"Files" can refer to data sets (both SAS and non-SAS), as well as
to other types such as the ASCII files generated when SAS programs are
saved from the Program Editor window or when material is saved from the Log and
Right-clicking on a file will yield the file properties while double-clicking with
the left button will open the file. SAS data files generated in SAS version 9.1
will normally have ".sd7" as an extension and SAS catalog files will have a ".sc7"
The following section covers saving, organizing, and documenting
When saving files within the Program Editor, Log, or Output windows, the
File/Save As option will automatically create the following file
extensions: ".sas" for SAS programs created in the program editor
window, ".log" for output from the log window, and ".lst"
for material generated in the output window.
The Results Window can also be used to view, save, and manage individual results
which appear in the Output Window.
Material entered within a window should be saved at periodic intervals
(e.g., every 10 minutes). This can be set up automatically with the
autosave option in the Tools menu (Options/Preferences/Edit).
It is not necessary to save logs and outputs as long as the programs and data that
produce them are saved (for important runs, however, it may be desirable to save such
files, in addition to generating a paper copy).
A "My SAS Files" directory is automatically created upon installation of
SAS Version 9.1; the location may vary with the operating system. Windows Explorer,
which can be invoked using the button at the top of the SAS Window display
(/Tools/Find), can be used to find the exact path of this directory
(in the Advanced menu, specify Folders rather than Files and Folders, and in
the Name and Location menu enter SAS as the search string).
The user could then set up, for example, one directory per project, with
separate subdirectories under each project directory for SAS programs, logs,
output, and data sets.
Libraries refer to the physical location where SAS files are stored.
By default, several libraries are already defined by SAS:
- WORK - used by SAS for storage of temporary files.
- MAPS - contains SAS maps for most countries in the world.
These maps are used with the SAS GMAP procedure.
- SASUSER - automatically generated by SAS to save SAS default
- SASHELP - contains the SAS help catalogs; they are views (a type of data
set) that describe every active library, data base, and catalog.
Data should not be stored in any of the default libraries; however, new
libraries can be defined so that they, too, are automatically created each
time SAS is started up (by specifying enable at startup when first created).
To assist in specifying to SAS where a particular file is located, a one-word
reference can be assigned for the path of the file, particularly
useful when the path involves a long list of sub-directories. The
LIBNAME statement can be used,
for example to assign a library called mydir to represent
c:\My Documents\My SAS Files\projects\ami. To direct SAS
to a particular data set (e.g., amidata.sd7 in the ami
directory), the user could simply specify mydir.amidata (the
SAS data set extension does not need to be specified).
Documentation of both SAS programs and SAS output such as graphs
and tables is essential for effective management of files. For programs,
comment lines are useful for basic
file documentation and for explaining what certain sections/lines
of SAS code are intended to accomplish. For output, titles
and footnotes can provide useful information such as project
title, type of analysis, type of data, and what exclusions may have
been made, instead of having, for example, the default "The SAS
System" at the top of each page of output.
The SAS Program: Syntax