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SAS Language Reference: Dictionary

Basic Usage

How a Debugger Session Works

When you submit a DATA step with the DEBUG option, SAS compiles the step, displays the debugger windows, and pauses until you enter a debugger command to begin execution. If you begin execution with the GO command, for example, SAS executes each statement in the DATA step. To suspend execution at a particular line in the DATA step, use the BREAK command to set breakpoints at statements you select. Then issue the GO command. The GO command starts or resumes execution until the breakpoint is reached.

To execute the DATA step one statement at a time or a few statements at a time, use the STEP command. By default, the STEP command is mapped to the ENTER key.

In a debugging session, statements in a DATA step can iterate as many times as they would outside the debugging session. When the last iteration has finished, a message appears in the DEBUGGER LOG window.

You cannot restart DATA step execution in a debugging session after the DATA step finishes executing. You must resubmit the DATA step in your SAS session. However, you can examine the final values of variables after execution has ended.

You can debug only one DATA step at a time. You can use the debugger only with a DATA step, and not with a PROC step.

Using the Windows

The DATA step debugger contains two primary windows, the DEBUGGER LOG and the DEBUGGER SOURCE windows. The windows appear when you execute a DATA step with the DEBUG option.

The DEBUGGER LOG window records the debugger commands you issue and their results. The last line is the debugger command line, where you issue debugger commands. The debugger command line is marked with a greater than (>) prompt.

The DEBUGGER SOURCE window contains the SAS statements that comprise the DATA step you are debugging. The window enables you to view your position in the DATA step as you debug your program. In the window, the SAS statements have the same line numbers as they do in the SAS log.

You can enter windowing environment commands on the window command lines. You can also execute commands by using function keys.

Entering Commands

Enter DATA step debugger commands on the debugger command line. For a list of commands and their descriptions, refer to Debugger Commands by Category. Follow these rules when you enter a command:

Working with Expressions

All SAS operators that are described in SAS Operators, are valid in debugger expressions. Debugger expressions cannot contain functions.

A debugger expression must fit on one line. You cannot continue an expression on another line.

Assigning Commands to Function Keys

To assign debugger commands to function keys, open the Keys window. Position your cursor in the Definitions column of the function key you want to assign, and begin the command with the term DSD. To assign more than one command to a function key, enclose the commands (separated by semicolons) in quotation marks. Be sure to save your changes. These examples show commands assigned to function keys:

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Copyright 1999 by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.