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Don't Be a SAS® Dinosaur: Modernizing Programs with Base SAS 9.2 Enhancements
New features of the SAS® programming language often permit the replacement of complex algorithms and clunky workarounds with more elegant code. Some enhancements support the creation of more efficient solutions. Whether you are a SAS programmer with many years of experience or a novice user who is responsible for maintaining legacy programs, implementing updated approaches can allow you to streamline your SAS applications, expedite the development and debugging process, and minimize future maintenance of the code.
This paper covers a selection of enhancements implemented in SAS 9.2, including new features of Base SAS procedures, the DATA step, functions, formats, and the macro language. Each enhancement is paired with an alternative technique available prior to SAS 9.2. This allows for comparison of older and newer approaches.
The primary motivation for exploiting SAS 9.2 enhancements is the ability to create robust yet easy-to-maintain SAS programs with less programmer effort. Efficiency gains in terms of machine resources might be achieved, but they are of secondary importance in most examples.
- Are You a SAS Dinosaur? (archived website)