A Beginner’s Guide to Batch Scripting Language Programming

Posted by: Prof. Arvilla Keebler III at 01/08/2021 2,952 views

Introduction

The batch script consists of a series of commands that are executed by the command-line interpreter and stored as plain text files. In the Windows environment, it is a commonly used and dominant language, though its usage is not common and it is not trending. You can perform and execute nearly any task and perform just about any action by typing a simple sequence of commands on the Windows Command Prompt.

Automating repetitive commands is possible by using Batch Scripts. A script allows one to make their life at the shell much easier and more productive by automating these command sequences. Almost every company incorporates batch scripts in some way or another as a way of automating processes.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Batch Scripting Language Programming

Variables in Batch Scripting

Using variables, you can store any value and then have them do anything you want with it. A variable is created by using the "SET" command. It is possible to assign a variable to an object without specifying a data type, unlike in many programming languages.

Installing programs on various machines at once.

Scripts for batch processing are stored in simple text files, which contain lines with commands that run sequentially one after the other. Files with these extensions are called BAT or CMD files. A system file called the command interpreter provides an interface (sometimes called a shell) through which these files are recognized and executed

A batch file can be run by simply clicking on it. You can also run batch files from the Start-Run line or the command prompt. If the path to the file is not in the path environment, you must use the full pathname. Here is an example of a simple Batch Script. The Batch Script runs when the current directory is opened and deletes all files in it.

Writing and Executing

Notepad is typically used for creating batch files. A batch file creation tool like this is the easiest to use. It follows that the batch scripts will run in an execution environment. This environment is used for all batch files.

Command Line Arguments

When batch scripts are called, they can be passed arguments via the command line. By calling the argument through the variables %1, %2, %3, etc., users can use batch files to pass several command-line arguments to their batch files. The following example displays 3 command line arguments in a batch file.

Length of an Array

There is no direct function to determine the length of an array since there isn't a direct way of determining the number of elements in an array

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Batch Commands

To run a batch of basic commands, you will need to use lowercase letters:

DIR – This command is used to display all the directories, subdirectories, and files that are present in the current directory.

CD – Changing the current working directory requires the cd command.

VER identifies the version of a user's operating system.

CLS – This command is utilized to clear the window of the command prompt.

ECHO – By default, the 'echo' command is 'on', but if we turn it off via 'echo off', it turns off the prompt until 'echo on' is next issued.

@ – If one uses an @ symbol before any command, this hides the current command.

@ECHO OFF – This command serves as the starting point to any basic batch script by hiding the command prompt with ‘echo off’ and hiding the 'echo off' command with '@'.

HELP - This command displays a list of all the commands in the cmd window. The cmd can only be run if it is run with administrative privileges.

Local vs. Global Variables

There are options to mark variables with some sort of scope, i.e. on which they are accessible, in any programming language. The variables having a global scope may be accessed anywhere in the program, while the variables having a local scope can only be accessed within a defined boundary.

Comments Using the Rem Statement

Batch Script offers two methods for creating comments; one is through the Rem command. The text following a Rem statement is regarded as a comment and is not executed. This statement has the following general syntax.

Batch Script - Decision Making

Programs with decision-making structures require that the programmer specify an evaluation criterion, a statement or statements to be executed if the criteria are met, along with another statement or statements to be executed if the criteria are not met

Conclusion

The purpose of this tutorial was to introduce you to the most important aspects of Batch scripting. Consider studying system programming if you are interested. Learn Windows PowerShell if you haven't already.PowerShell differs from other shells in that it uses the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) to accept and return .NET objects, not text. The Windows environment will still depend heavily on Batch to run programs.

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