SAS is a great platform to manage, process and manipulate data. At its core, SAS is powered by set of languages: SAS/Base and its data step, procs, DS2, SQL, … Giving the developper a great set of tools to handle the different challenges that can arise when handling data whatever its structure.
Of course, seeing SAS as a simple data management tool is over simplification. SAS has built a huge set of solutions on top of its core platform (SAS Foundation).
This makes the challenge and opportunities even more interesting. By using the platform, its components, its flexibility on configuration options and deployment topologies one can integrate the final solution to many business cases.
Some interesting topics that are often overlooked by SAS developers:
- SAS Logging Framework.
When troubleshooting the SAS Platform or important projects, logging can become invaluable. By configuring the logging level on different items, either from the SAS platform itself or from you own code, you can solve issues that can very hard to pinpoint otherwise.
- Proc Lua.
If you are looking for a change from SAS Macros (and are lucky enough to be using SAS 9.4M3 or later), take a look at Proc Lua… It might give you ideas on how to write clean efficient code that you would otherwise have written using SAS Macros. The white paper Driving SAS with Lua is also very interesting. Of course the final reference for Lua is on lua.org.
- Proc DS2.
The new programming language for data management proposed by SAS. It shares somes basic concepts with the “classic” SAS Data Step, but adds many other interesting features (i.e. embedded SQL statements, multi-threading, some object oriented concepts, functions, extended data types…). Well worth a read if you want to keep your SAS knowledge on the sharp edge. On the same topic there’s Mark Jordan’s book: Mastering the SAS DS2 Procedure.