control language and other systems on mainframe and minicomputer systems, batch files were added to ease the work required for certain regular tasks by allowing the user to set up a batch script to automate many commands. When a batch file is run, the shell program (usually COMMAND.COM or cmd.exe) reads the file and executes its commands, normally line-by-line. Batch files are useful for running a sequence of executables automatically and are often used to automate repetitive or tedious processes. Unix-like operating systems (such as Linux) have a similar type of file called a shell script. DOS batch files have the filename extension .bat. Batch files for other environments may have different extensions, e.g. .cmd or .bat in the Microsoft Windows NT-family of operating systems and OS/2, or .btm in 4DOS and 4NT related shells. The Windows 9x family of operating systems only recognize the .bat extension. In OS/2 a file with a .cmd extension can also be a Rexx file.