Tuesday, July 12, 2011

News and Advice

Last week, I started a new position with the Health Innovation Program in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this position, I hope to be more involved in research that could potentially affect patient care. Ever since my days doing academic and educational research, I have missed being involved in the process.

Along with this transition, it appears I've started to become a help desk of sorts for some SAS. I received two sets of email from different users of my macros, and I thought I would start sharing those questions and answers here:

Question 1:

Is there a way to limit the number of observations read by PROC IMPORT? I tried using OPTIONS OBS=2 before proc import and it worked but still the reduction in time was not significant.

Answer 1:

It depends on the file, so you'd have to look at the IMPORT procedure documentation depending on what you're importing to see if that feature is available.

Where did you put the option? It must have been just above the output. If so, then yes, it wouldn't decrease the time, since SAS is still pulling in all of the records. Depending on the location of the option, SAS may only keep the number of records on its way out of the import process. Either way, SAS may need to read the entire file, which would reduce time.

What if you tried just pulling in the header record, and delimiting them yourself? I'm guessing you're looking at comma-delimited, space-delimited, or tab-delimited data, and you should be able to figure out how to read the data in as one record, then split the variable names into multiple variables or even records. Then you could see if there are any new records.

Question 2:

Kindly help me to create the folders using SAS codes in local drive or on server without using X-command.

Answer 2:

You can use either CALL SYSTEM within a data step or %SYSEXEC. You'll want to tinker with the XSYNC and XWAIT options as you see fit. Here are two examples:

data _null_;
    call system('md c:\TestDir');


%sysexec(md c:\TestDir\);