|SAS Companion for the OS/390 Environment|
As you use the SAS System under OS/390, you might encounter many different kinds of problems. Problems might occur within the context of your SAS program, or they might be with some component of the operating environment or with computer resources rather than with the SAS System. For example, problems might be related to job control language or to a TSO command.
|Problems Associated with the OS/390 Operating Environment|
If a problem is detected by the operating environment, you get messages from the operating environment in the job log or on the terminal screen (rather than in the SAS log). In this case, you might need to consult an appropriate IBM manual or your on-site systems staff to determine what the problem is and how to solve it.
Most error messages indicate which part of the operating environment is detecting the problem. Here are some of the most common message groups, along with the operating environment component or utility that issues them:
Consult the appropriate system manual to determine the source of the problem.
|Solving Problems within the SAS System|
resources are available to help you if you determine
that your problem is within the SAS System. These resources are discussed
in the following sections.
The primary source of information for solving problems
that occur within the SAS System is the SAS log. The log lists the SAS source
statements along with notes about each step, warning messages, and error messages.
Errors are flagged in the code, and a numbered error message is printed in
the log. It is often easy to find the incorrect step or statement just by
glancing at the SAS log.
Extensive help is available through the SAS online help facility. To obtain host-specific help, execute the PMENU command as necessary to display SAS menus, then select
|Help||SAS System Help||Using SAS with your operating environment|
Issue the KEYS command to determine the function keys used to page up, down, left, and right through help pages, and to move backward and forward between help topics.
The FIND command allows you to search for text strings within the currently displayed help topic. For help on FIND and other commands, select:
|Help||SAS System Help||Working in the SAS Workspace||Using Base SAS Software||Command Reference|
Your site may provide user-defined help that provides site-specific information via the standard SAS help browser. To access user-defined help via the SAS help browser, you need to allocate a user-defined help library at SAS invocation.
The user-defined help library contains help information in the form of one or more itemstores, which utilize a file format that allows SAS to treat the itemstore as a file system within a file. Each itemstore can contain directories, subdirectories, and individual help topics. For information on loading user-defined help into itemstores, refer to ITEMS.
Help for the SAS System is contained in itemstores. SAS automatically allocates libraries for SAS System help at SAS invocation. To invoke SAS so that it recognizes user-defined help, follow these steps:
libname myhelp 'appl.help.data' disp=shr;
See Autoexec Files and LIBNAME for details.
See SAS Language Reference: Dictionary for details on the HELPLOC= system option.
User-defined help cannot be added to the SAS System help itemstore because the SAS help library is available for read access only for most users.
After SAS has been invoked so that it can recognize user-defined help, you can access that help with the standard SAS help browser by issuing the HELP command and specifying the appropriate universal resource locator (URL). For example, if the help topic that you wish to display is named DIRAHLP1.HTM, and if that help topic is contained in an itemstore directory named PRGADIRA, the HELP command would be as follows:
See the next section for information on developing user-defined
help for the SAS help browser.
You can develop help for your site or for your SAS programs that can be displayed in the standard SAS help browser. To ensure that your the user-defined help will be displayed as it is written, use only the subset of tags from HTML that are supported on the SAS help browser. Help information in tags that are not supported by the SAS help browser may be ignored by the SAS help browser.
The following table describes the HTML tags supported by the SAS help browser. In short, the TABLE tag is the only frequently used tag that is not supported at this time. To add tables to your help, use the PRE tag and format the text manually using blank spaces, vertical bars, dashes, and underscores as needed.
|Tag Type||Tag Names||Description|
|heading||H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6||for hierarchical section headings|
|paragraph||P||for text in the body of a help file|
|list||UL, OL, DIR, MENU||for unordered (bullet) lists, ordered (numbered) lists, directory (unordered, no bullets) lists, and menu (unordered) lists|
|definition list||DL, DT, DD||for definition list, title of item and definition of item|
|preformatted text||PRE, XMP, LISTING||for tables, which must be manually formatted with blank spaces|
|font specification||I, B, U||for italic, bold, and underlined text|
|phrase||EM, STRONG, DFN, CODE, SAMP, KBD, VAR, CITE||for emphasis, strong emphasis, definitions, code examples, code samples, keyboard key names, variables, citations|
|link||A, LINK||for anchors and the links that reference those anchors|
|document||TITLE, BASE, HEAD, HTML||for titles in the browser, base URLs, heading sections at the top of a page|
For information on the options available for these tags, see any reference for HTML Version 3.2.
For information on loading your help into itemstores,
The CD-ROM that is supplied with SAS software contains most of
the documentation for base SAS, including
SAS Language Reference: Dictionary and other titles. If you
encounter a problem that cannot be solved based on the information provided
in the SAS log or in SAS online help, load the CD-ROM disk into a CD-ROM reader
and browse through the contents of the books contained therein.
The DATA step debugger is an interactive tool that helps you find logic errors,
and sometimes data errors, in SAS DATA steps. By issuing commands, you can
execute DATA step statements one by one or in groups, pausing at any point
to display the resulting variable values in a window. You can also bypass
the execution of one or more statements. For further information on the DATA
step debugger, see the
SAS Language Reference: Dictionary.
If you are having a problem with the logic of your program, there might be no error messages or warning messages to help you. You might not get the results or output that you expect. Using PUT statements to write messages to the SAS log or to dump the values of all or some of your variables might help. Using PUT statements enables you to follow the flow of the problem and to see what is going on at strategic places in your program.
Some problems may be data related; these can be difficult to trace. Notes that appear in the SAS log following the step that reads and manipulates the data might be very helpful. These notes provide information such as the number of variables and observations that were created. You can also use the CONTENTS and PRINT procedures to look at the data definitions as SAS recorded them or to actually look at all or parts of the data in question.
SAS system options can also assist with problem resolution. Refer to the SAS Language Reference: Dictionary for details on the following system options and others that affect problem resolution:
|MLOGIC||controls whether SAS traces execution of the macro language processor.|
|MPRINT||displays SAS statements that are generated by macro execution.|
|SOURCE||controls whether SAS writes source statements to the SAS log.|
|SOURCE2||writes secondary source statements from included files to the SAS log.|
|SYMBOLGEN||controls whether the results of resolving macro variable references are written to the SAS log.|
See Messages from the SASCP Command Processor for brief explanations of many of the host-system subgroup error messages that you might encounter during a SAS session.
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Copyright 1999 by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.