Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SAS Enterprise Guide and the Log

I'm presenting on the CheckLog macro that I developed to review a log (or any file or list of files) for errors, warning, and other messages in SAS related to issues. To make sure everything is ready to go, I've been reviewing it to see if there's anything I can improve, especially in regard to SAS Enterprise Guide, the new(er) platform for using SAS.

I encountered a few issues between the two. First, the display manager statements (DM) no longer work in Enterprise Guide. The fix was easy, although a bit tricky: For Windows users (Enterprise Guide is currently only on Windows), I switched from using the DM POSTMESSAGE statement to a Windows API called MessageBox. The API allows greater flexibility than the POSTMESSAGE statement, e.g., I can set an icon to go along with the message. Now Windows users can tell what happened not only by the message, but the icon, too.

However, the DM statement that attempts to export the current log is still intact. I was unable to find a way to replace this, or much less export the Enterprise Guide log in a simple, programmatic fashion. Essentially, it is not possible to use CheckLog to review the "current log" as defined in the Base SAS sense. However, Enterprise Guide users can still check the "current log", but they have to make it an external log in one of two ways.

The first way is to export the log using PROC PRINTTO before the program executes. The code for this isn't too bad, and it can be easily added to any existing program:

/* Set a directory and filename for the log */
%let log=%sysfunc(pathname(work))\work.log;

/* Print the log to the specified location */
proc printto log="&LOG";

/* Run some SAS code... */
proc sql;
create table test as
select *
from sashelp.vtable

/* Turn off printing to the file */
proc printto;

/* Check the external log */
/* Note: The shadow is set to "N" (No) since it is not necessary to copy the log */
%checklog(&LOG, shadow=N);

This method works fairly well. However, not all users may want to use PROC PRINTTO, or they may be using it in a fashion that would conflict with the above suggestion.

The second option involves the project flow in Enterprise Guide. This solution is quite a bit more convoluted, and I outlined it, along with screenshots, on the CheckLog Enterprise Guide page. Essentially, the user has to export the log as a step in the project flow and run CheckLog in a small program. From there, the user can either programmatically determine what to do or set other steps in Enterprise Guide to run based on conditions, e.g., using the ISSUES macro variable to determine what to do next.

Overall, this is quite a bit more convoluted, and it would be great if there were some programmatic way to export the Enterprise Guide log. If anyone knows of a simple way to do that, please let me know!


  1. Chris, there are ways to do more via script. I'll be posting some examples very soon (before SAS Global Forum) on how to achieve this with SAS Enterprise Guide automation.

  2. Chris, I've posted a few VBScript examples that show how to get the SAS log items out of EG projects.


  3. @Chris Hemedinger: Hey, thanks! I'll see if I can use it with CheckLog somehow.


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