Core Java

Java Smart Batching

Hello. In this tutorial, we will explore Smart batching in Java.

1. Introduction

Batching in Java refers to the process of collecting and processing data or tasks in groups or batches, rather than individually or in real-time. It is a common optimization technique used to improve the performance and efficiency of certain operations, especially when dealing with large volumes of data or resource-intensive tasks. The concept of batching is not specific to Java and can be applied in various contexts, such as database operations, network communication, or even parallel processing. In Java, batching can be achieved using different techniques and libraries, depending on the use case.

Some key aspects of Batching in Java are:

  • Data Collection: Batching involves collecting multiple data points, tasks, or operations into a single batch. Instead of processing each piece of data immediately, they are temporarily stored and processed together in groups.
  • Efficiency: Batching can significantly improve efficiency, especially when the overhead of processing individual elements is high. By processing items in batches, the system can avoid the per-item processing overhead, leading to better resource utilization and reduced latency.
  • Resource Optimization: Batching allows for more efficient use of resources, such as reducing the number of database queries, network round-trips, or CPU cycles required for processing.
  • Batch Size: The size of the batch can be crucial for achieving optimal performance. A too-small batch might incur unnecessary overhead, while a too-large batch can lead to resource exhaustion. The ideal batch size depends on the specific use case and system requirements.
  • Error Handling: Proper error handling is essential when batching. If any item in the batch fails to process successfully, the system should be able to handle the error gracefully and potentially roll back the batch or retry the failed item.

1.1 Smart Batching

The “Smart Batching” pattern in Java refers to a technique used to optimize and efficiently batch operations for better performance. It is especially useful when dealing with resource-intensive tasks or when interacting with external systems that benefit from reduced network round-trips.

In a traditional batching approach, you collect multiple individual items and process them together in a single batch operation. However, in some scenarios, it may not be feasible or efficient to batch all items together due to constraints such as memory limitations or external system limitations.

The Smart Batching pattern takes a more intelligent approach by dynamically determining the optimal batch size based on various factors like resource availability, item characteristics, or external system constraints. It aims to find the right balance between batching items together for efficiency and avoiding overwhelming the system with a large batch.

1.1.1 Key Steps

Here are the key steps involved in the Smart Batching pattern:

  • Collect Items: Collect individual items that need to be processed or sent to an external system.
  • Apply Smart Batching Logic: Instead of using a fixed batch size, the application applies intelligent logic to determine the appropriate batch size based on factors like system load, memory availability, or the external system’s capabilities.
  • Process Batches: Process the items in batches of the determined size, either sequentially or in parallel, depending on the nature of the task and the available resources.
  • Handle Exceptions: Ensure proper error handling and rollback mechanisms in case any of the items in the batch fail to process successfully.
  • Monitor and Fine-Tune: Continuously monitor the performance of the Smart Batching approach and fine-tune the logic as needed to achieve optimal results.

1.1.2 Scenarios

Smart Batching can be applied in various scenarios, such as:

  • Database operations: Dynamically batching database queries to optimize resource usage and reduce network round-trips.
  • Network communication: Sending data to remote services or APIs by dynamically adjusting the batch size based on network latency and response times.
  • Parallel processing: Optimizing the number of tasks processed in parallel to avoid overloading the system or exhausting resources.

Overall, the Smart Batching pattern offers a more flexible and adaptive approach to batching, leading to improved efficiency and performance in various Java applications.

1.2 Micro Batching

“Micro-batching” is a data processing technique used in distributed computing systems and stream processing frameworks. It is a compromise between traditional batch processing and real-time streaming. In micro-batching, data is processed in small, fixed-size batches rather than processing one record at a time (real-time streaming) or in large, extensive batches (traditional batch processing).

In traditional batch processing, data is collected over a period, often hours or days, and then processed all at once. This approach can introduce significant latency, especially when dealing with large volumes of data. On the other hand, real-time streaming processes data one record at a time, which can be inefficient for certain types of computations and may lead to higher overhead due to processing individual events.

Micro-batching aims to strike a balance by dividing the data stream into small, time-bound chunks called micro-batches. These micro-batches are processed as a group, typically within a few milliseconds to a few seconds, before the next micro-batch arrives. This approach allows for more efficient processing compared to real-time streaming since it reduces the overhead of handling individual events and allows for better optimization of resources. It also provides more timely processing of data compared to traditional batch processing, which can reduce the overall latency.

Micro-batching is commonly used in stream processing frameworks like Apache Spark’s Structured Streaming and Apache Flink. These frameworks allow developers to write continuous processing logic that treats data as a sequence of micro-batches, enabling near-real-time data processing with improved performance and low latency.

However, it is essential to consider the trade-offs when choosing micro-batching as a processing model. While it reduces latency compared to traditional batch processing, it may still introduce some processing delay due to the fixed batch interval. Additionally, the size of the micro-batches needs to be carefully tuned based on the application’s requirements and the system’s capacity to achieve the desired balance between low latency and efficient processing.

1.3 Difference between Smart and Micro Batching

CriteriaSmart BatchingMicro Batching
DefinitionBatches are dynamically determined based on factors like resource availability, item characteristics, or external system constraints.Data is processed in small, fixed-size batches, providing a compromise between real-time streaming and traditional batch processing.
Batch SizeVariable batch size depends on intelligent logic and external conditions.Fixed-size batches are typically processed within a few milliseconds to seconds.
LatencyLower latency compared to traditional batch processing due to smart decision-making.Higher latency compared to real-time streaming but lower than traditional batch processing.
Resource UsageOptimizes resource usage by determining the right batch size and avoiding excessive overhead.Efficient use of resources by processing data in small, manageable chunks.
Use Cases– Stream processing with performance optimization
– Near-real-time data processing
– Efficient handling of large data volumes
– Real-time streaming analytics
– Low-latency applications
– Event-driven systems

2. No-Batching vs. Batching Comparison

Data ProcessingIndividual record processing (real-time)Processing in fixed-size batches
LatencyLow latency, as data is processed as soon as it arrivesLower latency than traditional batch processing, but higher than real-time processing
Resource OverheadHigher overhead due to processing individual recordsReduced overhead as data is processed in batches
Processing EfficiencyEfficient for small volumes of dataEfficient for larger volumes of data
Use Cases– Real-time streaming analytics
– Low-latency applications
– Event-driven systems
– Stream processing with better performance
– Near-real-time data processing
– Efficient handling of large data volumes

3. Practical Example

Let’s say we have an application that receives a continuous stream of purchase orders from customers. Each purchase order contains details such as the customer ID, product ID, quantity, and timestamp. The goal is to efficiently process these purchase orders in batches, optimizing resource usage and reducing overhead.

package com.jcg;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

class PurchaseOrder {
    private int customerId;
    private int productId;
    private int quantity;
    private long timestamp;

    // Constructor, getters, and setters

public class PurchaseOrderProcessor {
    private List<PurchaseOrder> batch;
    private static final int BATCH_SIZE = 10; // Batch size for smart batching

    public PurchaseOrderProcessor() {
        batch = new ArrayList<>();

    // Method to process a single purchase order
    public void processPurchaseOrder(PurchaseOrder order) {

        // Check if the batch size has reached the threshold
        if (batch.size() >= BATCH_SIZE) {

    // Method to process the batch of purchase orders
    private void processBatch() {
        // Perform processing logic for the entire batch here
        for (PurchaseOrder order : batch) {
            // Process each purchase order, e.g., update inventory, calculate total cost, etc.
            // ...

        // Clear the batch after processing

In this example, we have a PurchaseOrder class representing the data received from customers. The PurchaseOrderProcessor class is responsible for handling incoming purchase orders and processing them in smart batches.

The processPurchaseOrder method receives individual purchase orders and adds them to the batch list. The smart batching logic triggers the processBatch method when the batch size reaches the predetermined threshold (in this case, when the batch size is equal to or greater than 10).

When the processBatch method is called, the application performs the processing logic for the entire batch of purchase orders at once. This approach avoids processing each order individually and optimizes resource usage by performing operations on multiple orders in a single batch.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, the code example provided illustrates the concept of smart batching in Java for processing purchase orders. The class efficiently collects and processes incoming purchase orders in batches, optimizing resource usage and reducing processing overhead. The key takeaways from the code example are as follows:

  • Smart Batching: Smart batching is demonstrated by collecting purchase orders in a list until the batch size reaches the threshold (in this case, 10). When the threshold is met, the entire batch of purchase orders is processed together in the processBatch method. This approach optimizes resource usage by avoiding per-item processing overhead and reduces the number of individual processing operations.
  • Resource Optimization: By processing purchase orders in batches, the code effectively uses system resources. This reduces the overhead of handling individual orders and improves overall performance and efficiency.
  • Latency: Smart batching helps in reducing latency compared to traditional batch processing. Since the processing occurs in fixed-size batches, it strikes a balance between real-time streaming and traditional batch processing.
  • Error Handling: The code snippet doesn’t include explicit error handling, but it is essential to implement proper error handling to deal with any failed items within the batch. Graceful handling of errors is crucial for maintaining data integrity and ensuring that the application remains robust.
  • Dynamic Batch Size: The code snippet does not include dynamic batch size adjustment based on external conditions, but this can be added to enhance the smart batching technique further. By adjusting the batch size based on factors like system load, network conditions, or time of day, the application can achieve even better performance and resource optimization.

This concludes our tutorial, and I trust that the article provided you with the information you sought. I wish you happy learning and encourage you to share your newfound knowledge with others! You can download the source code from the Downloads section.

5. Download the Files

This was a tutorial to explore and understand Smart batching in Java.

You can download the files of this example here: Smart Batching in Java


An experience full-stack engineer well versed with Core Java, Spring/Springboot, MVC, Security, AOP, Frontend (Angular & React), and cloud technologies (such as AWS, GCP, Jenkins, Docker, K8).
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