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SAS/SHARE User's Guide

Restrictions and Limitations

Catalog Access

When the user and server run cross-architecture, access to several types of data that is normally available through SAS/SHARE software is not supported, including catalog access. This means that you can use the FSEDIT procedure to update a SAS data set on a different host type, but you cannot specify a SCREEN entry for the procedure from that server. Also, you can neither retrieve a SAS/AF PROGRAM entry for execution nor update it with the BUILD procedure. The same is true for a user-written format, which is stored in a catalog entry of type FORMAT.

Other SAS File Access

With the exception of PROC SQL views, SAS view files (type VIEW) cannot be directly accessed across architectures. A DATA step or SAS/ACCESS view can be read cross-architecture as long as it is interpreted in the server session. In this case, you must not specify the RMTVIEW=NO option in the client LIBNAME statement because that option requests interpretation in the client SAS session and requires the SAS view file itself to be transmitted to the client session. See SAS Data View Programming Considerations.

Some common operations cannot be performed across architectures because they require direct access to SAS view files. Direct access to PROC SQL views is provided; however, direct access is not available across architectures for DATA step or SAS/ACCESS views. For example, you cannot use the COPY procedure to copy a SAS file with a file type of VIEW to a host with a different architecture. However, you can use the SQL procedure's DESCRIBE VIEW statement because direct access to SQL views is provided.

You should also note that access descriptor files (type ACCESS) cannot be accessed across architectures. Access descriptors are special files that are produced and used by SAS/ACCESS products to describe data in other vendors' databases, such as DB/2 or ORACLE. Cross-architecture interpretation of a SAS/ACCESS view is supported, but direct access to the descriptor file is not. Thus, you cannot use PROC ACCESS to create a SAS access descriptor file on a computer of a different architecture.

SAS files of type PROGRAM cannot be accessed across architectures. These files contain compiled DATA step code. You cannot execute such a DATA step in your local SAS session by using the PGM= option in the DATA step, nor can you write a DATA step PROGRAM entry to a cross-architecture server. A DATA step PROGRAM entry can be executed in a cross-architecture server session if it is referenced by a DATA step view that is interpreted there.

Short Numerics and Mixed-Type Variables

In order for SAS data sets to be accessed across architectures, they should not include two-byte numeric variables. This length is allowed on IBM mainframe machines, but other hosts on which SAS software runs have a minimum numeric variable length of three. As a result, a data set that contains a two-byte numeric cannot be accessed across architectures from other types of hosts.

With clever programming in the DATA step, it is possible to store numeric values in character variables and character values in numeric variables. However, you should not construct data sets in this fashion if you want to access them across architectures. SAS/SHARE software performs appropriate character translation of character variables and numeric translation of numeric variables when crossing architectures. Because of this, numeric values that are stored in character variables and character values that are stored in numeric variables that the programmer expects will not be preserved. SAS/SHARE software has no means to detect such usage.

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