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SAS Companion for UNIX Environments

Using Environment Variables to Assign Filerefs

An environment variable can also be used as a fileref to refer to DISK files. The variable name must be in all uppercase characters, and the variable value must be the full pathname of the external file; that is, the filename must begin with a slash.

Suppose that you want to read the data file /users/myid/educ.dat, but you want to refer to it with the INED environment variable. You can define the variable at two times:

After INED is associated with the file /users/myid/educ.dat, you can use INED as a fileref to refer to the file in the INFILE statement:
infile ined;

The same method applies if you want to write to an external file. For example, you can define OUTFILE before you invoke the SAS System:

export OUTFILE
Then, use the environment variable name as a fileref to refer to the file:
file outfile;

Note:   If a variable and a fileref have the same name but refer to different files, the SAS System uses the fileref. For example, the %INCLUDE statement below refers to file /users/myid/this_one.  [cautionend]

filename ABC '/users/myid/this_one';
x setenv ABC /users/myid/that_one;
%include ABC;

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