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Possible Year 2000 Problems and Strategies

Summary of Potential Problem Areas

It is important to be aware of all aspects of your data processing environment that may cause misinterpretation of dates. This includes all files and programs in your SAS libraries, as well as files and raw data from external sources. The following list contains potential problem areas:

Practices That Help Insure Date Integrity

The following practices help ensure that your date values are correct during all the conversions that occur during processing:

Note:   The YEARCUTOFF= option has no effect on dates that are already stored as SAS date values.  [cautionend]

Tools That Help Ensure Data Integrity

Here is a summary of the SAS System tools you'll be using to insure the integrity of your date-related data.

YEARCUTOFF= SAS system option
specifies the proper century to associate with two-digit years.

Note:   A Technical Tip on the YEARCUTOFF= option is available from the SAS web site:   [cautionend]

informats, formats and functions
are SAS System language elements that handle a wide variety of reading, writing and formatting operations related to dates and time, such as

Strategies for Fixing Problems

Not all potential problems need to be corrected. If your SAS program writes out date values with two-digit years, you may not need to modify the program if the year can be correctly inferred from the context. For example, a printed report listing expiration dates for current drivers licenses can use two-digit years. However, if the same program writes out the dates to a file, and a subsequent application reads the two-digit year and subtracts it from another two-digit year, then the program(s) should be changed. Here are some (but by no means all) steps you can take to correct potential compliance problems.

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