How to Program in SAS Language for Mainframe Computers - ByteScout
  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How to Program in SAS Language for Mainframe Computers

How to Program in SAS Language for Mainframe Computers

SAS is one of the most popular statistical suites out there. It is used for advanced analytics, a criminal investigation, data management, and so on.

The SAS programming language is also popular and is used for multiple use-cases including its usage in mainframe computers.

Mainframes are powerful computers used for critical applications by large applications. That’s what makes it hard to program and maintain.

In this article, we will take a look at how you can use the SAS programming languages:

  1. Things You Should Know Before You Start Programming in SAS
  2. Learning About Key Concepts: Step Boundaries, SAS DATA and PROC Steps
  3. SAS Terminologies, Computer Cycle, And Statements
  4. Going Through An Example
SAS Programming
SAS Programming

If you are new to SAS, then you need to learn how to program in SAS programming language. The programming language is used for statistical analysis and is capable of reading data from databases and spreadsheets and showcase it in the form of graphs and tables. Also, the fact that SAS can be learned quickly and utilized by a new learned makes it ideal for the mainframe.

Things You Should Know Before You Start Programming in SAS

  • Always define the program’s purpose before writing it.
  • Review the data structure or the data you are going to work with.
  • Keep it simple so that it is easy to write and maintain later on.
  • Test drive the program with a dummy data file.

Learning About Key Concepts: Step Boundaries, SAS DATA and PROC Steps

Before you start writing your first program, you need to learn about the “Step boundaries” concept. According to the concept, the DATA, and PROC statements are used to denote the Step Boundaries. So, any code that is present within the step is executed along with the associated data. Once done, it then moves to the next PROC or DATA step — until all SAS job is completed.

In short, you start your SAS job/program with the PROC or DATA statement. Also, you should know that the real logical processing is done in the DATA step rather than the PROC one. The PROC takes the data defined in DATA and processes it.

To sum it up, you can think of it as below:

  • DATA → to get data
  • PROC → steps to process the data

SAS Terminologies, Computer Cycle, And Statements

There are also important terminologies that you should also know.

  • Dataset → It is a collection of data that is used by the DATA step
  • Variable → is a field of the data record
  • Data Values → The values stored within the variable
  • Observation → It is an individual data record

To get a better understanding, let’s take an example. If you went to a medical store and bought medicines, then the dataset will include all the items. The observations, on the other hand, will be known as observations and additional item information will be stored in variables with their own data values, which include quantity, description, and price.

Saradon P 2 10 20

So, here, the name of the medicine is Saradon with a description of P for prescription required, 2 for quantity, 10 for the individual price, and 20 for the total price of the medicine.

Another thing that you need to is the computing cycle, which consists of input-process-output. The input is the start, the process is the computation and the output is the result.

Lastly, we need to learn about statements such as IF, IF-THEN, DO-THEN, and so on! You can learn more about them in the SAS help files. However, one thing that you need to know is that each statement is delimited with a semi-colon or ‘;’

Going Through An Example

To get a better understanding, let’s go through an example.

DATA Employee_Info;
input EMP_ID Emp_Name$ Emp_Sector$;
307 Nitish Management
103 Ravi Programming
108 Sujal Supply Chain
102 Gayatri Accounting

The above code creates a dataset named, “Employee_Info.” Once done, we create three variables for employee id, employee name, and the department in which they are working.

After that, we enter data and use the RUN command to output the data set to the screen.

The PRO command call also is used to process statements.

For example, you can type:

PROC Print DATA=Employee_Info;

This will print the complete Employee_Info dataset.

Final Thoughts

SAS is an easy-to-learn programming language that can be implemented within hours of learning. This article aimed to introduce you to the SAS programming language for mainframe computers. With this knowledge, you can write SAS programs. Also, we suggest you take full advantage of help files to explore the language and use it to create beautiful mainframe programs.


About the Author

ByteScout Team ByteScout Team of Writers ByteScout has a team of professional writers proficient in different technical topics. We select the best writers to cover interesting and trending topics for our readers. We love developers and we hope our articles help you learn about programming and programmers.