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DATA Step Views


DATA step view
is a native view that has the broadest scope of any SAS data view. It contains stored DATA step programs that can read data from a variety of sources, including:

Creating DATA Step Views

To create a DATA step view, specify the VIEW= option after the final data set name in the DATA statement. The VIEW= option tells SAS to compile, but not to execute, the SAS source program and to store the compiled code in the input DATA step view that is named in the option.

DATA view-name <data-set-name-1 <(data-set-options-1)>>
<. . .data-set-name-n <(data-set-options-n)>> /
VIEW=view-name <(<password-option><SOURCE=source-option>)>;


names a view that the DATA step uses to store the input DATA step view.

specifies a valid SAS name for the output data set created by the source program. The name can be a one-level name or a two-level name. You can specify more than one data set name in the DATA statement.

specifies optional arguments that the DATA step applies when it writes observations to the output data set.

names a view that the DATA step uses to store the input DATA step view.

assigns a password to a stored compiled DATA step program or a DATA step view.

specifies whether to save or encrypt the source code.

If the SAS data view already exists in a SAS data library and you use the same member name to create a new view definition using the same member name, then the old data view is overwritten.

For more information on how to create data views, see the DATA statement in SAS Language Reference: Dictionary.

Recent Enhancements to Views


What Can You Do with a Data Step View?

You can:

Because DATA step views are generated by the DATA step, they can manipulate and manage input data from a variety of sources including data from external files and data from existing SAS data sets. The scope of what you can do with a DATA step view, therefore, is much broader than that of other types of SAS data views.

Differences between DATA Step Views and Stored Compiled DATA Step Programs

DATA step views and SAS programs created using the Stored Program Facility differ in the following ways:

For more information on the Stored Program Facility, see Creating and Executing Stored Compiled DATA Step Programs.

Restrictions and Requirements

Do not expect global statements to apply to a DATA step view: Global statements such as the FILENAME, FOOTNOTE, LIBNAME, OPTIONS, and TITLE statements, even if included in the DATA step that created the data view, have no effect on the data view. If you do include global statements in your source program statements, SAS stores the DATA step view but not the global statements. When the view is referenced, actual execution may differ from the intended execution.

Performance Considerations

Example 1: Merging Data to Produce Reports

If you want to merge data from multiple files but you do not need to create a file that contains the combined data, you can create a DATA step view of the combination for use in subsequent applications.

For example, the following statements define DATA step view "MYV8LIB", which merges the sales figures in the data file V8LR.CLOTHES with the sales figures in the data file V8LR.EQUIP. The data files are merged by date, and the value of the variable TOTAL is computed for each date.

libname myv8lib 'SAS-data-library';

data myv8lib.qtr1 / view=myv8lib.qtr1;
   merge v8lrclother.clothes myv8lr.equip;
   by date;
   total = cl_v8lr + eq_v8lr;
The following PROC print statement executes the view:

proc print data = myv8lib.qtr1;

Example 2: Producing Additional Output Files

In this example, the DATA step reads an external file named STUDENT, which contains student data, then writes observations that contain known problems to MYV8LIB.PROBLEMS. The DATA step also defines the DATA step view MYV8LIB.CLASS. The DATA step does not create a SAS data file named MYV8LIB.CLASS.

The FILENAME and the LIBNAME statements are both global statements and must exist outside of the code that defines the view, because views cannot contain global statements.

Here are the contents of the external file STUDENT: dutterono MAT 3 lyndenall MAT frisbee MAT 94 SCI 95 zymeco ART 96 dimette 94 mesipho SCI 55 merlbeest ART 97 scafernia 91 gilhoolie ART 303 misqualle ART 44 xylotone SCI 96 Here is the DATA step that produces the output files:

libname myv8lib 'SAS-data-library';
filename student 'external-file-specification'; [1]
data myv8lib.class(keep=name major credits)
     myv8lib.problems(keep=code date) / view=myv8lib.class; [2]
infile student;
   input name $ 1-10 major $ 12-14 credits 16-18; [3]
when (name=' ' or major=' ' or credits=.)
         do code=01;
            output myv8lib.problems;
         end; [4]
when (0<credits<90)
         do code=02;
            output myv8lib.problems;
         end; [5]
       output myv8lib.class;
run; [6]

The following example shows how to print the files created previously. The data view MYV8LIB.CLASS contains the observations from STUDENT that were processed without errors. The data file MYV8LIB.PROBLEMS contains the observations that contain errors.

If the data frequently changes in the source data file STUDENT, there would be different effects on the returned values in the the SAS data view and the SAS data file:

A SAS data view dynamically updates from its source files each time it is used. A SAS data file, each time it is used, remains the same, unless new data is written directly to the file.

filename student 'external-file-specification';
libname myv8lib 'SAS-data-library'; [7]
proc print data=myv8lib.class;
run; [8]
 proc print data=myv8lib.problems;
   format date datetime18.;
run; [9]
[1] Reference a library called MYV8LIB. Tell SAS where a file that associated with the fileref STUDENT is stored.
[2] Create a data file called PROBLEMS and a data view called CLASS and specify the column names for both data sets.
[3] Select the file that is referenced by the fileref STUDENT and select the data in character format that resides in the specified positions in the file. Assign column names.
[4] When data in the columns NAME, MAJOR or CREDITS is blank or missing, assign a code of "01" to the observation where the missing value occurred. Also assign a SAS datetime code to the error and place the information in a file called "PROBLEMS".
[5] When the amount of credits is greater than zero, but less than ninety, list the observations as code 02 in the file called PROBLEMS and assign a SAS datetime code to the observation.
[6] Place all other observations, which have none of the specified errors, in the SAS data view called MYV8LIB.CLASS.
[7] The FILENAME statement assigns the fileref STUDENT to an external file. The LIBNAME statement assigns the libref MYV8LIB to a SAS data library.
[8] The first PROC PRINT step calls the data view MYV8LIB.CLASS. The data view extracts data on the fly from the file referenced as STUDENT.
[9] This PROC PRINT step prints the contents of the data file MYV8LIB.PROBLEMS.

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