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I guess cardinal numbers can be used as determiners, like this example

We looked at the job applications in two batches.

which seems more natural than another variant

We looked at the job applications in batch.

However, some situations prefer to use "batch" without determiners, like this one

However, sometimes you need to create a large number of users or import usernames from a text file. You can use newusers command, which update and create new users in batch.

Is there a rule I can follow to decide whether I should put a determiner before the countable noun "batch", to distiguish those two situations quoted above?

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    In your first example batch is a countable noun, in your second it is an adjective (a shortening of 'batch mode'). Or possibly the writer of the second meant 'in batches'. – Michael Harvey Oct 25 '20 at 8:09
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We looked at the job applications in batch

This sounds like jargon. It might be understandable to the people involved but not to the general public.

My version

We looked at the job applications in batches.

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Is there a rule I can follow to decide whether I should put a determiner before the countable noun "batch"?

The rule is that "batch" should have a determiner, such as "the", "a", "three", "this", etc.

An exception might be if "batch" is used as an adjective. Then, "update the users in batch mode" is acceptable.

Another exception is if the word is pluralized - "batches".

We looked at the job applications in two batches.

Fine.

We looked at the job applications in batch

Incorrect.

You can use newusers command, which update and create new users in batch.

This example was written by a non-native English speaker who made various mistakes. The corrected sentence:

"You can use the newusers command, which updates and creates multiple new users in one (or: a single) batch."

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